“The fear of the unknown is no longer there” – Publishers discuss post-pandemic recovery

2022-07-11. After the upheaval caused by the Covid-19 health crisis, large parts of the South Asian news industry have started to see an upturn. A recent conversation among publishing executives explored the long-term impacts of the pandemic, including a quicker adoption of new technologies and an accelerated shift from an advertising-driven business model to paid content.

by Teemu Henriksson | July 11, 2022

As the immediate effects of the health crisis start to subside, the mood among Indian publishers is increasingly hopeful about the future. However, there is a renewed urgency to reassess some of the industry’s fundamental building blocks.

This was the message from a recent panel at WAN-IFRA’s Indian Media Leaders eSUMMIT. The participating CEOs took stock of the situation two-plus years after the pandemic started and discussed the steps their companies have taken to ensure that they are braced for a seemingly uncertain future.
The pandemic accelerated productivity improvements
“Any data or metrics [of today] compared to when Covid hit would look good, positive and hopeful. Simply because Covid was a disaster in terms of business and in terms of the crisis it posed for us,” said Dhruba Mukherjee, CEO of ABP.

Although ABP experienced “zero-revenue days” during the toughest days of the pandemic, Mukherjee said the situation has now greatly improved: advertising has started to recover, even if it’s “nowhere near pre-Covid levels”, while circulations are now at about 80 percent compared to before the pandemic.

Beyond the improving business metrics, perhaps the biggest step forward has been psychological, he said. “The fear of the unknown is no longer there. The fear is out. It’s just that you kind of brace for what new challenges each wave will bring and how you respond to that.”

Part of that mindset change follows big advances in operational streamlining and acceler...

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Teemu Henriksson

Research Editor

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