Fierce competition often creates rivalry among organisations and this is more pronounced in the media industry. Unhealthy business practices override the main goal of optimising customer satisfaction, with price wars, unrealistic claims and other unwanted factors becoming more and more apparent.
I am happy that Indian Newslink and Radio Tarana have maintained high professional standards of business ethics, undeterred by market competition.
It is gratifying that two media organisations have established mutually rewarding relationship based on mutual respect and trust, designed to provide service of excellence to our respective target audiences. Happily, there is almost always an overlap between the listeners of the Radio station and the Newspaper.
Cross-border swapping of news and features is common among organisations that come under the same umbrella of ownership, as it is in the case of conglomerates, which may encompass the print, television and radio media. Thus the CNN may allow its radio network to reveal a story to the public, swiftly followed by its television counterpart; India Today may place a news item first on its related website, to be followed up by the magazine a week or so later.
But partnership between two media organisations, independent of each other’s ownership and management is uncommon, at least in New Zealand. On such a score, the bond that exists between Indian Newslink and Radio Tarana is unique in many respects.
The management and staff of both companies realise the importance of cooperation rather than confrontation in bringing to a common audience the best of both worlds. Thus, what is read first could be heard later and vice-versa.
Six years ago, the partnership reached a new height with the launch of Ek Nazaar, primarily to discuss the issues raised in the most recent edition of the newspaper.
This fortnightly programme continues in a revised format and is aired on Sundays between 5 pm and 6 pm. It is still characterised by listener response, at times animated, on national and international topics that are current and that cause concern to the community.
The programme gained added value with a slot featuring the Prime Minister and the Opposition Leader (on alternate Sundays) discussing latest developments and answering questions instantly, which may otherwise take hours or days through normal channels. If it was a scoop for a community radio station and a newspaper, it also did credit to the country’s top leaders’ penchant for getting close to the people.
I have watched Indian Newslink grow from strength to strength with pride and satisfaction. Over the past 11 years, it has reached several milestones and established its presence in a number of areas of common interest. Beginning as a monthly in November 1999, it became a fortnightly in March 2003 and a year later, published the first Indian Newslink Fastfind Indian Business Directory, which is the first and foremost reference book of its kind in the country. The launch of the Indian Newslink Journalism Scholarship last year was yet another landmark for the Indian media in New Zealand.
But I believe the most significant achievement was the establishment of the Indian Newslink Indian Business Awards (IBA) in 2008. I have heard hundreds of people tell us on air and in person that this has become a great source of motivation for businesses to improve their performance and be recognised and rewarded for their success. As an extension of the mutually rewarding relationship, Radio Tarana is the Sponsor of the ‘Best Marketing Excellence Award’ this year.
Like hundreds of others, I am looking forward to attending the Awards Presentation Night at the Stamford Plaza Hotel on November 15, 2010.
I congratulate Ravin Lal, Managing Director of Indiana Publications (NZ) Limited, which owns Indian Newslink and other brands for the success that he has achieved over the years and wish and his staff the best. I look forward to working even closer with this organisation to foster customer interest.