Friday, May 30, 2008

Reuters India update

We've written a couple of times over the past year about Reuter's activities in India including its divorce from Bennett Coleman and its launch of the "Market Light" service for farmers. There's an interesting interview today on with Azhar Rafee, Executive VP Media (Asia). Highlights include:

  • Market light is now covering prices of 17 crops and is targeted to be in three States with 250 - 300,000 farmers using it. Rafee emphasises the need for the service to be multi-lingual so that the farmers can access it easily, a challenge for all providers of business information in India as they dip down below the English-speaking elites in the major cities.
  • On the divorce from Bennett Coleman (the owners of the Times of India), he says "from the strategic partnership perspective we felt that the direction we wanted to take in India was different from theirs. Sometimes what happens is that the goals we set for ourselves - we did achieve them - but to move forward it was better for us and them that we work with separate strategy. We remain extremely bullish on India and the team size is increasing, but more importantly, it’s important to note that we are engaged to figure out how to take this forward and whom to take this forward with". Which is corporate waffle speak for 'it didn't work out with them, we know that India's important but we're not really sure still how we're going to do it'.

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