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India Today Group’s Change Agent

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Kalli Purie, 

Vice Chairperson
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Over the years Kalli Purie, vice chairperson, India Today Group (ITG) has ensured that it remains nimble, adapting swiftly to the rapidly-changing demands of both viewers and advertisers. ITG channels are now available on broadband platforms using smart TVs. According to the FICCI-EY Media & Entertainment Report of April 2023, smart connected TVs will exceed 40 million (daily active users) by 2025 from over 25 million now. As artificial intelligence (AI) transforms multiple industries, during the year, India Today Group launched the world’s first AI anchor, Sana, who now presents multiple bulletins, including weather report on India Today TV and the primetime bulletin on Aaj Tak.
The group also diversified into the OTT space with India Today Originals. It launched two series — Indian Predator: Diary Of A Serial Killer on Netflix and Dancing on the Grave on Amazon Prime Video. Currently, it is working on two untitled documentary series for Netflix and one for Prime Video.
Hindi news channel Aaj Tak retained the title of the world’s most watched and subscribed news channel with over 58 million subscribers and over 2.2 billion hours viewed so far. The channel has been awarded the Custom Play Award by YouTube.
On ESG front, the group is migrating to a fleet of electric vehicles to reduce its carbon footprint. It also provided relief material to flood-impacted families in Assam and Andhra Pradesh. Training individuals in vocational skills and promoting education among vulnerable communities in 10 major cities across the country was also a major project undertaken last year. Given its complexities, media remains one of the toughest businesses to be in. “The turmoil and lay-offs in big tech companies globally has been tough to navigate. In addition to this, the plunge of the unicorns put pressure on advertising revenues,” says Kalli Purie. At a time when the media industry had to bear the brunt of the advertising slowdown, total income of the TV Today Network was slightly lower at ₹922 crore in FY23 from ₹974 crore in the previous fiscal. Net profit in FY23, too, was lower at ₹88 crore against ₹182 crore in FY22. — Anup Jayaram