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CNN International focusses its eye on India

By Anindita Sarkar , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Media Publishing | March 11, 2011
Beginning March 14, CNN International will run a special set of programmes under the Eye on India initiative, in a bid to help the international markets understand and analyse the 'rising' corporate India.

Beginning March 14, CNN International will focus exclusively on corporate affairs in India in its initiative titled Eye on India. The programme aims to help the international markets understand and analyse the 'rising' corporate India.

As part of the new programming initiative, the network will focus on the nation, with the attempt to bring global viewers across 270 million homes, a week of in-depth business coverage from Mumbai and around the country. The initiative will end on March 18.

The live programming will appear on the network's show World Business Today, and will be aired in the 6:30-7:30 pm time band (Monday-Friday).

Speaking to afaqs!, William Hsu, vice-president, news advertising sales, Asia-Pacific, CNN, says, "India is a growing economy and it's getting internationalised. International viewers want to know what's happening in India and many corporate bodies globally are willing to expand their footprints in India. Therefore, we decided to come up with this programming initiative."

Hsu believes that the fresh programming activity will also help provide many Indian companies a platform to reach out to the international markets. "For Eye on India, we have partnered with and Kerala Tourism as the main sponsors. A lot of top advertisers have also come on board," Hsu informs, though he is unwilling to divulge names.

For the record, some of the regular top Indian advertisers on CNN International include the Ministry of Tourism, the Government of India, Suzlon, Kirloskar Proprietary, Kerala Tourism, Aditya Birla Group, and TCS.

As part of the Eye on India initiative, stories aired through the week will focus on how there has been a rapid increase in demand in the luxury segments of apparel, automobiles, retail, and real estate, due to India's increasing number of millionaires. This fact will be juxtaposed against parts of the country that still lack basic infrastructure. Away from metropolitan India, the emergence of smaller towns as growth and consumption drivers will also be profiled.

In addition to the Eye on India initiative, CNN will invite its global audience, especially those in India, to participate by sharing their views on everything that is 'Uniquely India'. Viewers can submit pictures and videos via iReport ( on the unique aspects that they believe define this country. Selected submissions will feature on, and across the week's programming.

Hsu notes that while the APAC region contributes approximately 30 per cent of CNN International's total global revenue, India constitutes about 17 per cent of the total Asia-Pacific make.

"India is our fastest growing office in Asia with a compounded growth average of 55 per cent for the past seven consecutive years. We expect India to make 20 per cent of our total revenue from Asia in the next two years," Hsu says.

Meanwhile, the network is aggressively investing in creating mobile content, globally. "We recently launched CNN on Android in the US, and will soon make inroads into Asia. As prices go down and more technologies find acceptance in India, it will happen in this country, too," Hsu adds.

It is pertinent to note here that CNN International targets only the top 2-3 per cent of the total Indian population, which engages in international business. Thus, its generates advertising revenue from India by primarily engaging itself in creating corporate branding campaigns of clients in categories such as banks, hotels, tourism, airlines, and business services with an international focus.

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