RadioandMusic
| 17 Aug 2018
Harrish Bhatia hopes for a positive second quarter results for MY FM

The radio network of MY FM which is spread across seven states in India with 17 stations, has had a successful journey in the radio industry in terms of growth and highest EBIT margin, said MY FM's CEO Harrish Bhatia. But there are other things that the CEO is proud of. Highlighting the same in his recent interview with Radioandmusic.com’s Jescilia Karayamparambil, he talks about the new shows introduced by the radio station and about the star RJ Archana Jani of Ahmedabad and more.

According to a recent study, MY FM is doing well in Ahmedabad, yet the station launched new shows in the market. Please comment.

As per Hansa research, we hold the number one position in Ahmedabad so we wanted to strengthen our position in the city. With an aim to grow stronger, we got Archana Jani on board and launched her in a grand way. An independent research conducted by us showed that the listeners enjoy lighter content in the evenings. This is why we launched ‘The Shekhar Suman Show’. It is doing very well for us and has been received very well by the listeners and the stakeholders. The brand association with the show is very high. ‘The Shekhar Suman Show’ and Archana Jani’s show ‘Salaam Ahmadabad’ has become the talking point in the city which was exactly our target and we have achieved that. All the changes in the station are backed by a thorough study. We are a customer centric organisation so we do lot of in-house research with the consumers. Before going on-air, we do pre and post-testing of our shows.

What was the idea behind having RJ Archana Jani?

Ahmedabad is one market which has always been skewed to one or two RJs and Archana Jani was one of them before she went to Mumbai and then Dubai to pursue her dreams. She is first star RJ that the city has produced and now she is back to her home town. This has further consolidated our number one position in the market and we have taken a huge leap ahead of the competition by getting her on board.

How many news shows will be introduced in the coming months?

It is a continuous process. We have two-three shows in the pipeline which will be introduced post Diwali. We are very confident that they will be received very well like the existing shows. The product that we are working on is a huge differentiator in terms of content; and that will stand us apart from rest of the competition.

What are you targets for Phase III?

Post-phase III, we will be the number one radio station in the country in terms of reach in Tier II and III cities. I am very clear that we are not coming to metro cities. We will be number one in our space. We had decided seven years back what we want but it’s the Government who will have to decide and come out with a speedy policy for the industry to grow. In Phase II with 87 cities and towns, it took one and half years for the government to complete. So, I believe that for 300 towns they will take three years to complete.

With the Modi government, I can see speed so if they take half the time to complete the process we are still ready for it.

Are you looking at other forms of revenue?

As an organisation, we clearly believe that radio is not only about FCTs but it is lot of non-FCTs as well. The recent example is about the PM’s speech that we put on-air as a special gesture. We encashed this opportunity. We use all the opportunities that are available. We advise clients to buy radio as an integrated solution. They should look at FCTs, non-FCTs and integration. 15 per cent of our revenue comes through these efforts.

Do you plan to have live music properties?

I do not see the need to have live properties unless there is some special objective behind having it. I do not consider live concerts as a sustainable business model. You cannot take this as an idea which will be a part of your main domain. Nevertheless, if it is required, we will do it.

What is your target for this year?

We have grown 21 per cent year-on-year in Q1. We had a very strong first quarter and second quarter results are not out but we are expecting the results to be good. For this year things are already planned and fortunately things are on track. Thus we will see good numbers again.

What is next for radio industry and how policy changes will help MY FM?

The industry will double itself as per the various recent research reports. With news coming on radio, things will change. With this people could see news integrated in MY FM programming. I look at it as a game-changer. As the radio stations are local in nature, we are hoping it will be very helpful in reaching out to more and more listeners. Because of our parent company, we have an infrastructure that supports us for this function, once the policy is implemented. Our back-end is quite strong so we can start broadcast of news immediately. We have a digital company which will help us further strengthen our stand once the news policy comes in place.