Times Internet Ltd (TIL), the digital media arm of the country's biggest media house Bennett Coleman & Co. Ltd, has been strengthening its businesses in various forms. Satyan Gajwani, who was earlier the director, New Media, at The Times of India Group, was appointed the CEO of TIL when Rishi Khiani put in his papers to start his own venture. Gajwani has gone ahead and made some key moves â€“ right from buying internet property to tweaking the business model of the deals business, pulling the plug on Indiatimes email and more.
Speaking at Techcircle Startup 2012 about how he plans to scale up the business, Gajwani shared some key aspects of TIL's functioning, investment strategy going forward and how TIL is gearing up to inculcate a startup culture to take on digital media competitors, rather than being saddled with the legacy issues of the big media. Here are some highlights from Gajwani speak. On TIL's functioning: Ask him about the strategy that keeps TIL going and Gajwani points out three key factors that define the functioning at TIL. First of all, the firm is steadily shifting focus to products and looking to build even more products.
"As a company, we have been too content-centric and media-centric. But today, we are shifting our focus to become a lot more product and technology-centric. We are trying to make sure that we have really good products and technology, rather than necessarily having a pretty face," he admits.
The second thing is all its business verticals have structured themselves like small companies. "So each business vertical has its own effective CEO. This increases ownership among the team members," adds Gajwani.
And the third aspect is â€“ it tries to be a collective of companies, rather than one big company.
On biz performance: Talking about his hot picks from the various properties run by TIL and the businesses he thinks will become really big, Gajwaninotes that Indiatimes Shopping, TimesDeal, TimesCity and Gaana.com are the ones which have evolved and are doing pretty well. He has also disclosed that TIL is working on five different ideas, but these are in too early a stage to define here. On investments/acquisitions: Earlier, TIL has invested in certain businesses, but the firm is not looking at such investments from the straitjacket of financial returns. "Investments are more opportunistic for us than planned," says Gajwani. "We don't have a designated amount to invest. Also, pure play financial investments are not our thing."
(Edited by Sanghamitra Mandal)