D B Corp Ltd Management Discussions.

Global Economy

The global economy is projected to grow at 6% in 2021.

The contraction for 2020 is 1.1% lower than projected in the October 2020 World Economic Outlook (WEO), reflecting the higher-than-expected growth outturns in the second half of the year for most regions post easing of restrictions and adaptation of economies to new ways of working.

Thanks to unprecedented policy response, the COVID-19 recession is likely to leave fewer scars than the 2008 global financial crisis. The recovery is envisioned to continue into 2022, with global growth moderating to 4.4%.

Quoting various Global Reports:

Against the backdrop, global output growth is projected to strengthen to 6% in 2021- the strongest post-recession pace in 80 years.

As the global economy recovers from the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic, powered by the gathering pace of vaccination drives and large policy support, global economic activity is regaining momentum.

Global trade is also recovering on the strength of rising demand amidst elevated freight rates and logistics costs, and slowly mending supply chains.

Domestic financial markets have been buoyed by the Reserve Banks systemic and targeted liquidity measures and sector-specific programmes of the Government, including guarantee support.

Equity markets have recouped losses during the height of the second wave.

India is expected to regain its position as a global growth leader in 2021

The COVID-19 health crisis turned into an economic crisis as countries undertook strict measures which severely constrained economic activity like nationwide lockdowns and restricted mobility of both goods and people.

The beginning of 2021 has been characterised by massive vaccination drives across countries which are expected to lead to reduced risks to recovery and a gain in the momentum in economic activity beginning second half of 2021.

In the recent past, India has been the growth leader amongst major economies, growing above the average growth rate for the Emerging Markets and Developing Economies

(EMDEs). India surpassed Chinas real GDP growth in 2014 and remained above it till 2016. In 2021, India is expected to regain its position as the global growth leader with an estimated growth of 11.5%, reflecting carryover from a stronger-than-expected recovery in 2020 aided by a strong base effect, and is projected to remain the fastest growing major economy in 2022.

Among the major economies, India and China are the only economies that defied the global trend in FDI inflows. In India, majority of these investments went towards e-commerce and digital platforms, with mega deals in Indian companies mirroring the growing business prospects for digital operations worldwide.

Indias real gross domestic product (GDP) at current prices stood at Rs 195.86 lakh crore (US$ 2.73 trillion) in FY 2020-21, as per the provisional estimates (PE) for 2020-21.

India is the fourth-largest unicorn base in the world with over

21 unicorns collectively valued at US$ 73.2 billion, as per the Hurun Global Unicorn List. By 2025, India is expected to have ~100 unicorns and will create ~1.1 million direct jobs according to the Nasscom-Zinnov report ‘Indian Tech


Indias foreign exchange reserves rose to a lifetime high of US$ 610.01 billion as of July 2, 2021, according to data from RBI.

According to IMFs World Economic Outlook (October-2020),

Indias nominal GDP is estimated at US$ 3,094 billion in 2022, making it the fifth largest economy in the world. It is projected to account for 3.2% of global GDP measured in nominal US$ exchange rate basis. When measured based on purchasing power parity (PPP), India is estimated to be the third largest economy at PPP of US$ 10,611 billion in 2022.

GDP 2022
Country nominal (Us$ billion) Rank PPP (Us$ billion) Rank
United States 22,968 1 22,968 2
China 18,241 2 28,784 1
Japan 5,337 3 5,666 4
Germany 4,557 4 4,976 5
India 3,094 5 10,611 3
France 3,061 6 3,352 10
United Kingdom 3,005 7 3,386 8

In the recent past, India has been the growth leader amongst major economies, with growth remaining above the average growth for the Emerging Markets and Developing Economies (EMDEs)

Latest World Economic Outlook Growth Projections

(real GDP, annual percent


change) 2020 2021 2022
World Output -303 6.0 4.4
Advance Economics -4.7 5.1 3.6
United States -3.5 6.4 3.5
Euro Area -6.6 4.4 3.8
Germany -4.9 3.6 3.4
France -8.2 5.8 4.2
Italy -8.9 4.2 3.6
Spain -11.0 6.4 4.7
Japan -4.8 3.3 2.5
United Kingdom -9.9 5.3 5.1
Canada -5.4 5.0 4.7
Other Economics -2.1 4.4 3.4
Emerging Market and
-2.2 6.7 5.0
Developing Economics
Emerging and Developing Asia -1.1 8.6 6.0
China 2.3 8.4 5.6
India -8.0 12.5 6.9
Asean-5 -3.4 4.9 6.1
Emerging and Developing
-2.0 4.4 3.9
Russia -3.1 3.8 3.8
Latin America and the
-7.0 4.6 3.1
Brazil -4.1 3.7 2.6
Mexico -8.2 5.0 3.0
Middle East and Central Asia -2.9 3.7 3.8
Saudi Arabia -4.1 2.9 4.0
Sub-Saharan Africa -1.9 3.4 4.0
Nigeria -1.8 2.5 2.3
South Africa -7.0 3.1 2.0
Emerging Marketing and
-2.4 6.9 5.0
Middle-Income Economics
Low-Income Developing
0.0 4.3 5.2

Source: IMF World Econimic Outlook, April: 2021

Media and Entertainment Sector: Key Trends

2020 witnessed monumental challenges for individuals, businesses, society and nations at large. However, there were some silver linings, such as an accelerated growth trajectory in several digital trends, fuelled by growth in broadband, personal devices and smart televisions, as well as the growing time and inclination for online services, prompted by restricted mobility.

Consequently as new demand-side patterns arose, M&E firms had to accelerate some of the improvements they had begun and relook their client interaction models. This new reality also made it more important to understand customer behaviour in order to interact with them more effectively.

While Indias diversity and scale will continue to fuel the growth of traditional media, a number of new and big opportunities have emerged for M&E businesses. The industry has been embracing these changes and charting a new growth path.

Today content creation and storytelling are much more diverse and come from all parts of the country. New distribution models and monetisation strategies are evolving across both large and small screens. Learning content and gaming have risen to prominence as significant new opportunity. These changes are driving a shift in monetisation of content investments globally.

2020 has super-charged these changes and promises to propel the Indian creative economy to double in size by 2025 and drive a much larger contribution to Indias GDP goals. With evolving times, the sector has been adapting to new thinking working and foregoing its sense of complacency about future possibilities. The opportunity is discontinuous. The answer to what we can do is non-linear - we need to disrupt our old business models, our approach, our solutions, our marketing, and our distribution and collaborate more closely with the government to harness the true potential of M&E and arrive at the necessary impetus and support.

The Indian Media and Entertainment sector is expected to grow by 25% in 2021 to reach Rs 1.73 trillion (US$ 23.7 billion).

With its current trajectory, the M&E sector in India is expected to reach Rs 2.23 trillion (US$ 30.6 billion) by 2023, growing at 17% CAGR.

(Rs in billion)
Particulars 2019 2020 2021E 2023E
Television 787 685 760 847 7%
Digital Media 221 235 291 425 22%
Print 296 190 237 258 11%
Radio 31 14 23 27 24%
Other Categories 487 259 419 677
total 1,822 1,383 1,730 2,234 17%

Source: FICCI Report

Print :–

Print is the second least affected segment after television in the Media & Entertainment industry.

Regional language newspaper exhibited higher resilience as compared to its English language newspapers counterparts. English newspaper were hit harder and struggled to get back their circulation post the pandemic, particularly in metros, while regional language newspapers recovered a larger portion of their lost circulation. The segment saw the establishment of a new lower-cost operating benchmark, with most print companies reducing costs by over 25%.

Hindi has continued as the largest contributor to ad volumes, given it has the largest reach among languages in India, growing its share by 4% in the year. Hindi language ads comprised 41% of total newspaper ad volumes.

Rank Publication Language 2019 2020
1 Hindi 37% 41%
2 English 24% 23%
3 Marathi 9% 9%
4 Telugu 6% 5%
5 Tamil 6% 5%
6 Kannada 5% 5%
7 Gujarati 4% 4%
8 Malayalam 3% 3%
9 Oriya 2% 2%
10 Bengali 1% 1%
Others (3) 2% 2%

Source: FICCI Report/TAM AdEx

Print revenue has de-grown 36% in 2020 due to the impact of COVID-19. Print revenue declines were led by a 41% fall in advertising and a 24% fall in circulation revenues. However, the print industry is expected to record a substantial growth of 25% in 2021.

In 2021, newspaper circulation is expected to recover to 88% of 2019 levels and further grow to reach 94% of 2019 levels by 2022.

Hindi language ads comprised 41% of total newspaper ad volumes.

(Rs in billion)
Print Revenue 2019 2020 2021E 2023E
Advertising 205.8 121.7 152.1 162.9
Circulation 89.9 68.2 84.9 94.8
total 295.7 189.9 237.1 257.7

Source: FICCI Report


Auto, services and education continued to be the top three sectors in terms of print ad volumes in 2020.

Personal healthcare replaced retail as the fourth largest sector in print in 2020.

Nine advertising categories increased their ad volumes in print compared to TV, radio and digital, such as government universities/colleges, health stimulant/ ginseng, commercial vehicles, retail outlets - agriculture, solar geysers/water heaters, marriage bureaus, etc.

Auto remained the largest sector on print

(by volume)

Percentage Share
Rank Advertising sector 2019 2020
1 Auto 16% 18%
2 Services 16% 14%
3 Education 14% 14%
4 Personal Healthcare 6% 8%
5 Retail 9% 7%

Source: FICCI Report/TAM AdEx

trust in Print media mattered to consumers

Advertising on traditional media continues to enjoy high trust amongst consumers with newspapers (86%) emerging as the most trusted media platform, closely followed by TV (83%) and radio (83%)

While traditional media surged ahead in trust, text/SMS ads were the least trusted at 52%

Print industry is expected to record a substantial growth of 25% in 2021, with newspaper circulation expected to recover to 88% of 2019 levels and further grow to reach 94% of 2019 levels by 2022.


Revenues will continue to recover in 2021.

Radio generated 61% of its volume in the second half of 2020, showing continued quarter on quarter volume growth.

We expect radio revenues to continue recovering and reach Rs 23 billion in 2021.

Recovery will be driven by resumption of travel, revival of retail footfalls and growth in local services brands.

The sector can recover its 2019 revenue levels by 2024 from core broadcasting operations.

While radio continues to remain an important element of most media plans and an extremely effective tool at a local level, the market for audio products has changed significantly as consumption patterns have evolved.

69% of radio ad volumes in 2020 were delivered by the top five advertising sectors

Percentage Share
Rank sector 2019 2020
1 Services 28% 26%
2 Banking/Finance/Investment 9% 12%
3 Food and Beverages 9% 11%
4 Auto 10% 10%
5 Retail 11% 9%

Source: FICCI Report/TAM AdEx

share of ad volumes shifted away from the larger metros

Maharashtra and Gujarat remained the states with the highest ad volumes on radio, with Gujarat generating the highest ad volumes in India in 2020.

Uttar Pradesh (UP), Madhya Pradesh (MP) and Rajasthan improved their volume ranks by four each as these states were less impacted than Maharashtra, Delhi, Karnataka and West Bengal, all of which witnessed sharp decline in their ad volumes.

The top 10 cities generated 68% of total ad volumes, led by Indore, Jaipur, New Delhi and Nagpur.

Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Kolkata and Chennai experienced fall in their volume rankings to make place for Indore, Jaipur, Nagpur, Surat and Vadodara.

Local advertisers share of ad volumes decreased 2% over 2019 to reach 36% of total ad volumes in 2020, while national advertisers contributed 64% of ad volumes.


2020 saw shift in demand patterns as consumers actively sought alternatives and had the time to try new things. Digital media adoption surged, aided by the expansion of digital infrastructure.

India remained the second largest market by app downloads in 2020, behind China. Indians downloaded almost 24.3 billion apps in 2020, up 20% as compared to 2019.

Online news subscribers grew between December 2019 and December 2020 to reach over 450 million across mobile and desktop users of news sites, portals, and aggregators; however, daily regular users were much lower.

Online news and magazine app downloads increased 12% in 2020.

Media and entertainment, including news, books, music, video and gaming, contribute to over 75% of data consumption in India. Average data consumption per month per smartphone grew, boosted by rapid adoption of 4G and people working from home during COVID-19.

Traditional media such as newspapers are investing heavily in their own digital services and looking to monetise through a hybrid of subscriptions and ad based models. In 2020, digital subscription grew 49%. Video subscription revenues grew 50% in 2020 as premium content – originals and sports – went behind the paywall particularly during the pandemic, when original content could not be produced for television.

While radio continues to remain an important element of most media plans and an extremely effective tool at a local level, the market for audio products has changed significantly as consumption patterns have evolved.

Hindi dominates the online regional news consumption, with a lions share of 68% share. Time spent on online video consumption is increasingly moving towards Hindi and regional languages, with their share expected to rise from 93% in 2019 to 95% by 2025.

Internet penetration increased 11% to reach 795 million, of which 747 million had broadband access. 45% of

Indias population of over 15 years of age, had access to a smartphone by December 2020. The smartphone user base increased to 448 million in 2020 from 340 million in 2018, indicating penetration into 32% of Indias population base. Smartphone subscriptions increased from 620 million in 2019 to 760 million in 2020, indicating a growth from 1.6 to 1.7 subscriptions per smartphone Connected

TVs crossed the 5 million mark. Total telecom subscriptions were 1,174 million in December 2020 as compared to 1,172 million in December 2019. With over 700 million broadband subscribers, India has the second largest broadband subscriber base in the world. Urban subscriptions dipped marginally while rural subscriptions grew to 45% of total subscriptions in 2020. Urban internet subscriptions grew 7% while rural internet subscriptions grew significantly faster at

17%. Around 67% of subscriptions were 3G and 4G, up from

58% in the previous year.

4G technology will continue to be dominant, representing 63% of mobile subscriptions even in 2026, with 3G getting phased out by then. 5G is expected to represent around 27% of mobile subscriptions in India at the end of 2026, estimated at about 350 million subscriptions.

In Million Dec 2019 Dec 2020
Total internet subscription (a+b) 719 795
Narrow band subscriber (a) 57 48
Broadband subscriber (b) 662 747
Urban internet subscribers (a) 450 482
Rural internet subscribers (b) 268 313

A significant share of growth in the digital advertising market in 2020 was contributed by tier II and III cities.

India has the second largest digital population in the world with the highest growth rate. Out of the top-5 app categories by usage, 4 apps were related to the M&E industry.

Digital Revenue Opportunity Growth

Digital media grew 6% in 2020. A significant share of growth of the digital advertising market in 2020 was contributed by tier II and III cities.

India has the second largest digital population in the world with the highest growth rate. Growth rate in smart devices continues unabated.

Out of the top-5 app categories by usage, 4 apps were related to the M&E industry.

India became the sixth-largest Internet ad market in the Asia Pacific, surpassing Taiwan in 2019.

Subscription revenue, which was 3.3% of the segment in 2017, increased to 19% by 2020

Digital segment is expected to grow to Rs424.5 billion by 2023 at 22% CAGR.

Digital advertising will grow at 21% CAGR, to equal television advertising by 2024 or 2025.

The important metrics are expected to change from MAU to DAU and from audience numbers to engagement, loyalty and time spent, leading to platforms focussing on segmented audiences and community ownership

Subscription revenues will grow at 25% CAGR as paid subscriptions double to over 100 million by 2023.

Newspaper digital products will increasingly go behind paywalls and we expect news and related products to generate subscription revenues of Rs4 billion by 2023.

Subscription will be driven by genres like women, audiences aged 50 years or above and non-metro audiences.

The sharing economy will not pass by the digital media space and it is expected that group subscription products across families, friends, neighbours, colleges and corporates may be introduced.

Digital Media- Rs Billion (gross of taxes) estimates 2019 EY 2020 2021E 2023E
Advertising 191.5 191.5 233.8 340
Subscription 29.2 43.5 57.3 84.5
total 220.7 243.9 291.1 424.5

Comscore App Metrics: (In million)

Hindi News Apps Language jan-20 Apr-20 jul-20 Oct-20 jan-21 Apr-21 May-21 jun-21
(Monthly Active Users)
Dainik Bhaskar Hindi 1.6 4.57 4.81 5.62 6.18 6.88 10.06 10.10
Gujarati News Apps
(Monthly Active Users)
Divya Bhaskar Gujarati 0.47 1.18 1.43 1.41 1.59 3.14 2.92 4.90

Indian Media & Entertainment Industry -Opportunities and Threats


COVID-19 has given opportunity to innovate, restructure and recalibrate the strategies in every sector. It has forced companies to, invest in technology, deliver focussed results and open up new revenue streams. COVID-19 came as a huge opportunity for the M&E industry. This is the time to establish credibility and relevance. Those who can grab the opportunity would be future-ready and those who cannot would be left behind.

The IMF forecasts Indias per capita nominal GDP growth at 10.9% in FY 2023, higher per capita income is expected to drive consumption growth including that in the media and entertainment sector. M&E as a sector normally grows and even outperforms Indias nominal GDP. The government has played an active role in supporting the media and entertainment sector, especially through various policies aimed at increasing digitisation including development of digital communication infrastructure. Both the telecommunications and the M&E sectors are part of the union governments Make in India plan and therefore were given special attention. The government has focussed on liberalising the FDI regime for both telecom and M&E sectors, to attract investment for adequate infrastructure development. Further, there were no express provisions in relation to digital media in the FDI policy until 2019, however, in December 2019, FDI up to 26% has been permitted under the government approval route for uploading/streaming of news and current affairs, through digital media.

As quoted in the World Economic Forums report "Building Back Better Media, Entertainment and Culture Industry- "This has been the moment for media, entertainment and platform companies to step up to their mission to inform, educate and entertain". The current environment has undoubtedly accelerated trends that were in view four years ago. But more than that, what has come into sharper focus is the imperative to revisit long-held assumptions, to rebuild, redesign and reprioritise to create a more trusted, prosperous, resilient, and equitable industry.


1. Piracy: The digital media sub-sector in India has not been able to fully monetise its content due to the prevalence of rampant piracy. Weak IP regulations and ineffective enforcement have been a deterrent to producing original content and IP. Also, with the growing global reach of the Indian Media and Entertainment industry and the growth of the Indian diaspora abroad, the international piracy of Indian content has also emerged as a key challenge.

2. Input Costs: The Indian newspaper industry imports more than 50% of its paper, mainly from the US, Russia and Canada. Being a significant component of cost, players are sensitive to fluctuations in the price of paper. Rising prices and depreciation of the Indian rupee are therefore generally a cause of concern for the industry.

DBCL Segmental Performance:-

D. B. Corp Ltd. (DBCL) is Indias largest media conglomerate with strong presence across print, radio and digital segments. It is headquartered in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India, with over 7,400 employees across the country. As Indias largest print media company, DBCL publishes 5 newspapers, namely, Dainik Bhaskar (45 editions), Divya Bhaskar (9 editions), Divya Marathi (6 editions), Saurashtra Samachar and DB Star in 3 languages, i.e., Hindi, Gujarati and Marathi.

DBCL is present across 12 states of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab, Chandigarh,

Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Bihar.

DBCLs other business interest areas span across radio and digital mediums. In the FM radio segment, the brand has a strong presence in ‘94.3 MY FM, which is available in 7 states and 30 cities, creating a valuable package for advertisers in tier II and III cities, where Dainik Bhaskar is already a leader in the print business. DBCL also has a strong online presence with 5 internet portals and 4 mobile applications and a very formidable position in almost 67% of the Indian language media space. DBCL is the No.1 digital player in Hindi and Gujarati languages as well.


DBCL has always been in the forefront of innovation and pursuing leadership in circulation through constant engagement, both of the reader and the trade.

Connecting with its readers has been the key objective continuously being pursued with enhancement and contemporising the content.

The key focus segments within print include:

Working on product content enhancements by giving the readers content similar to a daily newspaper.

We have age, gender and geo-targeting approach and have re-designed the product as per their news consumption pattern.

For international content coverage, we have exclusive tie-ups with many international publishers of repute like The New York Time, Harvard Business Review,

The Economist and others.

Our enhanced local news coverage helped us expand our reach in terms of circulation.

Key Initiative undertaken to combat COVID-19 induced disruption

In Fiscal 2021, a conscious effort was made to improve distribution reach, and despite the lockdown, an expansion in distribution points remained a priority, helping to offset some of the losses in copies in the urban centre.

In fact, the focus of tier II and III market penetration ensured that the recoveries of copies were faster in these centres as compared to the city markets, where lockdowns were quiet prolonged.

The key tasks achieved include -

In order to reach wider audience, DBCL has systematically intensified its distribution by penetrating down to rural markets as well in its area of operations.

Special focus has been initiated in the states of

Rajasthan, Haryana, Bihar and Gujarat to consolidate the leadership position by intensifying the distribution setup in semi urban and rural markets.

Reaching out to new as well as competition readers has been undertaken during the year through ‘Personal Contact Program with a team of surveyors, to sample and convert such readers to the DBCL fold, with very encouraging results.

Evolving Neo-Normal:

While ‘No contact delivery continued to be a key requirement, ‘No Contact Payment to vendor has been also emerging. We are continuously working toward making this also a reality by providing software for No-Contact Billing and Payment gateway for the reader to make the payment.

the key achievement can be summarised as follows:

a. Reversal of suspended copies post the pandemic: DBCL has been able to reverse a large part of the lost copies, in a calibrated and focussed manner. The recovery has been the best in the industry and has put DBCL in a commanding position in most of its markets.

b. Rise in circulation revenue despite price hike: The Company has managed to increase the cover price even during tough market conditions amidst the pandemic. Despite price increase, the Company recorded growing circulation numbers in every consecutive quarter.

c. Gaining market share: Another key achievement of the team has been its ability to gain market share in most of the states despite the challenges posed by the pandemic. In every market, including its dominant markets like MP, Chhattisgarh and Haryana, DBCL has further strengthened its position through its sharp focus on both readers and distribution.

d. Building efficiency in the system: Consolidation of its operation and building cost and operational efficiency has been a defining feature of the year. Improved efficiency in logistic, faster inflow of receivables and control on promotional and trade expenses without compromising on brand building exercise were focussed upon and successfully executed.

The Company has managed to increase the cover price even during tough market conditions amidst the pandemic & despite price increase, the Company recorded growing circulation numbers in every consecutive quarter.

Following Initiatives were taken to bring down the overall costs in production vertical during FY 2020-21

Power / Energy Conservation:

1. Various initiatives like single shift operations were introduced, when activity level was reduced, in order to conserve energy. Maintenance and production shifts were merged wherever print load was reduced on account of load reductions due to COVID-19.

2. Single motor utilisation in case of lower page levels.

3. With the reduction in POs Print Orders, we optimised use of presses i.e. from 3 to 2 & 2 to 1 wherever possible.

Alternate sources of Energy

Solar Installation across the Group :

a) Investment of Rs 157.94 lakh was undertaken for installation of Solar PV plants in FY 2020-21.

Kota (Rs 32.41 lakh), Jodhpur (Rs 68.03 lakh),

Udaipur (Rs 41.34 lakh) and

Ajmer (Rs 16.16 lakh) b) In FY 2020-21, total solar PV plan capacity of 529 kwp was added at above-mentioned locations. c) Installation of solar PV plant at Jaipur press and office was completed in March 2019 and is operational.

Total capacity of 467 kWp solar PV is installed at Jaipur.

d) At Ahmedabad, press solar PV plant of capacity 250.8 kWp was installed in October 2019 and is operational since.

e) Total solar generation at all locations was 12,07,629 kWh in FY 2020-21.

f) Savings of Rs 92,05,946 at all locations was achieved by Solar energy generation.

DB Corp being at the forefront of innovation in print industry crossed several milestones by putting our best foot forward in curating the best content.

Locationwise generation and savings are as follows:

Location Units Generated kWh savings in Rs
Jaipur 6,89,076 53,61,718
Ahmedabad 3,74,830 27,15,643
Jodhpur 87,981 6,86,255
Kota 40,039 3,12,304
Udaipur 12,718 1,05,307
Ajmer 2,985 24,719
total 12,07,629 92,05,946

all location pan-India and reduced wherever deemed fit

Others :

Reduction in repair & maintenance costs through efficient planning, certain key activities which were outsourced with OEM were handled by internal talent and increasing the maintenance cycle.

Savings through better negotiations against bulk quantity procurement.

Savings from packing strip width reduction from 8 mm to

5 mm.

Saving by increasing the mileage of blankets. Switched over to indigenous MRT blankets on select Orient press locations.

Savings due to discontinuing AMC expenses which was earlier managed by OEM is now being maintained by our internal team.

Implementation of centralised ripping station which is a must for Sublima Screening across all print locations.

Contracted a new ink vendor who supplied us ink at very competitive rates.

Migrated to Sublima Screening across the Group which gave us a substantial saving on ink cost.

Projected Cost Saving Initiatives during FY 2021-22

Energy Conservation:

We are planning to increase the solar installation footprint across the Group as per the respective state policy guidelines.

Exploring the possibility of reducing electricity contract demand further across the Group.

Others :

Plate cost saving through plate height reduction from

576 mm to 559 mm across the Group.

Print Innovations:

Dainik Bhaskar continues to remain at the forefront of innovation in print industry. During the fiscal, the Company have crossed several milestones, and outpaced the market with publishing 24 Mega-Editions in all of its major cities of presence. Other such initiatives includes:

a. Tulsi Seeds Innovation online b. Front Page Printed on Cloth c. Jambo Panorama d. Fragrance e. Mega Editions f. French Window g. Flap

Print Innovations over and above the existing ones

Uneven Flap Reverse Flap

Editorial Framework:

Dainik Bhaskar Group continues to set a new hallmark of excellence in Editorial through its journalistic approach. In these trying times, Dainik Bhaskar stayed true to its core and set an exemplary example of ‘Courageous journalism, and reaffirming its resolve to provide unbiased, courageous, and truthful reporting to its readers.

Major Activities:

DB Corp being at the forefront of innovation in print industry crossed several milestones by putting our best foot forward in curating the best content.

Outpaced the market with 24 Mega Editions in adverse market conditions during COVID-19.

Dainik Bhaskar continues to re-affirm its faith in courageous, honest and hyper local journalism while making its mark at the global landscape, with various globally acknowledged and replicated stories.

Ground reporting on ‘Dead bodies lying near banks of Ganga River, from 27 districts of Uttar Pradesh, exposing the horrific problem of over 2,000 dead bodies either buried in the sand or landed in the river along the

1140 km long route. Similar ground coverage from Buxar

Ganga, Bihar, created awareness and sparked a national debate and forced NMCG to take cognisance.

Our Ganga coverage has captured attention of

International Media, especially NY Times, which has published our editor Mr. Om Gaurs interview along with his big story on ‘Dead bodies lying near banks of Ganga River. Thus, DBCL saw endorsement of credibility of our COVID-19 coverage, by one of the most credible newspapers of the World.

Amid surge in Covid-19 cases, Dainik Bhaskar Group raised voice against the incumbent dispensation in the respective States:

In Rajasthan, ‘the vaccine wastage story

In Bihar ‘‘Aaj ke samay mein ye apradh hai" story ("Its an offence in todays time"), highlighting ‘500 bed EsIC hospital that lay unused during the crisis.

Bhaskar Group called out the ‘Madhya Pradesh state Government for hiding actual numbers of COVID-19 related deaths, by presenting the pictures and reports carrying data of the actual number of deaths in Bhopal.

s ‘ tadium Campaign on India & England test and T20I series at narendra Modi stadium in Ahmedabad, amid Covid-19. Divya Bhaskar compelled authorities to hold the matches behind closed doors.

In Gujarat, Divya Bhaskar brought to the notice of its readers that the ruling party head was in possession of 5,000 doses of Remdesivir, a drug used for preventing criticalities in Covid-19 patients.

Dainik Bhaskar published ground-breaking stories on ‘Petrol and diesel smuggling at the Bihar- nepal border and ‘Bajri-sting Mafia, Rajasthan, exposing the modus-operandi and its network, which prompted various authorities into action, leading to several raids and arrests

Dainik Bhaskar continues to re-affirm its faith in courageous, honest and hyper local journalism while making its mark at the global landscape, with various globally acknowledged media houses & world leaders replicating our stories.


MY FM continues to focus on curating innovative content for strong audience connect and listeners engagement activities.

Launched in 2006, 94.3 MY FM operates from 30 stations in 7 states.

94.3 MY FM continues to be no.1 radio station in markets of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan and largest network in Chandigarh, Punjab and Haryana.

Radio Phase 3 stations become profitable turning EBIDTA positive, following the complete commissioning of all 13 stations, acquired under batch 1 of Phase 3 during 2017. Profitability achieved on the back of strong inventory management, programme profile, prudent cost efficiencies and growing popularity.

With the 13 new frequencies acquired, during the Phase

III Radio auctions, 94.3 MY FM is well poised to be:

The biggest player in rest of Maharashtra with 10 frequencies including Nagpur

The biggest player in Chandigarh/Haryana/Punjab with 4 frequencies

The biggest player in Rajasthan with 6 frequencies

A strong player in Gujarat with presence in Rajkot

MY FM Initiatives in FY 2020-21

Entire Year campaign from ^^fcuk feys lkFk yM++rs gSa** ls ysdj oSDlhu kqHkkjaHk rd** (‘Fight together without meeting to ‘Vaccinated)

First station to start airing COVID-19 related precautions from March 2020 along with (‘Fight together without meeting) (March-May 2020) campaign.

Approximately, 280 celebrities (both national and regional), motivational speakers, singers, actors and stand-up artists joined MY FM via Facebook and Insta Live. Some of the prominent names include Sadhguru,

Gaur Gopal Das, Pt Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Anupam Kher,

Vidya Balan, Shreya Ghoshal, Abhishek Bachchan,

Manoj Bajpai, Kiara Advani, increasing reach to over 10 million (in April-May 2020)

DB Digital is moving beyond consumption to creating value and bridging towards growth.


“ ”-(‘Lets Talk about Body, Soul and

Wealth) by daily expert on mental, physical & financial health (Anil Sighvi; ME Zee business, Neha Raka: Yoga & Wellness coach, Pooja Khanna Jain: Mental health)

(April-May 2020).

“ Unlock" (‘Life Unlock)- stories of people unlocking there life (April-May 2020).

With partial lockdown, station Jingle was tweaked to include the precaution messaging – “ , ” (‘Lets Have Two yards Distance &

Move On )(May-July 2020)

“ ” – (‘Lets Live Again) showcasing how the city and its people are bouncing back after unlock (July- August 2020).

S "2020 ” – (‘We will beat 2020 for sure) Building positive sentiments during season time (October 2020).

MY FM Hai Mask FM - MY FM changed its name to Mask

FM to raise awareness.

RJ Kartik became the first RJ for trial vaccination (December 2020).

Vaccine roll out covered across regions with anthem – “ ” (‘Lets Get Vaccinated)

Various special shows included MY FM Spotlight, Achaa Suno Ghar Par Raho content collaboration with ABP News, Yoga Session with Grand Master Akshar, MY FM ‘CYCLEGIRI, MY FM - Haridwar se Har Dhwar Tak, Ghar se diya jaayega Ayodhya, Jiyo DIl Se Awards -2021, IPML - Indian Pro Music League, Sehwag Ka Swag, 94.3 Tree

Ganesha, Indian Krorepati League, Aha Zindagi, Gita

Darshan, MY Animal World, Ganshastra, Srimant Yogi, etc.


DB Digital has intensified its focus to strengthen its daily active and loyal user base by revamping its direct properties including its Android & iOS apps and websites. This increased focus is expected to enable long-term growth and monetisation strategy by creating an extremely loyal user base, offering them a unique, innovative news experience and reduce dependence on third-party platforms by forming a direct connect relationship with its users. This strategy is working as evidenced by DBCL being one of the fastest growing Hindi and Gujarati news apps in the last 15 months with almost 7.5x growth since Dec 2019 in monthly active users (MAU) as per ComScore. DB Digital is moving beyond consumption to creating value and bridging towards growth.

Major Focus Areas

1. Consumer Product Focus

2. Technology & Personalisation Focus

3. High Quality Content Focus

Consumer Product Focus:

In the beginning of 2020, DB Digital revamped its entire product and technology team to operate like a lean startup by hiring a team which had experience in building consumer products for the Bharat market at scale, which have grown to more than 100 million users across India.

The core tenet is Kendra me Pathak (Customer Obsession at the Centre) – with the Product and Content strategies driven by building a news product aimed at solving real needs with a goal to grow to more than 100 million daily users over the next 5-10 years, a feat no News Product has achieved so far in India.

Technology & Personalisation Focus:

DB Digital has revamped its technology infrastructure completely to enable a high level of data analysis, experimentation and personalisation to optimise the product with rapid product execution and grow to more than 100 million users over the next decade. The new leadership and product and technology teams have worked and scaled products and systems to 10-100 million users in the top Indian tech startups in the past.

High Quality Content Focus:

While the market continues to focus on short-term and reward low quality viral content driving engagement and thus ad revenue on social platforms, we have clearly differentiated ourselves with high quality, insightful, but engaging content which doesnt compromise with our high quality journalistic values.

We are innovating on multiple categories and formats of content to discover the kind of content that users will eventually be willing to pay for, to build a healthy subscription driven digital business. Driven by our long-term focus on high quality news experience, our monthly active users increased by 7.5x in Hindi & Gujarati App between Dec 19- June 21.

Risk Management and Controls:

DBCL has a robust risk management process to identify key risks across the Group and prioritise action plans to mitigate them. The risk management framework is reviewed periodically by the Board and the Audit Committee. The proceedings of the review process include discussions on the managements submissions on risks, prioritisation of key risks and approval of action plans to mitigate such risks. Some of the uncertainties and risks that can affect the business are technological changes, changing customer preferences and behaviour, competition, volatility in prices of newsprint and macro-economic factors such as an economic slowdown. To maintain its competitive edge and minimise exposure to risks, DBCL has undertaken various initiatives such as enhancement of existing technological capabilities, automation of various processes and digital properties, increasing its geographical presence and continued investment in its print facilities. Volatility in newsprint prices is managed by a variation in the GSM quality of newsprint, page rationalisation, a dynamic hedging policy and effective cost management through total cost productivity.

Internal Controls and Vigil Mechanisms:-

DBCL has built a strong and efficient internal controls mechanism, commensurate with the size of its operations.

It has laid down Standard Operating Guidelines and processes which ensure smooth functioning of activities and zero ambiguity in the minds of people who actually execute the operations. The policies, processes, guidelines and checklists relevant to the Standard Operating Procedures are available to all on DBCLs Intranet Portal.

Internal Controls

Over the years, DBCL has undertaken specific efforts to build up its processes and deploy Standard Operating

Guidelines across all operational areas. The Finance Heads at Corporate, State and Unit levels are accountable for financial controls. They report in line with DBCLs accounting policies and are fully responsible for the accuracy of books of accounts and preparation of financial statements. DBCL has deployed a vigorous internal controls and audit mechanism to facilitate an accurate and fair presentation of its financial results. This process not only ensures adherence to regulatory standards and meets statutory compliance requirements, but also confirms that DBCLs reporting is complete, reliable and understandable. There is also a specific impetus on safeguarding investor interests with deployment of the highest levels of governance and ensure regular communication with them. During FY 2020-21, DBCL also appointed an independent Chartered Accountancy firm to assist in re-evaluation and testing of its Internal Financial Controls (IFC), which encompassed review, reclassification and rationalisation of controls.

Internal Audit

To support its internal audit structure, DBCL has engaged experienced Chartered Accountancy firms across all locations. A system of monthly internal audit reporting, reviewing and monitoring together with surprise Audits are conducted to ensure effective adherence to established processes, internal controls and internal audit mechanisms on a real-time basis.

Driven by our long-term focus on high quality news experience, our monthly active users increased by 7.5x in Hindi & Gujarati App between Dec 19- June 21

Vigil Mechanism

DBCL is among the first few companies in India to take active steps towards establishing a ‘Whistle-blowing Mechanism. This initiative was undertaken to encourage employees to report irregularities in operations, besides complying with the statutory requirements under the Companies Act, 2013 and the Listing Regulations.

In order to maintain highest level of confidentiality, DBCL outsourced the complaint receipt and coordination with the whistleblower, to an independent agency. All DBCL employees have daily access to the independent agency through a dedicated toll free hotline, or through other channels like website, email or post. These reporting channels can be accessed in Hindi, English, Marathi and Gujarati. The whistleblower is provided with a reference number by the agency for providing additional information and updates on the status of the complaint.

An Internal Ethics Committee has been established to operate this policy under the supervision of the Audit Committee. An ombudsperson, along with the Ethics Committee, decides the future course of action. Complaints are categorised and prioritised, based on their nature, and actions are commensurate. If the whistleblower is not satisfied with the actions taken, the mechanism also has an Escalation Protocol in place. Through this process, the mechanism considers and extends complete protection to the whistleblower.

Integrity and ethics have been the bedrock of DBCLs corporate operations. DBCL is committed to conducting its business in accordance with the highest standards of professionalism, honesty and ethical behaviour and has the best systems in place to nurture a similar working culture.

Financial Review and Operational Highlights

(All financial numbers are on a consolidated basis)

Cost Efficiency

Cost management was adopted by each and every department to save every possible penny without hampering the product quality.

Our cost efficiency measures have resulted into operating cost savings of Rs195crore as against our initial planning of Rs 125crore which has enabled the company to clock EBITDA margins of 21% while maintaining the quality

Solar plant installation at various locations was used as an alternate source of energy wherein, a capacity of 529 kwp was installed during the year with a total generation of 12,07,629 kWh. Total cost saving of Rs 92,05,946 was achieved due to solar energy generation

Repair maintenance cost was examined closely and we managed to curb the cost with efficient planning, by discontinuing the AMCs and handling the maintenance by internal talent.

Ink cost was optimised by revisiting the contracts with providers and migrating to Sublima screening across all print locations.

Operating expenses of Rs 195 crore were saved as against our initial planning of Rs125 crore. This enabled the Company to clock EBITDA margins of 21% while maintaining the quality.


Circulation has acted as a catalyst amid a challenging year.

With humongous efforts put forward by the employees and the management, we could dive back to almost 90% of our pre-COVID numbers of circulations.

The numbers were met with improved quality in terms of content and appearance of our newspaper illustrated with the ratio of our local to imported news print consumption at 46:54.

Circulation Revenue registered a de-growth by 19% YoY during FY 2020-21 to Rs 4,146 million as compared to

Rs 5,122 million for FY 2019-20

Advertising Revenue

Advertising revenues de-grew by 35.5% YoY during

FY 2020-21 to Rs 10,084 million as compared to Rs 15,640 million for FY 2019-20.

Income from Operations

On a consolidated financial basis, DBCL registered a de-growth of 31.9% YoY in its total revenues during FY 2020-

21 at Rs 15,222 million as compared to Rs 22,363 million for

FY 2019-20.

Raw Material Consumed

The cost of newsprint consumption reduced by 45% YoY to Rs 4,217 million for FY 2020-21 as compared to Rs 7,664 million for FY 2019-20. This decrease in cost was majorly on account of global decrease of newsprint prices and pandemic-affected short-term circulation decline along with reduced pagination.

Employee Cost

At a consolidated level, the employee cost declined by 9%

YoY to Rs 3,794 million for FY 2020-21 as compared to Rs 4,181 million for FY 2019-20. Cost-efficiency measures executed by the management enabled optimisation of operating cost across each head.

Other Expenses

Other operating expenses reduced by 28% YoY to Rs4,019 million for FY 2020-21 as compared to Rs 5,578 million for FY

2019-20, with a saving of Rs195 crore which was significantly higher than the management projection of Rs125 crore on account of various cost optimisation efforts taken.


EBIDTA de-grew by 35.4% to Rs3,193 million (margin of 21%) in FY 2020-21 from Rs 4,940 million (margin of 22%) in

FY 2019-20.


Depreciation and amortisation expenses de-grew by 4.8% to

Rs 1,149 million during FY 2020-21 from Rs1,207 million during FY 2019-20.

Finance Cost

Finance cost came down by 3.2% YoY to Rs243 million from Rs251 million in FY 2019-20.

Profit after Tax (PAT)

The Operational PAT stood at Rs1,414 million during

FY 2020-21 as compared to Rs 2,750 million during FY 2019-20.

Capacity Utilisation

The quality and strength of the Balance Sheet of DBCL as on

March 31, 2021 is satisfactory and can be gauged from the following ratios:

sr. Ratios no. As on March 31, 2021
1 Return on Capital Employed 11.16%
2 Return on Tangible Net Worth 7.76%
3 Tangible Net Worth Rs 18,229 million
4 Debt (Secured Long-Term) Nil
5 Cash & Bank Balance Rs 3,125 million
6 Current Ratio 2.8
7 Debtor Turnover 2.7
8 Inventory Turnover 1.7
9 Interest Coverage Ratio* 51.2
10 Operating Profit Margin 21%
11 Net Profit Margin 9.30%

*Interest expenses (excluding foreign exchange difference considered as borrowing cost and interest on leased liabilities)

Shareholder Value

DBCLs dividend distribution policy is aimed at sharing its prosperity with its shareholders, subject to maintaining an adequate chest for liquidity and growth. DBCL has declared an aggregate equity dividend of 30%, i.e. Rs 3 per share which is a pay-out of around 37.1% of Consolidated PAT for the year.

Human Resources

The year was full of challenges. Conflicting priorities were to be managed-from ensuring safety and wellbeing of the people to addressing anxiety to ensuring business delivery. The well-being, health and safety of employees became the topmost priority for us in the pandemic. While on one hand it was important to ensure that the people who are going into the field or working in the plant and office remain absolutely safe, on the other hand providing support to our people and / or their family members who got infected was also important.

To minimise the exposure, we operated with minimum number of people both in the field as well as in offices and plants. For the ones required to go to the field, offices or plant, safe commuting was ensured. The effort was to ensure the required protective material is available to the ones going to the field and the ones who are in the office are wearing masks and maintaining adequate distance. Sanitation and cleanliness in the offices were strictly ensured and monitored.

Ensuring seamless experience on initiatives and transactions has been another priority for us. In terms of the transaction, the automation drive, which we had initiated last year, helped us to ensure that there is no adverse impact on employee experience in terms of the HR transactions including attendance and leave marking, and its approval. To further enhance the experience, we introduced an HR help desk for any kind of help and support, any time and made it available to everybody. An initiative called Baatcheet was initiated where everyone in the organisation was spoken to by his / her manager. This helped in addressing anxiety and building bonds.

As an organisation, we reflected on what is our core that has led to our success over the years. We once again looked at our source of strengths, our core values and communicated across the organisation through the acronym GREAt (Ground connect, Result oriented, Emotional connect, Analytical, trendsetter). We also took various initiatives to weave them across various people processes and inspiring people to imbibe the same in their daily working.

As the pandemic forced the way of working to change substantially, it gave us an opportunity to look at our people and administrative costs. We examined the processes and manpower deployment in detail, looked at the structure, and had thorough discussion. The idea was not to go by the immediate compulsions but to make permanent changes in the structure that will make it lean, efficient and help the business. While doing this review, we were able to save substantial costs as well.


Print segment

Increase utility by consequently, increasing the utility of the newspaper, i.e., build the pull factor of the newspaper and increase the reason for consumers to pick up the newspaper once delivered to the home or office.

Print will need to focus on growing its reach in its existing markets through a combination of identifying new micro-markets which are underpenetrated as well as forging [service + print] bundle deals with direct to consumer aggregators like television, e-commerce platforms, OTT platforms etc.

Automation opportunities where publishers can also implement process automation for productivity improvement across key business processes.

Print segment is expected to grow 25% in 2021 and exceed 2019 levels by 2023 as per FICCI report.

Radio segment

While radio is an important element of most media plans and extremely effective at a local level, the market for audio products has changed significantly as consumption patterns have evolved.

Radio companies core strengths include a deep understanding of music, creation of audio content which resonates with communities and helps in building brands.

Radio companies will continue to strengthen their core of music curation (including use of AI and ML technologies to determine playlists), creating music event IPs across different languages and building their brands using stationality and creative audio content.

We expect that radio brands will differentiate more from digital audio services through building out strong entertainment, news and information-related products.

The core will continue to be key for the radio segment even in 2023, garnering an estimated 60% of total revenues.

Online radio will find its feet with a workable model for licensing and one which is based on native and nonintrusive ad formats.

Radio companies will build-out new audio experiences using technology such as AR, VR, audio gaming, live audio collaboration, crowdsourced compositions, tune generators, etc.

As per the FICCI report, radio revenues is expected to reach Rs 23.3 billion in 2021, which accounts to a 64% growth YoY.

Digital segment

Digital segment is expected to grow to Rs 424.5 billion by 2023.

Digital advertising will outpace all other media.

Digital advertising will grow at 21% CAGR, to equal television advertising by 2024 or 2025.

Advertising on e-commerce platforms will reach Rs10 billion by 2025 as e-commerce players like Amazon,

Flipkart, Jio Platforms, Tata, Zomato and others grow their reach and active users.

Subscription revenues will grow at 25% CAGR as paid subscriptions double to over 100 million by 2023.

Newspaper digital products will increasingly go behind paywalls and we expect news and related products to generate subscription revenues of Rs4 billion by 2023.

For and on behalf of the Board of Directors of
D.B. Corp Limited
sudhir Agarwal
Managing Director
DIN: 00051407
Place: Mumbai
Date: August 13, 2021