Seventeen lifts the spirit of commitment

It also denotes responsibility and restraint

Venkat Raman – 

venkat@indiannewslink.co.nz

Seventeen is often cited as an ‘in-between number,’ signifying the age of indecision, and therefore, one to be watched, controlled and even restrained.

It is a number that stands at the delicate precipice of being frivolous but at the same time striving to make an impression; it is a precipice in which the human effort sometimes takes the wrong turn, and then lost forever.

In the case of most individuals and organisations, it denotes a new age of significance, and therefore relevance.

Spiritual conscience

Numerologists and astrophysicists say that Number Seventeen is associated with insight, responsibility, self-discipline, strength, compassion, spiritual consciousness, wisdom, and a desire for peace and love for all of humanity.

Beyond its commercial compulsions, Indian Newslink was born out of the need for a newspaper that would address the aims, aspirations, desires and even concerns of the Indian community, primarily those of Indian and Fijian origin, soon extended to cover the Indian Diaspora in the first instance and in less than a year, people from the Indian Sub-Continent countries and the Middle East.

In November 1999, the population of these communities was less than 75,000 and even then, the importance of a newspaper that would cater to these people could not be over-emphasised. Radio Tarana was a station that shared resources, including time, with many other communities.

In 2003, we increased our frequency to become a fortnightly and Radio Tarana was developing into a station that would never sleep.

Forthright every fortnight

We have till this day remained a fortnightly because we believe that relevance, not frequency that is important. With resources that are limited and competition that is increasingly becoming cut-throat (more of it hereunder), we need a breather to be innovative, investigative and impressive. As we say, “Our stories are cut and dried, not cut and pasted.” Like everything else, quality takes time and for us a fortnight is significant and imperative to bring descriptive and analytical news; because everything else comes through the television, radio and of course social media, every micro-second, even as things happen.

Unheard of Competition

It is often said that two types of businesses exist: (a) those with a modest beginning with modest resources progressing into an organisation of reputation and (b) those that launch their business with plenty of money, not as healthy competitors but as ‘assassins,’ with a vengeance kill.

The latter always remain as ‘also-rans,’ for there is no place for opulent upstarts. This is people’s business and public support is paramount.

Competition is the most important aspect of consumption, because it provides consumers with choice and enables them to exercise that choice to demand the best from those offering products and services. It encourages companies to innovate, diversify, improve the quality of products and services and offer them at affordable prices. A market with healthy business practices emerges for the benefit of everyone in the community and the country.

Ugly reality

Unfortunately, reality is far removed from the theory of economics. Newcomers challenge the established organisations, not with matching quality of products and services, but with cutthroat razors, perpetrating price wars. That indeed is the status of the Indian media in New Zealand today.

Established organisations like Indian Newslink and Radio Tarana remain oblivious to such unhealthy trends, for they are inoculated against such epidemics with a strong constitution of principles, practices and of course loyal customers. And like them, we have been loyal to our advertisers, sponsors, media partners and indeed to our readers and listeners. Such partnerships, nurtured over the years with principles of honesty, integrity, sincerity and mutual respect, are among the most valuable assets of this newspaper.

And at the risk of some repetition, we say the following.

The Changes

The biggest and most significant change was the one that occurred internally in June last year, when the ownership of Indian Newslink changed hands, looking for new opportunities to grow, serve its communities and increasing readership. The urge to remain a qualitative publication is stronger than before with the penchant for lifting the standards on all aspects of the newspaper more resolute than before. We seek to be more responsive to the market needs and subscribe to the state-of-the-art technology, embracing it with fondness.

We believe that the best means of growth comes from within and that the greatest strength that we have enjoyed have always been people- those who make this newspaper appear in the marketplace every fortnight; people who constantly seek orderliness in their affairs, give their best, and most important of all, their heart and commitment.

We have begun to change, the most visual part of which is this Anniversary Special and the ‘Normal Issue’ of which it is an integral part. There is a new look in almost everything- from the masthead and the font to the story headings and layout. The exercise to make these changes began almost five months ago and several alternatives were subject to severe critical analyses before this version emerged.

This may not be the final version, for, as we mentioned, change is constant.

We are also making changes in other areas of the newspaper and our brands.

The Challenges

People- they are our business. They are our greatest asset and source of inspiration. They are our advertisers, sponsors, reporters, contributors, distributors, supporters, patrons, and most important of all, you readers.

We realise that being the oldest Indian newspaper in New Zealand has its challenges. We appreciate the need to keep pace with the evolving trends, embrace the ever-changing technology, adhere to quality and investigative journalism and remain relevant. We are aware that the road ahead would be bumpy and that we should maintain our balance to deliver on our promises.

We are also aware of the probable competition that our other brands may encounter in the years to come. In maintaining the high standards for which the Indian Newslink Business Directory, Indian Newslink Indian Business Awards, Indian Newslink Sir Anand Satyanand Lecture, Indian Newslink Indian Sports Awards are known, we are confident of serving our people better.

Today, most newspapers suffer from falling circulation and weak advertising.

Everyone has the same dilemma.

But Indian Newslink has some unique challenges. Our readers are a mix of the young and the old, some at the beginning of their career and some at the end of it.

There is no evidence that the print medium is dying and that advertisers are willing to ditch print newspapers for digital news.

Many are of course betting heavily on the stumbling horse of digital advertising.

We are here for the long haul.

Only because we have you, Dear Reader.

Ancient Chaldeans has expressed Seventeen as a highly spiritual number as the ‘Eight- Pointed Star of Venus.’

It is the Star of Love and Peace.

And that is all that needs to be said.

The Indian Newslink Seventeenth Anniversary Special has been published by Indian Newslink Limited from its offices located at Level 1, Number 166, Harris Road, East Tamaki, Auckland 2013 and printed at Horton Media Limited, Auckland. All material appearing in this Special are the copyright of Indian Newslink reproduction in full or part in any medium is prohibited.

Managing Director & Publisher: Jacob Mannothra; Editor & General Manager: Venkat Raman; Production Manager: Mahes Perera; Marketing Manager: Christiane Trimmel; Specialist Photographer: Ashok Kochhar; Phone: (09) 5336377 Email: info@indiannewslink.co.nz;

Web: www.indiannewslink.co.nz

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