Mohan Belani is the co-founder and CEO of e27, a tech media platform that covers news from the tech and startup ecosystems in Asia. As part of the media scene, he has faced obstacles in the midst of the COVID pandemic this year, but continues to work with founders against the challenges of building great companies — specifically around the areas of talent, funding, and market access.
KrAsia (Kr): How has the media industry in Asia held up in 2020?
Mohan Belani (MB): As you know, media companies are heavily fueled by events, conferences, and other offline activities. The COVID pandemic basically destroyed plans, and created a huge impact on business.
The sad part is that many media companies did not move fast enough. They held onto hope that the COVID situation would somehow reverse in a short span of time, so they postponed as much as possible until they got forced to cancel events. That level of effect has been felt quite strongly in the industry.
On the other hand, there has been good news for businesses that realized how difficult the situation would be early on. They began to experiment with online activities and new business models, including subscription plans, membership packages, and community features — all of which they might not have been open to previously.
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