Commentary

Conde Nast Makes Bolder Bet On Digital With Tech Center In India

Condé Nast this week is opening a global technology center in Bangalore, the city in southern India that has established a global reputation as the country's Silicon Valley. It's a necessary step for the publisher in fostering innovation and supporting revenue growth amid declines in print readership and advertising.

The Condé Nast Technology Lab aims to support the digital capabilities of its magazine brands, including Vogue, GQ and Architectural Digestwhile working with its other design and engineering teams worldwide. The tech hub will hire 60 people this year and more than quintuple headcount by the end of 2021, according to an announcement.

Condé Nast's goal is to quadruple revenue from readers through ecommerce, subscriptions and memberships, while reaching an audience of people ages 18 to 30, Sanjay Bhakta, chief product and technology officer at the company, said in an interview with Bloomberg News.

With its expanded engineering support, the company seeks to develop content that appeals to a generation that's more likely to use Snapchat or TikTok than to read a print magazine. It will support the development of original content for film, TV, social media, digital video and virtual reality, Alex Kuruvilla, managing director of Condé Nast India, told the newswire.

The formation of the tech hub sounds promising for Condé Nast, especially if it can develop a stronger ecommerce business that grows faster than the digital advertising market.

The coronavirus pandemic has led to a surge in online shopping as many shoppers shun stores and malls. Those trends are likely to remain strong even as stores reopen, lockdowns ease and people resume their former habits.

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