Episode 22: Content is King, with Ramjee Chandran
In this episode, you will learn from Ramjee Chandran about the evolution of tourism publishing, and why creative content is as important now as it was in 1989.
Ramjee Chandran is an entrepreneur, writer, publisher, and musician with 27 years of publishing experience. As a journalist, his articles have been published in India and other countries. Most of Chandran’s publishing career involved magazines related to the tourism industry including city guides and business travel magazines – both print and online.
The first city guide he launched was on March 31, 1989, for his hometown of Bangalore, India. In the years following, he launched the “Explocity Guide” series of city guide magazines in several destinations including New York City, Dubai and several major metros in India. Other magazines included Executive Traveller and other city-based lifestyle magazines.
Ramjee Chandran received investment from a US-based venture capital fund in 2000, and a few years later, a meeting with publishing mogul Rupert Murdoch led to Murdoch picking up a 25% stake in Chandran’s publishing enterprise, Explocity.
Chandran was awarded the prestigious “Chanakya Award” for Innovative Leadership by the Indian Council for Public Relations and was named one of 10 best entrepreneurs from the state of Karnataka, India by online giant, Rediff.com (REDF – NASDAQ).
Recently, Ramjee launched a website for New York State: www.DestinationsOfNewYorkState.com and runs this in an exclusive strategic alliance with the experienced tourism company, Destinations Of NYS, based in Saugerties, NY.
Chandran is also a jazz guitarist and has performed on stage with internationally acclaimed jazz musicians and at international jazz festivals. He believes that the one thing he does with more mediocrity than playing jazz is his other distraction, playing chess.
What you’ll learn about in this episode:
- The story behind Ramjee’s first destination magazine, and his shoestring budget
- How Ramjee learned to scale his enterprise up from 1 magazine out to 3 countries
- How Ramjee sought creativity from his content
- Why you need to listen to what people want and find a creative way to present it to them
- Ramjee’s biggest challenge, scaling, and how he made it work
- How Ramjee evolved his business from a single print publication to what it is today
- Why digital scaling is much easier than print scaling
- The story behind Ramjee’s new website DestinationsOfNewYorkState.com
- Why collaborations between publishers is rare- but how Ramjee makes it work
- What makes tourism communication so exciting
- How Dubai has developed a phenomenal tourism enterprise in such a short time