Segments covered: Shine & Firefly, Consultancy Fees, Partnership for Growth, Cost Cutting, Newspapers & Newsprint Shine & Firefly During the earnings conference call, post the Q3-09 results, the HT Management said that they invested around Rs. 35 crores in Firefly over the nine month period (we calculated Rs. 33 crores. Of this, Rs. 8-10 crores was invested in advertising. The management believes that going forward, the main costs will be on people, rental and some technology. Despite saying that the 2008-09 fiscal had some one-time costs since the business was set up, HT still intends to invest Rs. 25-30 crores in the business, saying "Let's bear in mind that it is just a 6 month old business, and it takes time for the database to build up, and for the business to scale up. It's a critical business for any newspaper. Shine has a competitive advantage, and we can cross-sell media from one to the other." HT has around 150 people on board, and had expected to break even in two years, but that has been extended. HT also claims that the joint venture with Velti, for "mobile telephone marketing", gives them a first movers advantage in the industry. Our take: The cross-media approach only comes into play in case of advertising, since, based on what we're told by internal HT sources, sales for the Internet businesses has been consolidated into Firefly e-Ventures. So Firefly will have to build a separate sales team, and open offices across the country; if…
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