With an eye on the online regional market space, Indian Express Digital has launched ieMalayalam.com. The top brass of Express Digital flew down to Cochin to be a part of the launch on January 30.
“Whichever market we will go to, we will challenge the leader. If we go to Malayalam, we will challenge Malayalam Manorama and we will beat them,” said Sandeep Amar, CEO at Express Digital while speaking exclusively to exchange4media in December. The former CEO of India.com aspires to “beat the best” in a time span of fewer than twelve months.
“I have done it in various markets and verticals in lesser time than that. We are very serious about the Malayalam market and we have come with a strong plan,” he said. He sounded confident about generating quality content to drive high levels of social engagement.
Being an ad-free platform, ieMalayalam.com seeks to fulfil the news requirements of Malayali people based in India and abroad. But the platform won’t remain ad-free beyond 3-6 months. “The key is to monetize via native advertising and brand solutions so that we maintain a great UI and the best reading experience in this market,” Amar asserted.
Express has chosen to initiate its regional expansion plans with Kerala owing to the high levels of literacy in the state. Ajay Mohan will edit the website out of Cochin and report to New Media Editor Nandgopal Rajan based in Noida. Besides Kochi, ieMalayalam.com’s team is spread across seven locations in the state.
Grand expansion plans
Following the unveiling of Techook.com on January 23, ieMalayalam.com has become Express’ second launch of the year. Just like their Malayalam offering, Techook.com is also an ad-free platform more focused on decision-making as is evident through its reviews and ‘how to’ vertical. But Express’ ambitions won’t end here.
As confirmed to exchange4media earlier, Express will further expand their presence in regional media by churning out content in four other Indian languages. These will be Bengali, Kannada, Tamil and Telugu. It is noteworthy to mention that Express is a leading player in the realm of Marathi news courtesy Loksatta. Two experimental projects currently underway fall under the domain of lifestyle and women.
Considering that the previous two launches were separated by merely seven days, it won’t come as a surprise if Express Digital continues with its aggressive march forward. Having a futuristic outlook, the company had last year brought out InUth, a new-age news portal billed as the “homepage of millennials”. The overall aim is to grow Express Digital exponentially and convert it from a “digital media company” to a “digital company” by foraying into e-commerce.