Having served the leading Marathi daily for seven years, Lokmat’s Editor for its Mumbai and Aurangabad editions, Dinkar Raikar, has been made the Group Editor of Lokmat. This was announced by the Lokmat Group on Thursday, July 30, 2009.
On Raikar’s elevation, Rishi Darda, Executive Editor, Lokmat, said, “Dinkar Raikar is one of the best brains in the editorial world. As Editor for our Aurangabad and Mumbai editions, he has built good teams of reporters and subs. Lokmat has always believed in nourishing talent within the company. Most of our editors have grown within the group. It is important to understand the culture of an organisation, which is why we have chosen him. We are sure he will do a great job.”
In conversation with exchange4media post the announcement, Raikar said, “Having worked for seven consecutive years with the Lokmat Group, I feel very honoured to have been given this charge. The management has been very kind to me.”
He further said, “Though we are the largest language newspaper in Maharashtra, I want to make Lokmat the numero uno in terms of circulation in Mumbai now. Also, we have plans of starting the Marathi editions in other states such as Madhya Pradesh (Indore, Bhopal) and Gujarat. We also have plans of expanding our English and Hindi editions.”
Raikar, a 45-year industry veteran, started off with the Indian Express Group in Nagpur in 1963. He later moved to Mumbai in 1970 and continued to remain with the Express Group for the next 16 years, where he reported on political affairs for all editions of the newspaper. In 1992, he was made the City Editor of the Mumbai edition of The Indian Express. In 1994, Raikar made a move from English to Hindi journalism when he joined Loksatta, a sister publication from the same group, as Deputy Editor (Corporate). He retired from the Express Group in 2002 to take a brief sabbatical before joining the Lokmat Group, where he edited its Aurangabad edition. In 2006, he was given the additional charge of the Mumbai edition.
Meanwhile, sharing the Group’s plans to strengthen its editions, Darda said, “The habits of readers are changing. A year ago, we had not heard about Twitter, but today it is a rage. Consumption of media is changing. Readers want to be more interactive. They want to have a voice of their own in their newspaper. Raikar has been sitting with the research team to develop something that will appeal to today’s generation. He will be able to give a new perspective.”
Darda further said that Lokmat was concentrating on entertainment, events, newspaper and television. “We are now the largest event management company in Maharashtra. We have been partners with different movies. We want to grow vertically, horizontally in both newspaper and television media, and of course strengthen our home state,” he added.
The Lokmat Group is the leader in the newspaper segment in Maharashtra, publishing 17 editions in three languages – Lokmat (Marathi), Lokmat Samachar (Hindi) and Lokmat Times (English). According to Round 1 of IRS 2009, Lokmat is the most widely read regional language daily with a total readership of 2.06 crore. Lokmat prints its dailies from 11 printing plants spread across Maharashtra.