Umesh Kumar has joined RPG Publications, the newly floated print media venture of the RPG Group, as Publisher and Business Head. RPG Group is one of the largest business groups with presence in key sectors of the economy and a turnover of $3.25 billion. Kumar will be involved in launching four or more titles and establishing them in the market. He moves from India Today, where he was Associate Publisher and Head of Marketing, and had been credited with boosting the circulation of the flagship brand to half a million copies.
Commenting on Kumar’s appointment, Sandipan Deb, Editor, RPG Publications, said, “The job of a publisher is as crucial as that of the editor. We took time to choose the right candidate for this position. Looking at Umesh’s education and past experience of being with a brand like India Today for so many years, it seemed like a perfect chance. Also, the relationship between an editor and publisher is very important for smooth working and we clicked instantly when we met. I am very happy with Umesh as a choice.”
On his new role, Kumar said, “I am very excited to join RPG Publications. The best thing is that this job allows me to work on a clean canvas as the excitement to launch something new is always pleasurable.”
He further said, “One of the magazines that we are launching by the end of this year is going to be weekly, which won’t be a conventional news magazine. If you could imagine a mix between ‘Time’ and ‘New Yorker’, then that would be our magazine. The name and price of the magazine is still under consideration. The magazine would target the cultured and evolved global-minded Indian reader, up-market, educated. The magazine will be an all-India launch with focus on metros and mini-metros.”
Commenting on the marketing and advertising plans, Kumar said, “It is too early to disclose our marketing plans. Let it suffice to say that we are here to reinvent this space. We will be looking at breaking new ground in how magazines have been marketed so far.”
An IIT Delhi and IIM Bangalore alumnus, Kumar has worked with organisations like JWT, Mudra, Rediffusion DY&R and India Today Group. At Mudra, he was associated with the launch of the Samsung brand in the country, where he had played a key role in establishing Samsung as one of the most aspirational brands in consumer durables. At Rediffusion, he was heading the Bangalore branch and subsequently moved to Delhi as Director, Strategic Planning.