‘Aval Vikatan’, the Tamil women’s fortnightly from the Vikatan group, has climbed steadily to emerge the leader among women’s magazines. In the July-December 2004 period, the circulation was 154,009, and in the corresponding period a year later, it was 194,687 (Source: ABC). In January- June 2005, the circulation stood at 165,084.
In the same six-month periods, ‘Mangaiyar Malar’, the monthly in the women’s magazine space in Tamil Nadu, registered circulation figures of 206,610 (July-December 2004), 192,859 (January-June 2005), and more recently, 180,386 (July-December 2005).
“I see ‘Aval Vikatan’ growing faster than most magazines in our stable itself. The circulation is very steady for the magazine. The growth has happened very gradually, but it is a very concrete growth. I see more growth in this segment,” said B Srinivasan, JMD, Vikatan Group.
‘Mangaiyar Malar’ is priced at Rs 16, while ‘Aval Vikatan’ is priced at Rs 15 now, up Rs 2 since October 2005. It was around that time that the fortnightly increased its number of pages from 80 to 96, incorporating a section focused on the youth segment titled ‘College Campus’. The feature was not seen as a factor contributing to the growth in circulation, and the magazine was primarily for married women, explained its spokesperson.
“Nearly half of each issue of ‘Aval Vikatan’ is in the form of direct and indirect contributions from readers, and this is growing substantially in quality and quantity. It’s the reader who has been taking us along for eight years now, and not the other way round. There is no content on cinema, and there is no formula – if there is a formula, it is the emotional bond with the readers,” he said.
The target in the long term is to become the largest circulated women’s magazine in the country – a slot occupied by ‘Vanitha’ at present.
Meanwhile, the group’s most recent launch ‘Nanayam Vikatan’ (the financial fortnightly), has hit the ground with its first event, a Q&A with readers at Coimbatore. The interaction of 500 readers of the Tamil financial magazine is expected to be the first of many. Vikatan has also engaged audiences by introducing a section called ‘Motor Vikatan’ in its magazines, as a prelude to the launch of a Tamil auto magazine of the same name.
“We are very happy with the response to the columns in our magazines. This being election time, we felt a launch now does not make sense. The first dummies are being printed now, and once we are comfortable with the product, we will sample it with potential readers. It is very much on,” added Srinivasan.
'Motor Vikatan' will be the seventh print magazine from the Vikatan group, following flagship 'Ananda Vikatan', 'Aval Vikatan', 'Junior Vikatan', 'Chutti Vikatan', 'Nanayam Vikatan' and 'Shakti Vikatan'. 'Ananda Vikatan' has remained stable on the ABC charts with a circulation of 438,742 (July-December 2005).