Chhattisgarh, one of the youngest and fastest growing markets in the country, is witnessing an interesting print war among Hindi dailies. The latest to enter the fray is Patrika, which had earlier seen considerable success in Madhya Pradesh.
One of the reasons why Patrika chose Chhattisgarh to be its next destination in its expansion strategy is that the non-confirmative view that the state’s economy was so far associated with, has now become a thing of the past. Today, Chhattisgarh stands as the state with the highest GDP growth in India. This in itself is reason enough to rely on the immense potential of the state.
Speaking on Chhattisgarh’s potential, Arvind Kalia, National Head - Marketing, Patrika Group, said, “Chhattisgarh as a state has amazing potential. It is the richest state in mineral resources like iron, limestone, coal, bauxite and tin, and was also one of the top three states in India to attract investment proposals in 2009. With a market size of over Rs 56 crore, the state is developing as the power hub of the country. A solid economy, pro-active government and energetic youth give the state a drive like no other.”
He further said, “But the newspaper market has been getting downsized. If we compare the IRS figures of 2008 to 2010 of both Chhattisgarh and Raipur, we can see a constant decline in almost all the major players in the state, especially amongst the intellectual and the affluent segments of readers. Among a breed of young readers, readers who are pro change, readers with a national and global outlook, the acceptance rate is very high, and a product that answers their needs is awaited eagerly. This clearly indicates that the present products are not meeting up with the readers’ expectations. There’s a genuine demand for a new and a credible player in the market.”
Meanwhile, the existing players in the state are gearing up for Patrika’s entry. Reduction of prices in the upcountry editions, introduction of new products and low cost variants, changes in the existing product composition and a slew of marketing and reader response schemes are being initiated.
Patrika Group’s expansion in Madhya Pradesh in 2008 has borne the fruits of success and in the past two years, Patrika has grown rapidly to cover the entire state with its editions coming out from all the key markets. The IRS Q2 2010 survey shows Patrika to be one of the fastest growing newspapers in Madhya Pradesh.
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