The Economist has set high targets for the Indian market and plans are fast materialising for the publication to achieve it as well. As is known, the current structure in which the magazine operates includes Bennett Coleman and Company (BCCL), which looks after the circulation requirements of The Economist in India, while Ashok Dey has been the ad sales custodian. However, with Speciality Magazines Pvt Ltd becoming part of Business India Publications, Business India is now the official advertising sales partner of The Economist in India.
For The Economist this is no small development. Tim Pinnegar, Publisher, Asia Pacific, explained, “This really is a good thing for us as now we have the backing of a group as strong as Business India here. For us this means a stronger team working on the product and I think that it would even help us achieve the five year target that we have set.”
As is known, The Economist recently increased its cover price from Rs 120 to Rs 150. Pinnegar asserted that for the TG that the magazine was looking at, this wasn’t a huge cover price and at the same time a price like this ascertained quality readership. In the next focus areas are The Economist website in India, and Pinnegar divulged that The Economist was contemplating tying up with a research partner as well.
At present, The Economist has a circulation of 13,000 and Pinnegar intends to make it 50,000 by 2010. He believes that this can be achieved with the kind of partners that The Economist now has in India. He divulged that the Business India tie-up carried no other implication, but The Economist was now contemplating beginning direct marketing in India to create further awareness around the product so that the targeted circulation number could be achieved.
Replying to why The Economist had decided to divide circulation and ad sales between two media houses, Pinnegar said, “It really is the best of both worlds for us. As far as circulation is concerned, BCCL has significant expertise, but in regards ad sales, we wanted more concentration and it made sense for us to have someone like Ashok Dey and now Business India to look after that aspect.”