The weekly business magazine from the Ananda Bazar Patrika Group, Businessworld is getting ready for a second makeover in less than four years to don a more contemporary look.
Businessworld’s revamp exercise is being undertaken by Tony Joseph who has been brought back as editor in June this year after he left the publication last year following his three years stint. Joseph promises lot more action in the coming week with several new editorial and marketing initiatives to make Businessworld more reader savvy and relevant to the present times marked by structural shift in the Indian economy.
Infact way back in 1998, Joseph had undertaken the first major makeover of Businessworld by turning it from a fortnightly to a weekly and reducing its cover price to Rs 5. The makeover, according to Joseph was not only meant to make Businessworld more topical but also to make it much more relevant to the times. “We changed the design to make it more contemporary and the focus of the magazine was also shifted to capture the structural shift in the Indian economy. Obviously with shift in focus, there was a change in editorial strategy as well. Instead of doing news follow-up we decided to set agenda for the industry. So we were the first to do cover stories like the ones on IT enabled services and sexy South, tracing the phenomenal business and industrial growth in South India. That process is still continuing and the proposed revamp is aimed at carrying forward that process, says Joseph.”
Joseph claims that the 1998 revamp paid rich dividends, catapulting the magazines to No. 1 position among business magazines in terms of total sales (1.28 lakh copies). The stand sales, according to Joseph registered three times increase from 35 thousand copies to 1.05 lakh copies while ad shares shot up from 20% to 38%.
Does it means that Businessworld faces no competition from it rivals – Business Today and Business India? Joseph feels so. “ We are natural leader in the market both in terms of the positioning of our magazine and its news value.” He pooh-poohs the NRS and ABC figures adding that there are no comparables between Businessworld, which is a weekly and its fortnightly rivals.
Despite the claims of being the market leader, if Businessworld still needs a revamp, it according to Joseph is to make sure that this leadership is visible in a more striking manner. Businessworld in its new avatar will be targeting a circulation of 200,000 though Joseph quickly adds that numbers is not the overriding criteria.
But perhaps the biggest challenge before Businessworld is to change the general market perception about it. “The market perception about our numbers (circulation’s) is lower than the actual numbers we have. And we need to change that,” says Joseph.
Though Joseph is not forthcoming on actual editorial and marketing initiatives plan by him yet he promises a refreshing change to make Businessworld a more reader friendly magazine.