GQ, the men’s luxury magazine owned by New York-based Conde Nast, is set to hit Indian newsstands on September 29. GQ’s foray follows the launch of Vogue in India in September 2007, and would be the second title from the Conde Nast stable in the country. GQ India would be a monthly magazine and would be priced at Rs 100. A GQ official informed that for its launch issue, the magazine would be printing 35,000 copies.
Che Kurrien has been appointed as Editor of GQ India. Kurrien’ earlier stints include Reuters, where he was a correspondent; Time Out Mumbai as Assistant Editor; and The Indian Express as staff writer. Oona Dhabhar, Marketing Director, Conde Nast India, has confirmed his appointment.
Quite a few niche and luxury magazines targeted at men have been launched in India in the last one year – Maxim, FHM, Men’s Health, etc. On creating a niche for GQ, Dhabhar said, “We did a landscape assessment study to get a better understanding of titles in the luxury lifestyle space and realised that there is a huge gap for quality magazines like GQ in India. Reader feedback also confirmed that there was a huge vacuum in the men’s luxury magazine space. We have also been inundated by requests from advertisers and readers to launch GQ in India, which has given us the confidence to start the second title.”
Arjun Mehra, Group Publisher, Conde Nast India, said, “GQ’s entry both coincides with and reflects the red-hot expansion of the luxury market catering to Indian men ¬who are earning and spending like never before, driving consumption in Asia’s third largest economy. At present, there is no magazine catering to their discerning needs. Hence, there is a unique opportunity to launch a luxury lifestyle product like GQ in India.”
He further said that GQ India would be stylish, opinionated and the ultimate lifestyle guide for men. The magazine is eyeing a leadership position in the men’s magazine category with a blend of Indian and international content. GQ India would have dedicated sections featuring fashion, cars, watches, technology, travel and all things luxury in a global perspective for its readers.
Speaking on the target group, Dhabhar said, “GQ India will cater to the affluent global Indian male, who is exposed to international trends, is urbane and sharp witted and aspires to be up-to-date with the latest in technology, fashion and all things luxury.”
On ad spends, Dhabhar said, “GQ is making substantial investments in India. With 100 per cent FDI being allowed in the non-news and current affairs segment, it has helped Conde Nast India, which is a 100 per cent subsidiary of Conde Nast International. In India, the magazine industry today suffers from low investments, which in turn results in low revenues and, therefore, low performance.”
On the marketing strategy, Dhabhar explained, “We plan to build up Brand GQ on lines of the classical FMCG brand model – direct marketing and subscribers. Our marketing strategy will concentrate on a two-fold plan, ensuring that we surround the target reader at the time of launch and build a long term relationship with the reader and, more importantly, ensure that we create a product that is relevant and engaging to the Indian reader.”
He further said, “At Conde Nast, we are looking at reapplying learnings from Vogue in terms of systems and processes in the editorial production values. GQ will also look at working with the same distribution partner, Living Media Group, to strengthen our positioning in the market. There is also tremendous confidence from advertisers because we have proven our success model with Vogue and established a world class product.”
Mehra added here that GQ would continue to work with the Living Media Group to drive immediate visible distribution, thus ensuring similar widespread availability as Vogue India. GQ India will be available across the top 40 towns in India, covering all traditional outlets and non-traditional outlets.