Effective 14th December 2002, Dainik Bhaskar has got a new look. Cost of the ravamp: Rs 2.5 crore. And the objective? To hawk 3 lakh copies more and emerge as the largest circulated Newspaper.
Explaining the reason for this expensive overhauling exercise, Says Girish Agarwal, Group Marketing Director, Dainik Bhaskar, "Change is an inevitable phenomenon and people who cannot change, sooner or later reach a stagnation point. At Bhaskar, we have a culture to change outlook and goal at a desired interval".
Bhaskar's ambition now 'is to add another three lakh copies under its belt to claim the number one position not only in readership but also in circulation'.
The revamp was preceded by research to discover the value addition we could provide to the readers. Says Agarwal, "We began this research by publishing a questionnaire in our newspaper with a prepaid facility for the readers. We received 1,18000 responses. The target group was the whole family, as we wanted to find what every age group wanted from a newspaper. The findings varied from one target group to the other. Somehow, we have succeeded in fulfilling everyone's demand."
It has brought in many editorial changes post the survey. These include presentation of news in a more reader-friendly manner, increased use of graphics and charts and introduction of a summary box. The paper has also decided to lay more emphasis on non-political news, as an increased reader interest was noticed in the same. A separate page for women readers has also been created on daily basis.
And, what is more, the paper has revamped its editorial page as well. Says Agarwal, "For the literary and serious readers, the editorial page will offer much more to read as we have tied up with few columnist. For the first time in the language newspapers, we are asking them to write exclusively for us. The expense on the editorial page on a yearly basis has been worked out as Rs 60 Lac". Paper also claims to have a much better and smoother navigation now.
Moving to another front, the paper sources state that reduction in size from traditional 30/32 inch to 27.5-inch size leads to 3.3% saving. Paper plans to use this saving in the cost to provide enhanced editorial to the readers. Says Agarwal, "When there is cost reduction, it becomes our duty to reinvest that money back on the readers".
In the new format the ear panels, the traditional revenue space is being used for editorial content. States Agarwal, "We gave our advertising revenue to the readers by accommodating editorial. We thought it to be our duty to give back some revenue space to the readers. The content carried in the ear panels is not only informative, but also interesting and educative".
The paper, at present, has distribution network in eight states and one union territory. The readership is pegged at 1.36 crore.