The Indian print media market has stood witness to the fact that within a miniscule time frame, Divya Bhaskar – the Gujarati daily from the Dainik Bhaskar Group, has managed to consolidate its position in terms of readership and circulation alongside generating advertising revenues. Starting off with 4,52,000 copies on June 22, 2004 in Ahmedabad, the daily has now reached a circulation of 5,57,000 copies. Now, after a process of steady consolidation, Divya Bhaskar has raised its cover price for the Ahmedabad edition from Rs 1.50 to Rs 2 (for Wednesday, Friday and Sunday editions). While the increase restricts itself only to three fixed days in a week, over the time, the group would promote an evenly set price structure for all the days. In addition, the Bhaskar Group has set up a separate bureau for Rajkot.
Says Girish Agarwal, Director, Dainik Bhaskar, “Within a short period of 12 months, we have established our position in the market, and to mark the consolidation, we have raised the cover price. While the move is now restricted in three days, we would gradually extend it to other days of the week as well. We have singled out these three days on account of the popularity of our supplement magazines Kalash, Navrang and Rasrang. In the same vein, it must be said that in spite of the increase in cover price, we are not priced premium vis-à-vis competition. As far as the price platform is concerned, we are at par with others.”
However, the increase in cover price is not commensurate to an increase in ad rates. Agarwal asserts, “We have recently introduced a new rate card and there are not going to be any change in our ad rates until March.”
Divya Bhaskar comes with 15 supplements on different subjects such as career, lifestyle, movies, religion, etc. From Monday to Friday, the newspaper has two supplements everyday and three on Sunday. The daily has two editions from Ahmedabad and Surat, with respectively 10 and three district editions published from these two main outfits.
After a careful consideration, the group has now set up a separate editorial bureau for Rajkot that, as the group informs, contributes greatly to the readership scene. Agarwal continues, “Rajkot, for instance is an area with a difference. As far as media consumption goes, people have a tendency to read the newspaper twice – once in the morning and again in the afternoon. This works in our favour. Plus people in the region are aware as far as news related developments go, and are keen to keep themselves well informed. Which is why, we have set up an editorial bureau in the region. We feel that Rajkot adds a good deal to our readership base.”
In terms of revenues, it was reported that Divya Bhaskar had registered a growth of approximately 32 per cent in the month of June. Overall revenue earned from the retail sector was around Rs 12 lakh as compared to Rs 9 lakh in May. Agarwal says, “We have a good product at hand, and are constantly upgrading ourselves in terms of content and marketing strategy. The advertiser support for Divya Bhaskar remains phenomenal and is set to get even better, in the days to come.”