The Bhaskar Group of publications has launched the Divya Bhaskar national edition in Mumbai. The announcement came at a function held at Ravindranath Natya Mandir in the city, in presence of Chief Minister of Maharashtra Sushil Kumar Shinde and All India BJP Joint Secretary Pramod Mahajan.
The objective behind the launch is to tap into the well-off Gujarati population that forms the bulk of the Mumbai readership, and to capitalise on their willingness to dabble with new publications in the vernacular medium.
Announcing the launch of the new edition, Girish Agarwal, Director (Marketing), Dainik Bhaskar, stated, “Divya Bhaskar is catering to Gujaratis in the region, speaking to them in a language which is their own, and yet giving them city-specific news. There are around four pages revolving around Mumbai, which capture the length and breadth of the city, besides pages that deal with news from the national domain. This is our first step towards launching a full-fledged Gujarati publication from the region, and we are making a modest beginning, with an initial run of 25,000 to 30,000 copies. As far as distribution is concerned, out of 54 hubs in Mumbai, there are around 28 Gujrati-centric areas (the number could go up to 36) and those would be the areas where we are focusing on.”
Has the new edition sparked much interest from the advertiser camp? Agarwal states, “Honestly, we have just launched the edition and haven’t really embarked on a focused marketing campaign. But advertiser interest (especially from the retail side) looks promising and we are sure to see plenty of support from that front. However, it must be remembered that we are bringing out limited copies at the moment, and are not really looking at scoring on numbers. It’s more like a feeler of something big that’s due to come.”
With around 28 editions, and an overwhelming presence across nine states, the Bhaskar Group is a force to be reckoned with. The group claims to have an annual turnover of around Rs 1,500 crore and a committed team of 8500 employees.
Both its flagship Hindi newspaper brand Dainik Bhaskar, and the recently launched Gujarati Newspaper Divya Bhaskar are judged as market leaders in their respective domains. Dainik Bhaskar claims to be India’s No 1 daily newspaper with 1.57 crore readers while Divya Bhaskar, published from Ahmedabad and Surat, claims to have a total readership of 15 lacs.