Divya Bhaskar, which entered Gujarat in June 2003, is all set to launch its second edition from Surat in March. The Gujarati daily from Dainik Bhaskar group plans to cover all of Gujarat by December 2004 by launching editions from Baroda, Rajkot and Bhavnagar. Its existing Ahmedabad edition caters to nine districts covering north Gujarat.
What is the print run for the Surat edition? Girish Agarwal, Director Marketing, Dainik Bhaskar, states, “We never start our launch planning with a preconceived notion. We are moving ahead with our time tested strategy of pre-launch survey in Surat.”
The new edition will cater to Surat, Valsad and Navsari. The paper claims to be surveying a total of 7 lakh households, 4.5 Lac in Surat. The survey, as per Agarwal, is scheduled to be in two phases. The first round would get the information on likes and dislikes of the readers and in the second round, the product offering and pre-launch confirmed order booking.
The first round of survey was completed on January 10 and the findings are expected in the next week. The second round of survey and order booking started from January 17, 2004.
How is Surat different from, say Ahmedabad? Agarwal says, “There are of course a few differences in both the cities due to which requirements are different. It would require different inputs in the newspaper. For instance, there are quite a few people in Gujarat who are migrates and do not really have their roots there. Second, it is slightly closer to Mumbai as far as life style and attitudes are concerned. Third and very important, large populace of Surat is traders and they are more skewed towards their own business.”
Agarwal is pleased with the performance of the Ahmedabad edition. States he, “As the recent research conducted by AC Nielsen ORG Marg shows, we are doing very well in terms of numbers. The advertiser response is also very good.” But did Dainik Bhaskar not commission the study itself? He shoots back, “Do you think an agency with AC Nielsen ORG Marg’s equity would provide numbers that are not accurate?”