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Explocity on expansion spree; City Info guide to launch in Singapore

19-September-2005
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Explocity on expansion spree; City Info guide to launch in Singapore

Explocity, the publisher of City Info guides, is gearing up to launch a product on similar lines in the Singapore market. The group is in talks for M&As in the space with international players. Having launched its city-based lifestyle magazine ‘080’ in September, it is looking at other cities for a similar magazine.

‘080’ is a reincarnation of ‘Bangalore Monthly’, which was launched in 1996, said Ramjee Chandran, CEO and Editor-in-chief of Explocity and BTF Publishing. Speaking to exchange4media from New York, he said, “Bangalore Monthly had a socio-civic angle and some amount of lifestyle. We felt it was premature and the advertising was dependant on a few people. Bangalore is ready now for a magazine like ‘080’. The city has always been cosmopolitan and the demographic is getting increasingly international now.”

The group went on to launch City Reporter, a weekly, which has been replaced now with the city-specific lifestyle monthly. The group’s City Info guides are all set to enter the Singapore market soon. City Info is already present in the Dubai and New York markets.

“Our entry is dependant on the consolidation of the top end of the market. Singapore has been very welcoming, right from the Singapore Tourism Board onwards. The implementation of the Singapore launch is scheduled for the middle of next year. We’re looking at Singapore as a springboard for the Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta and Hong Kong markets. We are in talks and are considering some acquisitions in the city guide space internationally,” added Chandran.

Back in its home base, Bangalore, ‘080’ has on its editorial team Sheeba Thayil as Editor, Allen Mendonca as Consulting Editor, and Usha Radhakrishnan as Editorial Director. Chandran said that he would be happy with a circulation of 35,000 to 40,000 copies in ‘five to six months’. There are plans to take the city-based lifestyle magazine to other cities as well.

“The important thing is that we have ground reach already. There are subtleties within the demographics itself, which can give room for multiple magazines in each of the cities. As the regional economies get bigger, even in a narrow demographic there will be more magazines – different strokes for different folks,” explained Chandran.

Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and some other cities were ready for a product like ‘080’, Chandran maintained, adding there had been talks with people who had approached the group to launch similar products in other cities.

“Time Out in Mumbai is doing a great job. I think the Mumbai market is ready for them and is ready for us as well. I think Chennai is also ready for us now. First City in Delhi is a very ‘arts and culture’ publication. There is room for someone like us there, too,” he added.

ExploCity came into being in 1989 and has firmly established its eight editions of City Info. And now, it’s perhaps the time to expect titles like 011, 022, 044…?

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