The Hindi newspaper space is becoming exciting and competitive. While on the one hand, existing players are venturing into newer markets, new players are also entering the fray. The increasing competition is resulting in an inevitable price war. The latest to witness a price war is Dehradun, Uttarakhand, where Amar Ujala, Dainik Jagran and Hindustan have reduced their rates by Re 1.
While Amar Ujala and Dainik Jagran reduced their rates from Rs 3 to Rs 2 from June 6 onwards, Hindustan followed a day later, reducing its rate also from Rs 3 to Rs 2.
Giving the reason for reducing the rate, Sunil Mutreja, President-Marketing, Amar Ujala, said, “It is an attempt to expand the market and increase print penetration in Uttarakhand. Dehradun today has a circulation of 77-80 lakh publications in all, and has the potential for the circulation to go up to 150 lakh. Amar Ujala will benefit the best with the price cut as we are the No. 1 publication at present. We have reduced the rates for both Dehradun and Haridwar.”
Sanjay Gupta, CEO, Dainik Jagran, too, cited increasing penetration and market share as the reasons for slashing the daily’s rate. He added, “We also want to give competition to the recently launched Hindustan.” Dainik Jagran has also slashed its rates in Dehradun and Haridwar.
Gupta further said, “The price cut has been on the cards as part of the ‘Uttarakhand Reader Development Programme’. We have brought down the price so that the daily can penetrate at the grassroot level. In the past, too, as part of the mass scale Reader Development Programme, we had bought down the price of our paper in Punjab and it had paid us rich dividends.”
Amit Chopra, Business Head, Hindustan, said, “We are in sync with the market and have slashed our price from Rs 3 to Rs 2 in Dehradun with effect from June 7, 2008. In Chandigarh, we are selling at an introductory price of Re 1, but that won’t be continued for long. We want our customers to benefit and hence, our paper would cost the same as our competitors.”
It may be recalled that Hindustan was launched in Chandigarh and Dehradun in April and May, respectively.