In a bid to further strengthen its presence in the National capital Region, Hindustan Times has launched its Gurgaon edition, which hit the newsstands on July 12 2010. Priced at Rs 3, Hindustan Times’s Gurgaon edition will focus on news and issues of Gurgaon. The edition will also contain special supplements for its Gurgaon readership. HT Media Ltd is looking at other NCR zones for expansion in the near future.
Even as the City pages will be separate for the Gurgaon edition, other sections will be common to the Delhi edition. However, Page 1 will often carry stories that are important for Gurgaon. The ad-edit ratio of the new edition will remain the same as the Delhi edition. However, whether the edition will carry the same ads as the Delhi edition is yet to be decided on.
HT has been hiring for this project and most people are already on board. Moreover, senior editorial resources are committing significant time to this project. Gurgaon, with a population of approximately 22 lakh, holds significant importance considering that it is the home and work place of some of the most discerning, influential and affluent citizens.
Speaking to exchange4media, Shantanu Bhanja, Vice President - Marketing, HT, explained, “We had undertaken a massive survey (of nearly 3,000 residents of Gurgaon) to find out the key issues that are affecting them. Over the coming weeks, we will have editorial coverage around these and will campaign to solve them. We are also looking at exclusive columns, features and user-generated content that would connect with Gurgaon.”
HT Media Ltd has adopted an aggressive promotion and marketing strategy with a mix of outdoor, press and on-ground activations. Bhanja added, “We are bringing together our editorial series as well as all the initiatives under the ‘Gurgaon First’ brand name. We will have a CEO Conclave on July 20, which will bring together some top executives who live and work in Gurgaon. They will discuss the present and the future of Gurgaon, trying to arrive at a charter that can then be taken up with the civic authorities by Hindustan Times.”
A ‘Gurgaon First Festival’ is also being organised by HT Media Ltd that will bring together some of the best names in Indian art and culture. Acclaimed artistes like Shubha Mudgal, Mallika Sarabhai, Anupam Kher, Shiv Kumar Sharma, Kamal Sabri, U Rajesh, and Rajit Kapoor will perform at Epicentre over three weekends. The plan is also to reach out to resident welfare associations of localities and societies across Gurgaon to take their feedback and build the same into great, interactive content.
Talking about the future plans of the group, Bhanja said, “There are many plans to look at new markets, new user groups as well as new content areas. Not only Hindustan Times, but also the other brands of HT Media Ltd – Hindustan, Mint, Fever, Shine – are seeing a whole lot of action towards expanding readership and reach.”