It has been almost a year in the making. And as the D-day neared, HT Media made sure that the title of its business daily was the best kept secret in town. At an unveiling ceremony in New Delhi on Tuesday evening, the cat was finally allowed to step out. ‘mint’ is all set to roll out on Thursday morning, February 1, 2007, simultaneously from Delhi and Mumbai.
The ‘mint’ brand and logo were unveiled in Delhi by HT Media Vice Chairperson, Shobhana Bhartia, and Christine Brendle, Asian Managing Director of The Wall Street Journal on January 30. Also on stage was the paper’s designer Mario Garcia, the world-renowned newspaper designer. The Wall Street Journal is ‘mint’s exclusive partner.
The business daily will be available six days a week, though the possibility of coming out with an edition on Sunday isn’t ruled out depending on the reader response. The paper has been priced at Rs 2. ‘mint’ is being launched in a unique Berliner size that will bring, for the first time to discerning readers in India, a globally proven, convenient format.
HT Media has entered into a content sharing agreement with The Wall Street Journal, whereby 20 per cent of the content will be sourced from WSJ.
“‘mint’ is constructed around Indian business and economy and the way it is impacting the world and captures the trends of the world for India to leverage,” Bhartia said.
Garcia, who has designed over 500 newspapers worldwide, including WSJ, said, “With the introduction of ‘mint’ we not only celebrate the birth of a newspaper, but also the concept of newspapers as a viable and necessary medium. At a time when some prematurely announce the impending demise of the print medium, citing the importance and fast rise of the electronic media, the birth of ‘mint’ reminds us of the value of the printed word. Readers continue to read, but they are, indeed, more selective about what they read.”
When exchange4media asked about the unusual name of the paper, Rajan Bhalla, Publisher of ‘mint’, said, “We want to break away from the clutter. It’s an unusual name for an unusual paper.”
“It is a clear recognition that our readers are busy and mobile,” said Raju Narisetti, Managing Editor of the paper. “The format is part of our promise to help readers deal with the torrents of unevaluated words coming their way each day. Our approach extends to careful selection of stories and providing clear writing, presentation and analysis. Behind all of this is the idea that a print newspaper should provide readers with an early morning briefing that includes not only the most vital news, but also analysis, commentary and opinion that only a newspaper edited for a special business audience can provide,” he added.
The newspaper’s online edition, www.livemint.com, will also go live on February 1. Along with the online edition, the newspaper also offers new advertising opportunities that start with print and extend into online.
“We are excited about the unique concept we’re launching, and the added benefits it will bring to our readers and advertisers,” Bhalla said, adding, “The differentiated design of ‘mint’ will also offer advertisers new content adjacencies, innovative placement opportunities and impactful advertising units. With ‘mint’, we aim to infuse ‘Refreshing Clarity in Business News’.”
Every weekday, ‘mint’ will come with four pages of international news and analysis from the 1,900 global journalists at The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones & Co. These will be articles selected by ‘mint’ editors with the Indian reader in mind.
“India is a vibrant and expanding part of the global economy, and through ‘mint’ we look forward to a role in helping spur those global connections between India and rest of the business world,” said Brendle. “We’re especially pleased to be partnering with HT Media Ltd because of its rich publishing heritage and its clear belief in the value and importance of objective journalism,” she further said.
On Saturdays, ‘Lounge’, the magazine-style weekend edition of ‘mint’, will be a standalone offering aimed at reinvigorating the readers with its strong emphasis on living healthier, wealthier and happier lives. There will be weekly supplement called ‘Campaign’ on advertising, marketing, strategy and management.
With its foray into the business print media space, HT Media will join the league of already entrenched papers like ‘The Economic Times’, ‘Business Standard’, ‘Financial Express’ and ‘Hindu Business Line’.
Speaking about competition, Rajiv Verma, CEO, HT Media, said, “We thought of ‘orange’ as a brand name, but then changed to ‘mint’. The ‘mint’ logo is orange in colour and has become an important part of ‘mint’. A team of 150 people has made the launch of ‘mint’ possible.”
He added, “Before launching ‘mint’, we did a research among CEOs, CFOs, etc. and the gap we found out were that information is overload, complexity is main issue, a serious format and a lot of clutter. We have made sure our paper doesn’t have those gaps. Clarity was the main point.”
Commenting on the estimated circulation, Verma said, “We don’t plan to push it aggressively, but our intention is to be the clear number two in the market within the first two months of entering the space. We have already crossed a circulation base of Rs 75,000. Most of it is subscription based. We will have 12 monthly supplements.”
After Delhi and Mumbai, HT Media proposes to take ‘mint’ to cities like Kolkata and Chandigarh later this year.