“It is a pity that English dailies command a very high price when it comes to advertising rates, in spite of the fact that their vernacular counterparts are way ahead of them in circulation,” said RMR Ramesh, Chief Operating Officer, Dinakaran.
In an exclusive interview given to exchange4media, he said, “This is a dichotomy which is prevalent not only in Tamil Nadu, but all over the country. Most of the so-called A-plus category readers also prefer a vernacular daily as a second paper. This misconception cannot be changed overnight. But the market will realise the potential of vernacular newspapers,” he added.
Speaking about the phenomenal growth of Dinakaran, Ramesh said, “When we bought Dinakaran in 2005, the total print run was a mere 65,000. We then relaunched it with improved technology, better quality newsprint and content in February 2006. At the time of relaunch, we started with a print run of six lakh copies and soon we realised the demand and had to increase the print run. As of today, the print run is 9,803,22. We have grown by a whopping 1408 per cent in terms of circulation in just one year. This is something unheard of in the history of Indian newspaper space.”
Ramesh said that Dinakaran has created its own reader base. “We created many new readers which in itself is the biggest achievement. We took our newspaper to every nook and corner of the state. It is not just about attracting or making the readers to read your newspaper, but making a new reader to subscribe to your offer, something which all the existing newspapers could not do in spite of being in this space for years together,” he said, while adding that the achievement had opened new avenues for the advertisers to reach out to more people.
Ramesh asserted that Dinakaran had eaten into the circulation of competitors. “We made a dent in our competitors’ circulation,” Ramesh said. As he showed the latest IRS figures, he explained, “Dinakaran has grown by 43 per cent, while Daily Thanthi and Dinamalar have seen a dip in circulation by 9.8 and 23.4 per cent respectively. This means that we have eaten into the circulation of those newspapers. If not to a great extent, we have certainly eaten into the circulation of Dinamalar by one lakh copies and that of Daily Thanthi by two lakh copies.”
Ramesh however refused to attribute the phenomenal growth of Dinakaran to Sun TV which has been giving extensive publicity to the newspaper since its launch. According to him, content, quality newsprint, timely delivery, good distribution network and mint fresh look are the reasons for the phenomenal growth of the paper.