Known more as a tourist destination and its beaches, Goa has been able to withstand the current economic slowdown well. The print market in the state is served by five Marathi newspapers and four English papers. Now there is a new addition with the launch of Marathi daily Lokmat on April 21, 2009.
Ad revenues wise, Goa is around a Rs 50-crore market. This ad potential comes from many categories – right from pharmacy, mining, medical tourism, real estate, wineries, and educational institutes to personal and political ads forming a large chunk.
Lokmat has been launched in Goa with an initial print run of 51,000 copies. The paper is priced at Re 1 and is targeted at the largely Hindu-dominated pockets of Goa – Ponda, Bicholim, Sattari, Sanguem, Pernem and Quepem.
Among the officially-accredited newspapers in Goa are: English dailies The Navhind Times, The Herald Times and The Gomantak Times; and Marathi dailies Gomantak, Tarun Bharat, Navprabha, Pudhari, Goa Times, Sanatan Prabhat, and Govadoot. These apart there is also Sunaparant in Devanagiri-script Konkani. Gomantak was once the leading daily of Goa before being overtaken by Tarun Bharat. Of late, Govadoot has been emerging as the most popular daily in the state.
In a bid to understand the market potential in Goa, exchange4media spoke to some top officials of the Lokmat Group and some media players.
Jwalant Swaroop, Director - Advertising and Business Development, Lokmat Group, said, “Goa is usually seen as a tourist destination, whereas Goa is a market of its native people, tourists are just a floating crowd. Not only is the market underserved, but also underestimated. Goa is a cosmopolitan city, and Lokmat will give this cosmo city a newspaper with huge national perspective along with local taste. We will try and bring new innovation with more freshness in the content. New players coming into Goa will not only determine the growth, but also redefine the market. Lokmat is entering the market with the intention to bring about some positive changes.”
Commenting on the potential of the Goa market, Bharat Kapadia, Director, Lokmat, said, “I feel Goa is a good market and has huge potential – one, it has not been hit by the current slowdown, and secondly, people have huge spending powers. Also, I think the market is underserved. Goa has a sizable Marathi speaking population. Out of the 15 lakh population, about 24 per cent is Catholic, which hardly reads the local language.”
“Advertisers that want to be in Maharashtra want to be in Goa as well. The Maharashtra market is highly competitive in advertising revenue. If an advertiser is running a campaign in Maharashtra, he would want to run it in Goa as well,” added Kapadia.
While Devendra Darda, Executive Director, Lokmat Group, said, “Despite several players, Goa is an underserviced market. The spending power of Goans is high.”
On a different note, Anita Nayyar, CEO, MPG Asia Pacific, said, “There has always been hidden potential in the Goa market, but it is small. The market is not too big and there is not too much for the media to explore. The market can only target a small set of TG, especially the tourist TG.”
Manas Mishra, Executive Vice President, Mudra Connext, was of the opinion, “Goa is a cosmopolitan market and the launch of TOI has been quite successful, but this does not necessarily mean that if the market has taken up one paper well the others should follow. I don’t see a reason for everyone to be heading there. For Lokmat to be entering the Goa market was expected, as they are well spread and read in the Maharashtra region, also possibly they might come up with an English addition soon too.”
The largest Marathi paper in Goa so far is Tarun Bharat with a circulation of 41,733 (ABC JJ '08), followed by Gomantak with a circulation of 28,315 (ABC JD '08).
The Lokmat Group publishes newspapers in three languages – Lokmat (Marathi), Lokmat Samachar (Hindi), and Lokmat Times (English).