Despite a few hiccups due to the economic slowdown, Lokmat Group managed to launch a few new editions in the year gone by. Looking ahead in 2010, the Group is drafting plans keeping its new media businesses in the mind. Jwalant Swaroop, Director, Advertising and Business Development, shares Lokmat Group’s plans with exchange4media.
At the outset, Swaroop candidly admitted, “We have been struggling to build revenues and businesses even in years before 2009. However, I believe that building positive sentiments is more important. The recovery is slow and steady and I think that growth in small numbers is back in business.”
It might have been the distinctive approach of the Lokmat Group in 2009 tha helped it achieve a steady growth. Some new business initiatives worked out well for the Group. Swaroop elaborated, “Redesigning of supplements and also the huge distribution initiatives undertaken by the Group, captioned ‘Sanskarache Moti’, to build young readership, kept us connected with the consumers. We also took some CSR initiatives such as ‘My India, My Way’ and very recently, the Lokmat Digital Wall, which provides an opportunity to readers to come and express themselves by writing graffities on it, helped in building a unique bond with our readers.”
In terms of revenue growth, Swaroop considers the year 2009 to be a satisfactory year for the Lokmat Group. He said, “We were quite good in our revenue growth. It may not be right to specify a number, however, we were better off as the local markets showed decent growth. In the last IRS round, Lokmat’s figures showed a 5 per cent growth, and we largely attribute this to our efforts in continuously improving the product and driving the distribution.”
The Group had forayed into some new markets in 2009. “We launched an edition in Goa on April 21, 2009. It is currently clocking 62,000 copies. It indeed created a new revenue stream for us,” Swaroop added.
When asked whether it was back to business as usual for Lokmat now, Swaroop replied that this was a “reset period”. “A new normal has been set. So, how we see things will actually make the difference. The Group is still working on plans for 2010. But we are quite keen on building new media businesses and there cannot be a better time than this in doing so. We shall certainly be growing better than 2009 in a healthy double digit growth,” concluded Swaroop on a positive note.