Marathi daily Deshonnati has featured in quite a few media reports of late, courtesy the paper’s growth in recent surveys. Prakash Pohre, MD and Chief Editor, informed that the paper had shown year-on-year growth as per Audit Bureau of Circulation. After a ten-city presence, the paper is now set to enter Mumbai.
Pohre is clear about one thing – the paper has grown on the basis of its content. “There is no other way for the paper to grow. When competition was reducing cover price, we took ours to Rs 3.50 and despite this, we have seen growth.”
Pohre cited data to elucidate his point further. “I took the paper in 1991. In the preceding year, ABC certified us with a circulation of 4,449. In 1991 we introduced the Buldana and Amravati editions and the circulation grew to 10,342,” he pointed out.
Expressing his excitement over Deshonnati’s Mumbai entry, Pohre said, “In the case of Mumbai, the on-ground reality scene is very different from the other markets that we are in. It is an encouraging market and business can look good here. We are looking forward to the launch. We have grown further every time we added a new market, and we are expecting the same in Mumbai.”
Giving further details about the paper’s background, Pohre said that the Yewatmal edition was launched in 1994, Nanded in 1995, and Jalgaon in 1997, which took the circulation to 31,648 in that year.
“And from there, we grew to 97,174 in 2002 without adding any other edition in that period. The only reason we were able to get that mark is because we gave content which was district level, reaching people at the very local level,” he added.
Speaking more about the content, Pohre said that Deshonnati had banked on views and not news, along with giving comprehensive coverage, while dealing with public-related issues in various supplements along with the main edition. “We introduced Krishokanti in 2001 for farmers, which is educational, and then to add another dimension, we introduced a spiritual supplement Aatmonnati,” he added.
Pohre affirmed that Deshonnati had always strayed away from the promotions route. “Promotions can’t buy you local readers… I can’t reduce the price of the paper also, as then the vendor would rather sell it as raddi. It is only when the paper is priced high that the vendor will ensure that he is selling it to the reader! This means that the advertiser is getting real opportunity to see (OTS),” he maintained.
The readers of the paper are largely from the rural areas, which words in Deshonnati’s favour. Ajit Joshi, Brand Consultant for the paper, said, “We are a bridge between the advertiser and this market. Most of our readers are the youth. What has happened is that there are telecom brands, automobiles and FMCGs that are coming in the paper. We are strong in important markets like Vidarbha, where we are close to being No1.”
Deshonnati entered Dhule, Aurangabad and Vashim in 2003 and Nagpur in July 2004, which boosted the paper’s circulation to 111,772 in that year. “In Nagpur, we have climbed to the second slot. Given the competition that market has, this is quite an achievement. We came in at a price of Rs 2 and in six months had increased it to Rs 2.50. We have also done a CA certification, which shows that we have crossed the two-lakh circulation mark so far in 2005,” divulged Pohre.
With quite a few awards under its belt as well, Deshonnati has reasons to look forward to being in Mumbai.