If you are a travel freak and enthusiastic about exploring exotic locales of India, then it’s time to grab a copy of Discover India. Currently in its 18th year of publication, the magazine from the Media Transasia Group, which had an international presence till now, is set to make a foray into the Indian market in a totally new avatar.
Explaining the reason behind the decision to market it domestically, Xavier Collaco, President, Media Transasia India Ltd, which also publishes Swagat magazine, said, “We believe that the travel explosion really has happened in the last five to six years with the upper middle class Indian travelling a lot more than he used to. As publishers, we believe that we can create a product that can meet the needs of travelers. It was a logical extension.”
Added Simran Bedi, Director, Corporate Affairs, Media Transasia, “It’s the right time as India really doesn’t have many magazines that promote India as a destination.”
The 120-page magazine is targeted at the upper middle class audience. Priced at Rs 50, Discover India will not only maintain the traditional aspects of a travel and tourism magazine, but will also cater to modern living. “It will be an amalgamation of various facets of a place,” said Collaco.
Bedi asserted, “Times have changed. So, Discover India would tell you what is new and even focus on the history of places, heritage properties and at the same time modern day living. The magazine is a good platform to get information about everything related to travel needs.”
The cover price of Discover India has been slashed from the earlier Rs 100 to Rs 50. Explained Collaco, “Indian magazines are either circulation driven or ad driven. Discover India has always been a circulation driven magazine in the sense that the price that we realised from sale of copies has been more than our cost, so we make a profit in every copy that we sell.”
Collaco is hopeful that the circulation figures for the Indian edition would cross 60,000 by the end of the next financial year.
But in a market that already has two strong brands, India Today’s Travel Plus and Outlook Traveler, how will Discover India meet the competition? Said Collaco, “Discover India is a 17-year-old brand, while the other two are probably four-year-old brands. India Today and Outlook are of course very strong brands, but I think in terms of numbers, we are far bigger than either of them as of today.”
“We are India-specific, while the others are a mix of India and international in terms of their editorial coverage. We are sharply focused on India. Secondly, we are adding a lifestyle dimension to Discover India’s content; so it would be slightly different from the competition and we believe we will be giving readers more value,” Collaco explained.
The promotion for Discover India will be devoid of any mass media. Instead, the focus will be on participation in exhibitions. “I think the return on investment would not justify the spend for this particular product,” Collaco felt.
Media Transasia also has plans to launch an environment magazine called Naturalli in the next two months. Apart from that, the group plans to enter the men’s magazine category with Maxim by the end of the year.