The Indore-headquartered Hindi daily, Naidunia, has drawn up an aggressive growth plan after the success of its pilot expansion plan that saw this 60-year old paper add new editions from five major commercial towns of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. The new editions added in less than two years include Bilaspur, Gwalior, Jabalpur, Raipur and the re-launch of its Bhopal edition slated for next month.
In an exclusive interview to exchange4media, Naidunia CEO, Vinay Chhajlani, said, “We are today marrying the editorial traditions of trust and credibility of Naidunia with a strong focus on people, technology upgradation and creation of an aggressive marketing set up.”
“With a focus on family readership, divided equally between men and women, we plan to go national. In the next 18 months we want to reach readers in at least two new states beyond Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh,” Chhajlani added.
He further claimed, “In less than two years, we tripled our circulation to over 5 lakh copies by adding a new edition every four and a half months. This has led to a huge surge in advertising revenue and yield. The introduction of a Re 1 invitation pricing in Indore saw the city circulation jump from 50,000 copies in September 2007 to 120,000 by January-end 2008.”
In-depth content is the strength of Naidunia and the newspaper ranks high on credibility. A typical Naidunia issue consists of all-colour 20 pages. It now has six supplements. Fortnightly supplements ‘Sehat’ and ‘Spectrum’ cater to health and children. A supplement for women appears every Wednesday and one on careers every Thursday. The supplement on Friday covers glamour, movies, TV and fashion. In addition, there is a regular Sunday features supplement.
“Market forces decide the content and the number of pages. Occasionally, there are days when the newspaper size goes up to 24 pages,” Chhajlani said.
According to Chhajlani, the strength of Naidunia lay in its 1,700-strong people (up from just 700 two years ago). The leadership team includes, besides him, Vineet Sethia as Director-Marketing, Rajiv Singhi as Chief Financial Officer, and Anil Dhupar as President-Sales. Group Editor Umesh Trivedi is assisted by a dedicated team of Resident Editors. As Chairman, Abhay Chhajlani continues to advise and guide the company as it embarks on a new growth path.
Admitting that the competition in the print media was high, Chhajlani believed that, “Each player finds its own niche, determines its own environment and that becomes a differentiating factor. I believe that market dynamics like infrastructure and finance are important, but ultimately the content is the key.”
Alluding to synergies between multi-lingual Internet portal and e-mail service, Webdunia and Naidunia in future, Chhajlani said, “We see ourselves emerging on the national media scene with the Internet, wireless and print. The explosive growth of the Internet and mobile devices will see the convergence of all media.”