Roznama Rashtriya Sahara, the Urdu daily from the Sahara Group, is launching its Kolkata edition on May 5. With this, Roznama Rashtriya Sahara will be adding the fifth edition to its stable, which already has editions from Delhi, Lucknow, Gorakhpur and Mumbai.
Explaining the rationale behind foraying into Kolkata, Aziz Burney, Head of all Urdu Media, Sahara Group, said, “Kolkata has a feasible Urdu readership.”
Prabhat Dabral, Vice-President, Sahara Samay, said, “We are market leaders in Urdu publications. We will be the first to launch an Urdu news channel in the country, so it’s an expansion for us. We have got a very good response in Mumbai not only in terms of revenue but also in terms of circulation. We have become market leaders wherever we have gone, we will become market leaders in Kolkata too. We have gone to all those places wherever there is Urdu-speaking population. There is a market in Kolkata too.”
Kolkata already has three Urdu dailies – Akhbar-e-Mashriq, Azad Hind and Abshaar. Sharing his thoughts on the competition ahead, Burney said, “We have the biggest Urdu news network in India. We are in a position to publish maximum news, other players have limited resources.”
The new edition, which will be a mix of national and local news, will be priced at Rs 2.50 on weekdays and Rs 3 on Sundays. The first edition will carry around 12-16 pages, subsequently the number of pages will be reduced to eight pages on weekdays and 16 pages on Sunday. Supplements on education, health and Urdu literature will also follow.
According to Burney, the Kolkata Urdu daily news market was pegged between Rs 25,000 and Rs 30,000. The new edition of Roznama Rashtriya Sahara would have an initial print order of 20,000, informed Burney.
Plans are afoot to come out with Urdu dailies in Patna, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Srinagar in the next few months. “We are going to capture the Urdu market throughout the world, we will be going to all those places wherever there is a sizeable population,” asserted Burney.