Anand Sankeshwar, Managing Director of VRL Group, is an entrepreneur in his own right. A multi-faceted personality, he has been recognised as a ‘Youth Icon’. Sankeshwar has been instrumental in scripting the success story Vijayavani, the largest circulated vernacular newspaper in Karnataka.
In a conversation with exchange4media, he spoke about the current political situation, general trends in the print industry and more...
How do you read the current political situation? How does the print industry, specifically vernacular newspapers in Karnataka, look like after the government change?
Since the Congress government rules Karnataka, business is not moving along expected lines… The fact is that the growth after the change in the government has not got the traction yet.
Earlier during the BJP government, advertising spends were on a big scale. But, now spends have come down in the print medium. We are yet to see the vibrant advertising happening here. All said and done, corporate and retailers are the biggest spenders in the market taking 50:50 per cent advertising spends each.
ABC figures suggest Vijayavani is the leading newspaper in Karnataka. Please tell us how are you planning to maintain this position in the coming years?
All these days, print players were heavily bleeding but further down the line it is expected to get better. Our focus will be on increasing circulation to maintain this position. We have a team, which keeps canvassing throughout Karnataka to reach out to the readers. Also we are the only all-colour (10 editions) newspaper in Karnataka. Hence, once we have good quality product, the brand will also get its fare share of interest.
What are your projections about economic growth?
With Modi government in place, all businesses will see a good growth in the market. Economy should improve.
How has the pre-festive season (Diwali) been for Vijayavani? How much of advertising revenue has the newspaper achieved this year when compared to last year?
Twenty per cent increase has taken place in the advertising revenue this year for Vijayavani.
What has been the festive season trend this year? What is the expected growth percentage in the southern region?
In the last one year’s time, FMCG has not been advertising heavily as compared before.
During the festive season this year we expect a 30-40 per cent spends happening in the southern region.
What is the general sense of the print industry in terms of performance in Karnataka?
Print will keep growing in spite of the digital medium, which has been growing in leaps and bounds. Any top three vernacular newspapers contribute at least 35 lakh copies.