Invested Rs 200 crore in Bihar; hope newsprint prices will go down: Girish Agarwaal

The Promoter-Director, Dainik Bhaskar Group, on the promotions and campaigns undertaken in Bihar to further accelerate growth, the recent news-print hike, and focus on new markets

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Aug 8, 2018 8:59 AM

DB Corp Limited (DBCL) on August 7 announced that Dainik Bhaskar has emerged as the no.2 newspaper in the state of Bihar. The Hansa Research Group undertook a commissioned readership research in Bihar to gauge the readership of various Hindi newspapers, their readership profile, key product consumptions, reader engagement and brand satisfaction. 

As per this readership report, Dainik Bhaskar is at Number 2 position with an average issue readership (AIR) of 9.11 lakhs, while the legacy player Hindustan leads with AIR of 9.98 lakh and Dainik Jagran bags the third position with AIR of 9.09 lakh. Girish Agarwaal, Promoter-Director, Dainik Bhaskar Group chatted with exchange4media on this growth, and the promotions and campaigns undertaken in Bihar to beat their competition and more.
Edited excerpts:

Tell us about the campaigns and promotions undertaken by DBCL in Bihar to beat competition?

It's not about beating competition but about growing the market. Our single vehicle is the door-to-door service. It is a very expensive proposition. After spending Rs 10 crore on TV campaigns, can that give me that same amount of reach in Bihar? No. We're happy to go and talk to consumers one-on-one instead.

What are your plans for Uttar Pradesh now?

No plans for Uttar Pradesh. Right now, we're just focusing on Bihar and other markets.

How did you tackle the issue of newsprint price hike?

Honestly, it just came and we all had to suffer losses due to that. We're hoping that in the next one or two quarters, the news-print prices will go down.

Tell us about your investments in Bihar and its importance as a market.

We have invested almost Rs 200 crore in the Bihar market. When I do this kind of investment, it is (obviously) an important market.

But the Adex in Bihar is still not high.

Right now, advertising from the purchasing perspective is lesser than Gujarat or Rajasthan but the market has to change. How long can you suppress the market? These kind of markets were earlier ignored by everybody under the pretext of focusing on the bigger markets. But these are markets for growth.

Give us a sense of the local advertising vis-à-vis national advertising in Bihar and the 
growth estimates in terms of ad spends that you see.

65% is local advertising and 35% national advertising. So currently, Bihar, Jharkand is a Rs 500-crore market. It should soon become a Rs 1,000 crore market.

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