"We are the de-facto No. 1 newspaper in Pune", says Rishi Darda, Lokmat Media

The Joint Managing Director & Editorial shares why Pune market is so important for the group and how they will focus on increasing their advertising revenue in the coming three years

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Published: Feb 7, 2018 8:56 AM  | 3 min read
Lokmat- Rishi Darda

According to the Indian Readership Survey (IRS) 2017 data, shared by Lokmat, the newspaper took the first spot in Pune city and district on the basis of Total and Average Issue readership beating its competitors. 
On Tuesday, Rishi Darda, Joint Managing Director & Editorial, Lokmat Media Group,  in a press interaction discussed why Pune market means so much to the group. 
"We are the de-facto No. 1 newspaper in Pune City ahead of Marathi, Hindi and English newspapers providing a 37.2 per cent reach with total readership of 18.98 lacs. In fact, when we go deeper, our sole readership at 5.13lacs+ is 10 per cent of total Pune City's readership. Our readership in NCCS A & B is 28 per cent of the entire Pune city while our closest competitor at best provides a 25 per cent reach. Hence planners should find Lokmat to be the most cost efficient media to talk to consumers in Pune in future."

Darda went on to say that Pune market's advertising print revenue is 'equivalent' to full states of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. "Those markets will be worth approximately Rs. 500 crore revenues. That's the revenue of Pune market alone. Bulk of it used to go to the top newspaper over there. So it's an important market from planner and client's perspective," he said.
He added, "In the last three years, we have spent a lot of energy changing the perception even on ground. We are always talking to audience directly. Every 10 days there would be an on ground activation happening in Pune. That's what brought success. Now the plan is exactly the same. Post February 15, there will be a lot of innovations. We will be engaging with each and every stakeholder in Pune."

Going ahead, the Marathi daily plans to approach brands for bigger initiatives, something they have seen success with on-going P&G's Whisper Choice and HUL's Rin. Karun Gera, President, Advertisement, Lokmat Media Group, offered, "We will now approach other brands, work out a methodology about how we can make their communication stronger, more targeted and layer it with Lokmat brand per se. This is because the brand (Lokmat) today has a lot of credibility. From the brand side, we connect with rural customers initiatives like Lokmat Sarpanch Awards and on ground activities like Lokmat Maharashtrian of the Year Award, among others."
On the digital platform, Darda shared his ambition of launching six to seven properties in the next six to eight months in different languages under their digital initiative Clickstart.

When it comes to soaring ink prices Darda has no intention to increase their cover prices. "As of now we are holding good inventory. So the impact would be seen in the second quarter. We are expecting a 10 per cent hit. We will compensate by playing around with the pages of newspaper."

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