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Dainik Bhaskar will spur growth of Print advertising in Bihar by 25%: Girish Agarwal

16-May-2018
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Dainik Bhaskar will spur growth of Print advertising in Bihar by 25%: Girish Agarwal

The Dainik Bhaskar Group has completed its ambitious expansion plan to be present in all 38 districts of Bihar, going up from 11 districts in which it was present until mid-2017.“We started this exercise sometime in August-September last year, and actually began implementing it in November,” says Girish Agarwal, Director, Dainik Bhaskar Group, talking about the journey of building a strong readership base in the State. “We went to almost 20 lakh homes to meet people and understand what kind of newspaper they need, and we designed the paper based on their feedback. I am very excited to share that 7 lakh homes finally decided to join the Dainik Bhaskar family. So, it has been a great result in Bihar.” That Dainik Bhaskar was already present in some cities worked against it to a certain extent, Agarwal says, as the competition knew the team and the possible moves it would make, but in the end, all turned out well for the newspaper. According to him, Dainik Bhaskar’s circulation in Bihar has reached around 7 lakh copies, but the team has set itself a higher bar. “We are not stopping at our current number and are working on getting closer to 8 lakh copies,” he declares.
Talking about some of the challenges that came up as he moved to expand in Bihar, Agarwal says, “The biggest challenge in Bihar was to approach those 20 lakh households in a limited time-frame. Last year, we experienced heavy rains in a few districts. We were not able to enter those districts because they were flooded and connectivity became a challenge. We also faced a technical challenge this time. Our entire survey and booking was happening via an app and an OTP response. However, there was a problem of mobile connectivity in Bihar. Our surveyor had to actually climb on rooftops in a few houses to get the network and complete the booking process.”




















On the other hand, the biggest advantage Dainik Bhaskar had in the Bihar market was that it knew the competition, and could anticipate how they would react, says Agarwal. “Another advantage we had was our editorial strategy – which was a little aggressive, taking the readers along and not being on the right side of the Government all the time.Out of the 38 districts in Bihar, we have introduced district-specific newspapers in 34 districts, which means that the newspaper will carry the main edition as well as a district-special edition with blogs and key village news. That was our breakthrough. Today, Bhaskar has almost 900 people working in Bihar as full time employees, giving us an edge over others,” adds Agarwal.
While Dainik Bhaskar has already applied to industry bodies for certification, and hopes to be part of the next round of Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC) and Indian Readership Survey (IRS) reports, Agarwal is specific that all the 7 lakh copies he is talking of are paid copies and not complimentary ones. “We don’t do free copies. These copies cost around Rs 1000 annually, which comes to Rs 3 for a daily copy. Moreover,all our copies are address-verified by GPS and customer-verified by OTP. Now, GPS and OTPs are accepted technologies.We have used these technologies to ensure that there is authenticity in circulation,” Agarwal says.
On being asked about expectations from the Bihar market, going forward, Agarwal says, “Bihar as a market should continue growing in double digits. For Bhaskar, we are looking at almost 300-400% growth this year because our base is too small. We are looking at four times the growth, and going forward we expect a strong double digit number.”



Satyajit Sengupta, Chief Chief Corporate Sales and Marketing Officer, DB Corp, says Bihar presents an extremely big opportunity for Dainik Bhaskar this year. “We look at Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh as one big chunk of business for us. Rajasthan is the second followed by Gujarat, Chandigarh, Punjab and Haryana. This has become the fifth largest State for us as far as revenue is concerned, and the market is growing very fast.Secondly, for many large categories of advertisers like Automobiles, Two-wheelers, FMCGs, and even financial institutions, it’s an extremely important market. The moment we add Bihar to the 4-5 big chunks that we have, we have a pan-India presence which the advertiser recognises. So, Bihar in a way has been a game-changer for us,” Sengupta adds.

Satyajit Sengupta, Chief Corporate Sales and Marketing Officer, Girish Agarwal, Director, and Sourandra Chatterjee, Business Head for Bihar of the Dainik Bhaskar Group

According to Sourandra Chatterjee, Business Head for Bihar for the Dainik Bhaskar Group, there has been a concerted effort over the last few months to tell advertisers about the Group’s expansion in Bihar, and also to assess their potential and how they were looking at Bihar. “In most of our top categories, we see that the Bihar market is pretty large and growing for all advertisers. Therefore, advertising potential is quite big. For example, for two-wheelers it’s probably the largest market in the country, after some parts of UP. The largest dealer of Hero MotoCorp is actually based out of Muzaffarpur. FMCG companies draw a very large portion of their revenues from that market, which is why they are giving a big push to advertising in that market. The kind of potential and growth we are looking at, is probably one of the best we have seen in a long time,” Chatterjee says.
As for local advertisers that have come on board, Chatterjee says in Patna, advertisers from the jewellery category include players such as Chunnilal, Mega Mart and Hira Panna jewellers. There are also big real estate players like Vastu Vihar and Smart City, besides advertisers from the lifestyle category such as Jalan shop.

Tags Bihar print market Dainik Bhaskar Girish Agarwal

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