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Battle for Haryana hots up as Jagran prepares to launch Chandigarh edition

22-February-2005
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Battle for Haryana hots up as Jagran prepares to launch Chandigarh edition

The print media scene in the Haryana market is set to witness more action. At present, Dainik Bhaskar is a clear leader and the latest ABC data further consolidates its position. Now, Dainik Jagran is all set to launch its Chandigarh edition, which, as the publication claims, will change the scene in the Haryana print media market substantially.

ABC data shows that in the Haryana market, from 2,29,555 recorded in the January-June 2004 period, the net paid circulation of Dainik Bhaskar had increased to 2,49,875 in July-December 2004. This is an indication of the potential in the market, which Bhaskar, evidently has tapped successfully.

While ABC’s July-December 2004 figures are not available for other publications, in the January-June 2004 period Bhaskar has a lead over competing papers like Dainik Jagran and Punjab Kesari. A scene that Jagran sees changing after it launches its Chandigarh edition. Says Shailesh Gupta, Director, “Our entry into Chandigarh will change the market dynamics in Haryana.”

While he didn’t divulge details of the forthcoming edition, Gupta said, “Given our success story in Punjab, Chandigarh is the obvious next stop for us. We will be in the market very shortly. Our entry into Chandigarh will only strengthen our position further within the Haryana market.”

The Bhaskar group is elated with the present conditions. Girish Agrawal, Director, Bhaskar Group says, “Last year in June-July we had carried a circulation drive and the rise in circulation speaks volumes about Dainik Bhaskar’s acceptability in the Haryana market. It is prudent to point out that this increase has taken place when Bhaskar is already the largest read newspaper in the state.”

Citing IRS ‘03 Round 2 data, he pointed out that Dainik Bhaskar has a readership of 16,38,000, while under NRS the readership is 19,62,000. In comparison, Dainik Jagran is at 9,61,000 and Punjab Kesari at 11,29,000 in the Haryana market. Needless to say, how this picture will change with Dainik Jagran’s entry in the Haryana market will be keenly watched.

How does Bhaskar view this move? Sanjeev Kotnala, Senior GM, Brand Strategy and Communication, said, “Chandigarh is a strong Hindi market and there is enough scope for growth there. And we always welcome any competition in any market.”

Every market is witnessing a battle of its own with existing players focusing efforts and new ones entering the market. But with print claiming the most of the overall ad pie, this will be an interesting battle.

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