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Striking the right chord with Himachal

01-May-2004
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Striking the right chord with Himachal

Having acquired the number one position in Himachal Pradesh (NRS 2003) including leadership in Shimla (IRS 2003 R1), leading Hindi daily Amar Ujala has decided not to rest on its oars in the state and elsewhere in the country. The newspaper began celebrations to mark its leadership in HP with an event in Shimla on March 26 wherein Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, as chief guest, underscored the catalytic role Amar Ujala has played in the state’s progress.

Further, to consolidate its dominant position in the state, the newspaper has decided to shortly launch a Mega Readership Scheme called ‘Thank you Himachal’. “It is a step towards cementing the bond with our readers,” explained Atul Maheshwari, Managing Director of the newspaper group.

Amar Ujala had recognised the true potentials of Himachal Pradesh and the team assiduously worked towards garnering a chunk of the state’s readership. “The state has attracted Rs 4,000 crore worth investments in recent times and commands 77 per cent literacy and 100 per cent rural electrification which is proof enough of the true economic potential of the market. Amar Ujala has taken a leadership position in the new el dorado of the North,” said Rajiv Singh, Vice President (Marketing).

It is pertinent to note that the R K Swamy BBDO Market Guide has placed Shimla among the top five cities in the country reflecting ownership of products priced over Rs 6,000 per one thousand population.

Recounting the journey to the top, Maheshwari said, “Perhaps it as a matter of our long standing goodwill in the hills of Uttaranchal that we could read the minds of the people of Himachal and create a product that fulfills the felt need for a real local newspaper of the state.”

In its endeavour to contribute towards HP’s progress, Amar Ujala instituted scholarships for local college students for academic excellence called ‘Amar Ujala Pratibha Samman Samaroh’. This was introduced three years ago. “We have continuously evolved with the local culture and have co-branded events in the state. Events that have religious followings or mass entertainment appeal,” Maheshwari said.

Singh added, “The new readership figures of Amar Ujala in Himachal do not come as a surprise to us. Our leadership in the state both in the upper and lower Himachal had been well established long ago. Perhaps as a group we understand Himachal better and that’s why we stationed our news bureaus effectively in the region backed by a strong distribution network of 600 agents.”

The newspaper has 120 reporters linked to eight bureaus in the state. “As a Hindi daily operating between Chandigarh, Himachal, Jammu & Kashmir and Punjab, we now offer leadership in both Jammu and Himachal and have a very good presence in Chandigarh and Punjab where consolidation is required,” said Maheshwari.

“We will not let our advantage of Himachal and Jammu & Kashmir slip away and to that extent we will celebrate our leadership with people of Himachal while offering a product, which will continuously evolve to deliver news as a great differentiator,” he concluded.

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