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Wedded to print

 

ONKARESHWAR PANDEY AND ROHIT MANCHANDA | New Delhi, July 1, 2011 17:00
Tags : Dainik Jagran | Sanjay Gupta is the CEO and Editor | daily |
 

Dainik Jagran has scripted the success story in the regional print market of Hindi. What are the main factors behind this great success?

The vision for Dainik Jagran has been to create a newspaper that would reflect the free voice of the people. And the guiding philosophy of our brand has been to build a relationship with readers. And these are not just words. There have been a whole series of endeavours to translate these words into reality. This has been our single-minded focus, and this is why it has, over a period of time, begun to touch hearts of the people all across who are now our readers. This is reflected in the fact that Dainik Jagran has been declared the largest read daily of the country over the last 18 rounds of the IRS study.

There are claims and counter claims about the number of readers in Hindi dailies by various publishers. What is the total readership of Dainik Jagran?

As a group we publish seven newspaper titles with 96 editions across five languages with a total readership of over 62 million. These include titles like Mid-Day – India’s No.1 Afternoon Daily,  I Next, India’s No.1 Bilingual compact daily, Inquilab, the country’s No.1 Urdu newspaper, Mid-Day Gujarati, Mumbai’s fastest growing newspaper, City Plus, India’s No.1 Community paper, the recently launched Punjabi Jagran and of course the flagship brand Dainik Jagran which is India’s largest read newspaper.

What do you feel being the worlds largest read daily?

The responsibility is even greater. Yes there is a sense of pride, but at the same time it’s a huge challenge to keep ourselves at the top and keep raising the bar everyday.

What is the total turnover of JPL & DJ currently have?

JPL is more than Rs 1000 crore and DJ is 90 per cent of it.

Do you have foreign tie-ups?

No, We don’t have any foreign tie-up now. FDI is not allowed beyond 26 per cent. Earlier we had some investments, but not now.

You have not gone to the southern states or Mumbai?

No we have not ventured to the southern states. However in Mumbai we have a very strong presence through four brands – MidDay English, MidDay Gujarati, Inquilab and City Plus.

Any plans to reach the eastern parts like Kolkata?

While we do not have a printing centre in Kolkata, we circulate copies there from our Jamshedpur edition. We have a printing set up and an edition in Siliguri.

Do you have any new expansion plans for DJ?

The focus is on consolidation of our leadership position within the existing markets. Expansions will happen at the right time and with the right opportunity. There was a huge expansion plan during 1999 to 2006 during which we ventured out into many new states. We now want to consolidate our position in the existing markets and want to add more readers. We now aim to become the lead player in the areas where we are competing as the number 2 player.

What is the USP of Dainik Jagran?

Answering this in a line is a bit difficult as we stand for a lot of things. Dainik Jagran is about Credibility, Trust, Nation Building & Objectivity. The brand was launched and built on the philosophy of building a relationship with its readers. The vision of Dainik Jagran is aligned with what any Indian would want for their nation. To millions of Indians, Dainik Jagran is not just a newspaper; it is the guiding light of their lives. And it enlightens them with stories and beliefs that are close to their heart.

What you think about the future of print media in India?

The print in India has been on a very steady growth path over the last so many years and continues to be an important medium for advertisers to connect with mass audiences. India is one of the largest print markets in the world in terms of circulation and it continues to grow at a rapid pace. With rising literacy and income levels, improving infrastructure and the rise of Tier 2 and Tier 3 towns, the print industry is poised for growth. The key drivers for newspapers in the future are creation of better products, wider distribution, localization of content, products for different segments of audiences and aggressive marketing.

Most national dailies have opted for localisation of news in the present era of globalisation. Is it necessary for commercial success? How does it affect the common reader in the country?


A newspaper spans across socio-economic classes and needs to be relevant to a very large mass at the same time. Localisation is very critical to establish connect with the reading audience. It just makes it that much more relevant in the present scenario. Today’s readers want the best of national and international news, and at the same time are very demanding on localisation. We at Jagran take this very seriously. Each of our over 200 sub-editions are customised to reflect local news with the local colloquial vocabulary nuances and customised to suit local tastes and preferences. This is a critical ingredient for success in local markets.

The question of language used in some Hindi media is in debate. You have also launched a bilingual newspaper. How do you see this trend? Will it not affect our national language Hindi?

Yes, it’s a new trend but I believe it does not affect Hindi. It’s an experiment to use both languages in one newspaper. We’ve experimented with this for our youth brand I Next and it’s been well accepted and has opened up a different audience / readers segment for us.

Your views on the question of increasing FDI in the Print Media? How do you look at the most-talked about subject?


I think, the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) should be increased up to 49 per cent keeping editorial control with the Indian company.

You tried your hand at TV but left it shortly, why? Was the loss so huge that you had to close it so fast?

We tried our hand at TV. However, Quality and Credibility are major issues in the world of Television News today. And yes, the issue of viability is also there. You hardly see news channels making profits except some. We are proud to be in print at this moment, because of the credibility of the medium and the way it is being run.

The issue of paid news is in the news. What are your views on this burning issue? Do you think advertorials also come under the ambit of paid news?

I am thoroughly against paid news. But one has to understand the difference between paid news and advertorial. There is nothing wrong in advertorials.

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Issue Dated: Feb 5, 2017