Oct 17, 2008

Business - India;Business Bhaskar going strong

Sangeeta Tanwar

The Dainik Bhaskar Group entered the turf of business reporting in June, with a niche product – the Hindi pink daily, Business Bhaskar. The first issue was rolled out from Bhopal. In a short span of four months, the newspaper has grown to seven editions in six states, reaching out to readers in 17 cities.

afaqs! engaged K Yatish Rajawat, executive editor, Business Bhaskar, in conversation to find out what has contributed to the popularity of the pink daily in a market that has been synonymous with nothing but English language business dailies in all these years.

Rajawat starts off by providing an insight into the market assessment that guided the launch of the Hindi business daily. He says, "When one launches a new newspaper, or a magazine for that matter, it becomes mandatory to look around and see the existing offerings in the given category to make one’s best efforts to differentiate the new product."

“But when it came to launching a pink daily in our national language, this was not the case because there was not a single national Hindi player (except for a few local business dailies in Rajasthan and Gujarat) in the category. We were convinced that we had to step in to fill the gap when it came to reporting business news."

Another important distinction that the new business newspaper made was in terms of profiling its readers. Rajawat explains that in the case of English business dailies, you cannot pinpoint your reader. But when you have a business offering in Hindi, you can confidently zero in on the individuals who actually read your paper.

Proving his point, he lists the possible quintessential readers of the Hindi pink daily: businessmen, young professionals, housewives interested in financial products, investors and students on the lookout for financial news.

Currently, the Hindi business daily is present in Madhya Pradesh (MP), Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Punjab, Delhi and Chandigarh.

One of the key strategic decision that Dainik Bhaskar made with regard to its new product was the decision to launch multiple editions in quick succession.

Rajawat joined the Dainik Bhaskar Group in May. He says he was excited by this very fact of putting things in place for a big launch in the shortest possible time. And it was possible because all the systems and processes were in place for the planned rollout and adequate manpower was pooled in to complete the task.

Rajawat explains, "We have arguably the largest network of bureaus spread across small towns and cities. This presence of reporters at the ground level reflects in the content that we offer. In business reporting, by and large, the existing players are dependent on intermediaries to source news because their aim is to establish a communication message. But we have made an attempt to change this existing style of gathering and covering news."

“A strong workforce allows us to establish contacts across different levels of an organisation. Right from having direct access to a chief executive officer, we have access to sources across the top level, middle level and access to producers and trade partners."

This, points out Rajawat, results in quicker, faster and more comprehensive coverage of news than other mainline dailies.

However, he refuses to share the circulation figures for the Business Bhaskar editions. If reliable sources are to be believed, the newspaper’s circulation figures stand at 1.5-2 lakh copies. And the numbers are still growing.

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