Bhoomi, the Hindi daily published from Rohtak (Haryana), New Delhi, Raipur and Bilaspur (Chhattisgarh), will enter Madhya Pradesh with its Jabalpur edition tomorrow.
With a cover price of Rs 2 in the rural areas, and Rs 1.50 in the city, the edition will cover 11 districts of Madhya Pradesh and will compete directly with Dainik Bhaskar and NaiDunia. The latter launched its Jabalpur edition almost a year ago.
Dainik Bhaskar's Jabalpur edition (which includes the Satna printing centre), as per ABC (January-June, 2008), has a circulation of 1.8 lakh copies. Hari Bhoomi will be launched with one lakh copies, of which 40 per cent will be circulated in the city itself, while the rest will cater to the upcountry region.
Kulbir Chhikara, group editor, Hari Bhoomi, tells afaqs!, "Our core reader is in the rural areas. Hence, we will mostly concentrate there. Unlike other newspapers which focus more on city news, most of our news will be from the rural areas."
Satveer Kataria, vice-president, Hari Bhoomi, is emphatic about the launch. "We've already shown our mettle in Chhattisgarh. As per the IRS, Hari Bhoomi (with all editions) has had the fastest growth (80 per cent) in readership in the last one year. We are sure we will be successful in Madhya Pradesh as well," he says.
According to him, the daily believes in communicating facts rather than criticising, hence, the war with other newspapers will be fought not on price but on content.
He adds, "Also, with the newsprint costs going up, we cannot fight the war on the cover price."
The daily has other weekly supplements such as Bal Bhoomi for children, Rangarang on Bollywood and entertainment, Saheli for women, Manzil, a youth and careers supplement and Ravivar Bharti, a Sunday supplement.
Kataria claims that the daily has more than 300 groundsmen working on the subscription drive, "with an aggressive subscription scheme which offers gifts on monthly, quarterly and annual subscriptions."
The daily has launched a marketing initiative through hoardings, bus panels, local kiosks and radio jingles. "We are teasing the emotional chord of our readers with our campaigns which have catchlines such as 'Durgawati ki shaurya bhoomi, Ab hogi Hari Bhoomi' and 'Narmada ki paawan bhoomi, Ab hogi Hari Bhoomi'."
According to Chhikara, the launch is also important in view of the "upcoming assembly elections in the state and the parliament elections."
The next destination for Hari Bhoomi will be Satna. Kataria and Chhikara were not willing to set a time frame on the plans for Satna.