Outlook to have separate cover for South India

By Dhaleta Surender Kumar , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | February 13, 2009
The weekly English magazine, Outlook, will have a different cover for South India. The concept could be extended to the East and West regions, too

Starting this week, the English weekly magazine, Outlook, will have different covers for South India and the rest of India.

The idea, according to Suresh Selvaraj, president, Outlook, is to beat the economic slowdown. "We are trying to repackage the product to be region specific and boost sales stand pick-up," he says.

The & #BANNER1 & # new issue of Outlook that hit the stands today has two different covers. The cover for North India (including East and West regions as well) has a story on the new found faith in Buddhism, while the cover of the South edition features the story, 'The political party CPM's shattered image'. However, both stories are covered in the two editions. "Only the packaging is different," Selvaraj says.

"Buddhism is a story more relevant to North India, including Patna and the East. Meanwhile, CPM, as a political party, has more influence in the South. Buddhism may not be relevant to people in the South and vice-versa. This differentiation in packaging will make the magazine more relevant to specific regions," he adds.

The innovation, if it succeeds, will be extended to the West and East regions as well. This could be a starting point for magazines to become more focussed on different regions. "This is a first of its kind experiment in India," Selvaraj says.

However, the innovation is restricted to the English version of the magazine and will not include the Hindi monthly. Similarly, other publications of the group are not being changed, either. "Outlook has a wider reach than any other magazine. So, it's more appropriate to start with it," he says.

Outlook claims a circulation of 3,00,000 copies in India. According to Selvaraj, 35 per cent of the copies are circulated in South India.

Selvaraj clarifies that Outlook will not raise its cover price to beat the economic slowdown. "We raised the cover price from Rs 20 to Rs 25 about seven months ago. There is no question of raising the cover price now," he says.