The Marathi daily, Lokmat is spreading its wings outside Maharashtra. It will be launched in Goa tomorrow, with an initial print run of 50,000 copies.
Of the total population of 15 lakh, Goa has a Hindu population of about 9.75 lakh, of which 65 per cent reads Marathi newspapers. "We saw the time was right to launch Lokmat in Goa, which has a sizable Marathi speaking population," says Bharat Kapadia, one of the directors on the board of Lokmat Group.
Lokmat will compete with Tarun Bharat and Gomantak, which have an average circulation of 42,000 and 29,000, as per ABC (Audit Bureau of Circulation), respectively.
The new Marathi daily, with an invitation cover price of Re 1, will be targeted largely at the Hindu dominated pockets of Goa -- Ponda, Bicholim, Sattari, Sanguem, Pernem and Quepem.
Meanwhile, Tarun Bharat has a cover price of Rs 3 on weekdays and Rs 4 on weekends; and Gomantak has a cover price ranging between Re 1 and Rs 3.
The annual subscription for Lokmat will be available for Rs 199.
Goa, according to Kapadia, has an ad revenue market worth Rs 50 crore, "and there is no significant effect of the economic slowdown here."
Devendra Darda, executive director, Lokmat, finds the market underserved. "Despite many players, we found that this market is underserved. Also, the Goan population has good spending power," he says.
The biggest advertisers in Goa are pharmaceutical companies, mining, medical tourism, real estate, wineries and educational institutes. "Also, personal and political ads form a large chunk. And certainly, we wouldn't be dependent on advertorial support," says Kapadia.
Lokmat has put up more than 50 hoardings in Goa to advertise the launch of the newspaper. Kapadia rules out any TV, radio or print campaigns.
Lokmat has 16 editions, printed from 10 centres in Maharashtra, with a readership of over 1.2 crore, as per the latest round of IRS.