People's Samachar to enter Chattisgarh soon

By Sumantha Rathore , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | December 31, 2009
The Hindi daily, People's Samachar will launch Raipur and Bilaspur editions in the coming months

The Hindi daily, People's Samachar, is all set to expand its footprint beyond Madhya Pradesh. In the first half of 2010, the group will launch two editions - Raipur and Bilaspur - from Chattisgarh.

The newspaper will have printing locations at both the places; and the machinery for this has already been procured. The Raipur edition is expected to roll out by April 2010; whereas the Bilaspur edition would come in May or June.

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The newspaper, which was launched in February, already has four editions: Indore, Jabalpur, Gwalior and Bhopal - the first edition launched by the group.

People's Samachar is part of the Rs 1,500-crore, Bhopal-based People's Group, which has business interests in various sectors, including educational institutes, hospitals, hotels, real estate and media and entertainment. Suresh N Vijaywargia is the chairman of the group.

The daily is positioned as 'Naya Zamana, Naya Akhbar' (new era, new newspaper). Its target audience includes chief wage earners, the youth and home-makers in SEC A, B, C, in the age group of 16-60 years.

Captain Ruchi Vijaywargia, chief executive officer, People's Samachar, says, "It is an exciting time to be part of the ever-evolving publishing industry. People's Samachar is different from its competitors, as it is a more pictorial, rather than text-based, representation of news. It also has seven-days, seven-colours mastheads, which has helped it to position itself as a unique daily."

Talking about the new editions, Sushant Roy, AGM, corporate marketing and brand, People's Samachar, says, "With these two editions, it will cover the entire area we want to. Also, with Raipur being the capital of Chattisgarh, we expect a good chunk of revenue from government advertising."

He adds that the process of putting the two editions in place is in the advanced stages. "We just need to finalise the land for the printing press and office at both the places," he informs.

At Rs 2, the cover price of both the editions will be same as the other four editions of the daily. The Raipur edition will have an initial print run of around 1.5 lakh; while, the print run of the Bilaspur edition will be within 1 lakh copies.

Both the editions will have 20 pages, with a four-page city-centric pullout, City 24x7. Apart from this, the newspaper will have three weekly supplements, namely Good Morning Sunday, My Lady and Movie Magic.

The Bilaspur and Raipur editions will together aim to cover seven to eight districts in the region, including Rajnandgaon, Raigarh, Surguja, Korba, Durg, Kanker and Bastar.

The other prominent players in the region are Navbharat, Dainik Bhaskar and Hari Bhoomi.

Roy shares that closer to the date of launch, the brand will engage in exhaustive marketing activities, including on-ground, OOH and cable television.

Talking about the future plans of People's Group, Vijaywargia says that the group plans to enter the entertainment industry with People's films division. It will acquire the rights of approximately 30 feature films under its banner and will also launch the production of a feature film.

For the record, the group also has an English weekly, People's Post, which is available at a cover price of Rs 20.