Patrika announced its intentions of entering Chattisgarh early this year and according to industry sources, it is all set to enter Raipur around the festive season in October.
Anticipating its launch plans, the other major Hindi dailies in the city and adjoining areas are bracing themselves for the attack. The existing Hindi newspapers in the area of Raipur, Bhilai and Durg are busy planning their counter strategies to make sure that the shift of readers is minimised.
Apart from this, the recent launch of the 16 page tabloid, DB Star and Jan Jagriti by Dainik Bhaskar in the area is also seen as a precautionary step by the group to further safeguard its circulation. Jan Jagriti was launched on August 2 in Raipur at a rate of Rs 1.50.
Similarly, another significant player in the market, Nai Dunia, which till August 1 had a cover price of Rs 3, reduced its cover price to Rs 1.50 a day prior to the launch of Jan Jagriti.
"In fact, Nai Dunia was the first player to intensify its efforts to grab more readers. We started our first campaign in February this year and we have gained significant readers as well in this duration," he informs.
"Anticipating the entry of Patrika in Raipur and neighbouring towns, all the prominent dailies in the area have launched various circulation drives and it will only pick up pace in the next one month," says Mishra. He informs that Nai Dunia will soon launch a lifestyle supplement in Raipur to further strengthen its position in the area.
The distance between Raipur and Bhilai is 25 kms, whereas that between Raipur and Durg is 41 kms. Both Nai Dunia and Navbharat have sub-editions from these two towns, with the main edition being published from Raipur. Dainik Bhaskar is the only prominent Hindi player to have a full fledged edition from Bhilai.
Another daily to alter its cover price in the area is Navbharat, which is selling at a cover price of Rs 1.50 instead of the earlier cover price of Rs 3.
According to industry experts, the existing players in the three places are trying to grab as many readers as they can before Patrika's entry, so that it becomes tough for the new entrant to make a dent in the market.
In Bhilai and Durg, Dainik Bhaskar reduced its monthly subscription from Rs 90 to Rs 58 sometime ago. Nai Dunia has taken a similar route earlier this week by slashing its monthly subscription in the two cities to Rs 45 from Rs 64.
Apart from this, the three existing dailies have launched various trade offers and other schemes for the distributors.
The dailies are also relying heavily on the outdoor medium and Dainik Bhaskar alone has taken up about 30 hoardings in Bhilai; while Nai Dunia has taken 25 hoardings across the city.
It is also learnt that in the next phase that will begin next month, the two dailies will intensify their outdoor campaigns in Raipur.