afaqs!

Dainik Bhaskar Group on expansion spree

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | September 15, 2010
After an edition in Bhatinda, the group plans to launch one in Nagour soon, apart from introducing printing facilities at a few places

The Dainik Bhaskar Group is aggressively looking at expansion in the existing territories. On September 12, the group launched an edition from Bhatinda, Punjab and is looking at launching one more independent edition in Rajasthan, this time from Nagour, on September 19.

According to Prasoon K Pandey, head, investor relation cell, Dainik Bhaskar, Bhatinda, with approximately 5 lakh population, is a sizeable industry town with large government investments in oil refinery, the proposed steel project of Laxmi Mittal and the existing Bhatinda refinery.

Before the dedicated edition for Bhatinda, the city was catered to from Ludhiana (which is about 150 kms away and takes 3 hours of travel) through a late city edition. The group expects the new edition to bring a sizeable increase in the circulation and readership figures (by 40-50 per cent). The new Bhatinda edition has a cover price of Rs 1.50 for six days (Monday to Saturday) and Rs 2 for Sundays.

Apart from this, the group also plans to introduce printing facilities in multiple locations including Itarsi, Madhya Pradesh and two other locations in Rajasthan. The group recently introduced printing facilities at Sirohi and Barmer in Rajasthan.

As far as launching the printing facility in Itarsi is concerned, the daily will have a local editorial department that will cater to Itarsi and its up country market. Going forward, this will be groomed to become an independent edition.

Dainik Bhaskar will launch these two printing facilities in Rajasthan in October. With this, the group will have 17 printing centres in the state.

Barmer is considered a sizeable industrial town worth Rs 3,000-4,000 crore. Dainik Bhaskar reaches out to the Barmer region from Jodhpur and is a late city product. Similarly, Sirohi is currently catered to from Pali, which is 80 kms (2.5 hours) and its up country market, Abu Road, is considered a potential market by the group.

In an official communiqué, Sudhir Agarwal, managing director, DB Corp, says, "The expanded readership through these launches will also enable us to increase our advertiser clientèle as we become a stronger advertising medium for them."

The group also plans to increase the footprints of its Gujarati daily, Divya Bhaskar, by launching two more printing locations from the state in November, which are likely to be converted into independent editions going forward. The Gujarati newspaper is present in two states (Gujarat and Maharashtra) with eight editions.

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