The English press is eyeing the Hindi heartland with renewed interest. The Mumbai-based English daily DNA launched its first edition from Madhya Pradesh (MP), where The Times of India and Hindustan Times plan to strengthen their presence.
The TOI launched its Bhopal edition in March, and now plans to do so in Indore, also in MP. Similarly, Hindustan Times is busy upgrading and setting up printing facilities in the state, to remain one of the top contenders in the English newspaper space there.
The new edition will be priced at Rs 2 from Monday to Saturday, and on Sundays, it will be available for Rs 2.50. The targeted circulation will be about 20,000 copies. The paper will be distributed initially within the city of Indore and its outskirts.
Talking about the new edition, Gautam Dalal, vice-president, marketing, DNA, says, "While we respect our competitors, with our resources and quality of product we hope to be No. 1 right from the beginning. Indore needs a quality, premium English newspaper of its own. At the moment, the city is covered by supplements of newspapers published from Bhopal, or by newspapers sent from Mumbai. There is ample opportunity to build a newspaper business that will be financially strong and stable."
DNA will complete six years of its existence by the end of next month. The daily now has a total print run of over 1 million copies.
Regarding DNA's plans to utilise Dainik Bhaskar's stronghold in Indore, Dalal says, "DNA Indore will have its own readership. But, that is not to undermine its close ties with Bhaskar. Dainik Bhaskar's brand name may help DNA get initial recognition, but the objective will be to get recognised by its own name."
The Indore edition aims to be a premium product, targeting the best and brightest of the city. The main edition of the newspaper will be 16-page strong, and will include local, national, world, business and sports-related news.
Apart from the main issue, there will also be two pages of After Hrs that will capture the spirit of Indore. On Sundays, DNA will be a 20-page newspaper, including a four-page supplement of After Hrs. The main issue will also carry DNA Money section.
The editor of the Indore edition is Sandipan Sharma. Sharma has been with DNA for over three years, and has been a key member of the team that launched the Jaipur edition. Advertising sales will be headed by Kshitij Chourey, in Indore.