Hindi daily Punjab Kesari is eyeing newer markets for expansion and is expected to enter Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand simultaneously by the end of this year.
The newspaper has acquired land and is in the process of setting up facilities in Noida, Meerut, Ghaziabad, Lucknow, Dehradun, Bareilly and Agra. The group will launch two editions -- one for UP and another one for Uttarakhand -- with many sub-editions. Punjab Kesari will use CTP (computer-to-print) systems to minimise manual interference.
While the edition that will be printed in Dehradun will reach up to Mussoorie, the facility in Bareilly will cater to some cities of UP and also Nainital (Uttarakhand). The Lucknow facility will act as a hub for the UP edition.
Talking to afaqs! about the plans and whether the name 'Punjab Kesari' gels with the local population of the two states, Ashwini Kumar, director and editor, Punjab Kesari, says, "We have been reaching out to western UP through our Delhi edition for some time now and the acceptance level has been very good. The brand name Punjab Kesari is very strong and has a high resonance with the readers across the country. Therefore, it doesn't make sense to change or alter it."
The group also plans to raise Rs 150 crore through PE funding and issue fresh equity for stake dilution. The money raised will be used by the group for its plans to increase its presence in North India in the next few years.
Punjab Kesari, started by Lala Jagat Narain in 1965, has editions in Punjab, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh.