Two months into its launch, Outlook Saptahik, the Hindi newsweekly from Hathway Investments, claims to have notched up circulation of one lakh copies. While the figure is not audited by the Audit Bureau of Circulation yet, the development, in its own right, is a feat of sorts for the media house.
So how did the group manage to hit the magic figure in 60 days flat? "It is the result of a host of reasons," says R Rajmohan, vice-president, Outlook. "First and foremost it is the product. None of our stories are translations. There have been instances when the cover stories for both English and Hindi Outlook have been the same, but the story in Hindi is definitely not a literal translation of the English one. Take the coverage of the Kashmir elections or the Gujarat polls, which appeared in both the languages. They were written by two different people." As Rajmohan points out, the key to producing quality stories in Hindi is "to think in Hindi".
The next big factor that contributed to the magazine's success is the group's amazing reach. "We leveraged our existing agents to penetrate as many markets as possible. The reader response has been so good that new agents are approaching us on their own. Now our aim will be to penetrate the interior markers," he adds.
Promotion has played an important role in generating awareness for Outlook Hindi. Sources say the publication has spent close to a crore on promoting the magazine. This includes print, TV and outdoor communication.
All this seems to have started paying dividends. "The fact that the product has been accepted is in itself gratifying," says Rajmohan. Outlook Saptahik has sold 10 issues so far. It is available at an invitation price of Rs 10 currently. Competitor India Today Hindi is available at Rs 12. It seems the publication is looking to increase the price as well; the timeframe however, is not known.
The next big task for Outlook Saptahik is to grow its circulation. This is not an easy task going by history. India Today Hindi, which was launched in 1986, has taken 16 years to reach a circulation figure of 3.52 (January - July 2002). The Outlook brass feels the task is "eminently achievable".
Explains Rajmohan, "There are 27.6 crore literates in the markets of Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Uttranchal, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Bihar and Jharkhand. Therefore, I see a tremendous scope for the circulation to go up." In any case, the group surmises that the markets of Uttar Pradesh, Uttranchal, Bihar and Jharkhand would constitute more than 50 per cent of the market for Outlook Hindi.
Thus for Outlook Saptahik, the journey has just begun. © 2002 agencyfaqs!