Keeping its tempo going in the state of Punjab, the Dainik Jagran Group, publisher of Hindi daily Dainik Jagran, has launched its second edition from Ludhiana. This edition comes on the back of an improved performance by the group's existing edition at Jalandhar, which clocked a figure of 1.60 lakh copies in the January-June 2003 period of ABC, against 1.34 lakh copies and 75,641 copies in the periods of July-December 2002 and January-June 2002 respectively.
Launched on January 18, 2004, the Ludhiana edition has a print run of 85,000 copies, with the ratio of national to international news being 75:25. The size of an average issue is around 20 pages with colour pages numbering 10 in all. "This can go up to almost 16 to 20 pages," points Vikas Joshi, general manager, Dainik Jagran, Mumbai. His confidence stems from the fact that the group has a printing unit at Ludhiana in addition to an existing one at Jalandhar. The group, however, has had to divert copies from the Jalandhar unit to Ludhiana, resulting in a drop in circulation of the Jalandhar edition from 1.60 lakh copies to 1.30 lakh copies as of now, states Joshi. "This doesn't mean that the edition isn't growing," he says. "The Jalandhar edition has always been feeding Ludhiana. But with Ludhiana having its own edition now, we are ensuring that the centre meets its targets," he says.
Regarded as the industrial hub of the state, Ludhiana ironically, has been absent from media plans in general owing to the lack of a strong media vehicle, which can consistently deliver audiences in the region. Traditional rival Punjab Kesari gets its Jalandhar edition printed from Ambala in Haryana apart from Jalandhar, clocking a total circulation of 5.10 lakh copies for the period of January-June 2003.
The population of the town within municipal corporation limits is approximately 14 lakh, with Ludhiana district standing at 37.44 lakh. The manufacturing sector has a strong base in the district with cycle makers, heavy equipment manufacturers, hosiery and makers of woolen garments as well as small-time engineering firms stationed there in a big way.
Jagran is the first paper to venture into Ludhiana and the group is predictably charged about it. To facilitate distribution, the group has ensured that the market is divided into two, with one half fed by the Jalandhar edition and the other half by the Ludhiana edition. "Jalandhar is located in the centre of Punjab, so printing and distributing copies from the city has been the norm so far. We have tried to reverse this one-centre phenomenon with two printing units and editions," states Joshi.
Alongside, the group is looking to launch a paper in Punjabi, though Joshi will not be drawn into conversation about it. "Punjab has enormous potential," he says. "And having dug our heels here for the last four years, we know its possibilities," he says. "Over the last one year, we have been very concentrated in our efforts in Punjab, and we are looking to leverage our skills and expertise in the state," he adds. © 2004 agencyfaqs!