afaqs! news bureau

Dainik Bhaskar Unmetro: Bengaluru opens up to the opportunity

Marketing and related professionals in Bengaluru turned up in numbers to attend the Dainik Bhaskar Unmetro Conference in the city on Friday, December 13.

Dainik Bhaskar Unmetro, the conference series focusing on the market opportunities in urban India, made a stop in Bengaluru on Friday the 13th. Even as an impressive turnout junked any superstition around the date, leading city-based marketers as well as other experts stepped up to the platform to share learnings, discuss challenges and make a case for these markets.

Dainik Bhaskar Unmetro: Bengaluru opens up to the opportunity
Dainik Bhaskar Unmetro: Bengaluru opens up to the opportunity
Dainik Bhaskar Unmetro: Bengaluru opens up to the opportunity
Among other speakers who participated in this conference were Rakesh Makkar, president and CDO, DHFL; Rajiv Mehta, managing director, PUMA India; K Ramakrishnan, president, marketing, Cafe Coffee Day; Rajendra Khare, chairman and managing director, SureWaves; Vimal Parthasarathy, principal partner, Dentsu Media; Sandeep Singh, DMD and COO (marketing and commercial), Toyota Kirloskar; Peter Suresh, head, BIU, Dainik Bhaskar; Sridhar Ramanujam, founder and CEO, Brand-comm; Suparna Mitra, regional business head, South, Titan; Sridhar Rajaram, group manager, marketing, Madura Fashion & Lifestyle; Ranjan Malik, director, Erehwon Consulting; and Mitu Jayashankar, former contributing editor, Forbes India.

The audience was treated to a mix of hard facts, anecdotal evidence and personal views over the four hours, interspersed with questions from the audience.

In his welcome address, Pradeep Dwivedi, chief corporate sales and marketing officer, Dainik Bhaskar, presented a quick look at the reach and size of the Dainik Bhaskar Group, including its position at the top of the dailies in India in terms of readership. Covering 13 states, he highlighted the group's focus on urban India, with coverage of close to 40 per cent of the urban Indian population. He shared his experience of dealing with consumers in these markets to emphasise the changes that have overtaken these markets, sometimes at a speed much faster than marketers based in metros realise.

The conference was kick-started by Laveesh Bhandari, director, Indicus Analytics. He spoke about understanding the difference between these markets and the key metros in India, and the likely evolution in these markets. Be it the huge infrastructural opportunity, or the multiplier effect of infrastructural improvements in these markets as compared to rural India or the more 'mature' metros, Bhandari stressed on the critical need for these markets to be nurtured for reasons beyond the merely economic.

He also spoke about the need to look at the impact of these markets in a broader area, as some of these serve to funnel goods and services to a much wider rural catchment area, too. He also interspersed his talk with interesting factoids. For instance, he said that at the same income level, consumption tends to be far higher for Indian families in these cities as compared to an equivalent Chinese family.

Talking about the experience, Dwivedi said, "The Unmetro conference is not just an event for us anymore. It is a sincere effort to showcase, inform and build a solid and comprehensive knowledge base around the concept, which is the India beyond the main metros. With a dedicated site at, we will be bringing together a whole lot of research, insights and knowledge about these markets in the public domain for professionals to benefit from."

The conference also saw one audience participant win an iPad, with Prajith of ActiMedia winning the coveted prize. He won it for his successful Unmetro entry, on the success of Muthoot Finance.

Organised by afaqs!, over the next two days, we shall bring you key presentations and reportage from the various sessions. You can also track this conference, plus other news and relevant data around the Unmetro domain, at

Surewaves Mediatech was the local city partner for Bengaluru.