The eveninger is also toying with the idea of launching a morning paper in the region in a bid to get a share of the corporate advertisements
‘Sanj Samachar’, the eveninger from Saurashtra, has major expansion plans on the anvil for the coming year, says Ankoor Shah, director, Jaihind Group, its publisher. Beginning September 1, copies of its Rajkot based paper are on a trial period in two focus areas, Surat and Ahmedabad. The publication has also started sending copies to Viramgam and Vapi-Valsad.
Considering the positive response, printing operations will be set up at Surat between March and May 2007, followed a month later in Ahmedabad. Shah believes the two new editions will help the group establish a stronghold in Central and South Gujarat. These separate editions will carry 80 per cent Saurashtra-specific and 20 per cent city-specific content.
“The lifestyle and schedule of the people in the two cities are such that they see two sunrises in a day, making an evening paper as competitive as a morning one,” explains Shah.
Shah claims that ‘Sanj Samachar’ is the first eveninger in the two cities. The capturing of the two markets was essential because of the Kathiawari population there, mostly migrants from Saurashtra. Shah says they comprise 15 per cent and 5-7 per cent of the 25-30 lakh and 45-48 lakh population of Surat and Ahmedabad, respectively. Also, since Surat is 10 hours away from Rajkot, it deserved a separate evening daily.
The paper is also toying with the idea of publishing a morning paper in order to get a share of the corporate advertisements. Competition is rife since ‘Divya Bhaskar’ is planning to enter the morning newspaper market in Saurashtra on November 1, 2006.
Shah says boldly that ‘Sanj Samachar’ has carved a niche for itself in the evening daily market and also against the morning dailies, a fact that has been acknowledged by the corporate world. According to him, the importance of this segment of newspapers has risen with time and been well understood by market players and advertisers wanting to capture the right audience.
For the record, the group’s parent daily, ‘Jaihind’, is already present as a morning edition in Ahmedabad, so the requisite infrastructure for a separate edition needs to be created only in Surat. Currently, ‘Sanj Samachar’ has eight editions in the districts of Rajkot, Jamnagar, Junagarh, Surendranagar, Kutch, Amreli, Porbander and Bhavnagar.
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