Sumantha Rathore

i next eyes regional markets

The bilingual daily plans to launch its regional version; to target South India first

According to well placed sources, i next, the bilingual daily from the Jagran Prakashan (JPL) Group, will launch a regional language version of the tabloid soon.

Currently, the tabloid has a mix of English and Hindi content; as per the sources, the daily is working on introducing a version that will have a mix of English and a regional language. At the moment, the group is contemplating launching the first project down South.

i next eyes regional markets
Sometime ago, JPL introduced its other offering, Cityplus, an English entertainment based weekly compact paper, in Hyderabad. Going by the view of industry observers, Cityplus was launched in the area to test the waters and the group is now working on introducing the bilingual tabloid from the area.

"Cityplus tested whether the market was conducive for such products. Secondly, the kind of set up Jagran has done for Cityplus can very well accommodate i next." Cityplus has tied up with Sakshi newspaper's printing facility in Hyderabad. It is expected that the Hyderabad edition of the tabloid will be published from the same facility.

According to those close to the development, the first regional offering will be either in Telugu or Kannada as the group has multiple editions in both Hyderabad and Bengaluru. In Bengaluru, Cityplus has editions in Koramangala, Indiranagar, Jayanagar, Sarjapur and HSR, and in Hyderabad, it has editions from Banjara Hills and Secunderabad.

Industry experts add that it will only be a logical step by JPL to launch i next there. "Cityplus has made it easier for i next to enter the South. Also, the decision to launch a regional version of the tabloid should work for it as none of the Hindi papers have worked well in the region till now."

In the other markets where the tabloid is present, the newspaper, on an average, has 24 pages and circulation of about 50,000 copies.

i next is published from 12 locations including Kanpur, Lucknow, Meerut, Agra, Allahabad, Varanasi, Dehradun, Patna, Ranchi, Gorakhpur, Jamshedpur and Bareilly.