Anushree Bhattacharyya

INMA 4th Annual Conference: Sakshi -- Witnessing history

A case study divulged details on how Sakshi, a Telugu daily, became a success soon after its launch in Andhra Pradesh.

Launched by Jagati Publications in Andhra Pradesh, Sakshi, the Telugu daily turned out to be a big success in a short period. In the last session on the first day of the 4th Annual INMA South Asia Conference held at the Lalit in New Delhi on November 09, KRP Reddy, director, advertising and marketing, Sakshi talked about the inception of the newspaper and its launch in Andhra Pradesh.

INMA 4th Annual Conference: Sakshi -- Witnessing history
Reddy said, "The reason behind launching a Telugu daily in the region of Andhra Pradesh was the rise in literacy rate, the growing interest of the youth of the state in general knowledge and the increase in number of new households."

According to Reddy, Jagati Publications identified key points, such as setting up a printing press, for which an easily accessible location near the highway was preferred. The company then selected new and advanced machines with a total capacity to print 16 lakh copies per day, which implied that the newspaper had very high ambition from day 1. The company also roped in famous newspaper designer, Mario Garcia to provide a contemporary look to the paper.

INMA 4th Annual Conference: Sakshi -- Witnessing history
Reddy added, "The first announcement about the newspaper was made in two leading dailies, Eenadu and Andhra Jyoti on July 10, 2007, where the logo was revealed. With this, the company set up 7,500 exclusive agencies for distribution of copies. In Hyderabad and Secunderabad, the company worked with the network of hawkers."

At the same time, a team of promoters was working on the personal contact programme, under which 40 lakh households were identified as potential readers. The team of promoters visited these households to get feedback on what kind of Telugu newspaper a reader would like. In the second phase, the number of households targeted was 21 lakh. The team of promoters again visited these houses with a subscription form; and in the third phase, the team visited each house with an agent and took the consent for the second time.

Reddy added, "Meanwhile, a series of television commercials conceptualised by Ogilvy India were launched, followed by outdoor and radio campaigns to promote the new newspaper. Finally, 23 editions in all-colour were launched, with the pricing strategy that on weekdays, Sakshi would cost Rs 2; while on Sunday, the newspaper would be available at Rs 3 with a weekend booklet."

The newspaper even dared to print its masthead with a yellow background - the colour that represented Telugu Desam, the opposition party IN Andhra Pradesh, while the owner Jagan Mohan Reddy represented the Congress party. The idea was that no one can claim a proprietorship on a colour.

As per Reddy, it was correct strategy, followed by the right mix of content, which worked for Sakshi.