afaqs! news bureau

Divya Bhaskar completes 10 years in Gujarat

Dainik Bhaskar Group's Gujarati language newspaper, Divya Bhaskar, celebrates with a slew of activities.

Divya Bhaskar, Dainik Bhaskar Group's Gujarati newspaper, has completed 10 years of its existence in the state. On its 10th anniversary in Ahmedabad, the newspaper has launched a slew of reader engagement initiatives.

The Gujarati daily has nine printing centres located across Ahmedabad, Vadodhara, Surat, Rajkot, Bhavnagar, Bhuj, Mehsana, Vapi and Junagarh, reaching out to approximately 37.64 lakh readers in the state. Divya Bhaskar's Ahmedabad edition, alone, claims to have more than 10 lakh readers in the city, the only Gujarati newspaper to achieve the feat.

Celebrating a decade in Gujarat, Divya Bhaskar has organised a series of reader engagement events in Ahmedabad. The events in the first week will include a motivational talk by T T Rangarajan, a talk show on business interests by K V Kamath, a cookery show by chef Sanjeev Kapoor, and a financial talk by Nirmal Jain (IIFL) and Nilesh Shah (Axis Capital).

About 25 hoardings have been placed at prominent locations in Ahmedabad, thanking people for their support and highlighting "10 glorifying years of journey of Divya Bhaskar". The daily also hosted a power dinner, inviting all its advertisers, customers, eminent scholars and personalities of Ahmedabad.

For its hawker community, the newspaper has issued identity cards in a bid to recognise their efforts.

Divya Bhaskar completes 10 years in Gujarat
Talking about the brand, Pradeep Dwivedi, chief, sales and marketing, Dainik Bhaskar Group, says, "Divya Bhaskar's progressive approach and a contemporary outlook differentiates it from the rest. It has always invested in technology and infrastructure to create a brand that at one end serves the readers and on the other acts as a perfect medium for the advertisers. We will continue to review emergence of left out cities and will take appropriate calls to develop them by launching new printing centres in those places."

In 2003 ,the newspaper was launched following an extensive survey, where 12,00,000 households were contacted, with a team of 1050 surveyors, 64 supervisors, 16 zonal managers and four divisional managers. Interestingly, the group got the surveyors mainly through colleges and word-of-mouth publicity, instead of opting for the much expensive method of print and TV advertisements.

The team reached out to 8 lakh households in Ahmedabad and 4 lakh households in the adjoining districts in a span of 40 days. The newspaper was launched from Ahmedabad with an initial print run of 4.52 lakh copies, a world record by any newspaper. Within a period of 15 months, it launched two more editions in Gujarat, at Surat and Vadodara. The newspaper increased the cover price by around 15 per cent in the last one year.

The group's pre-launch door-to-door twin-contact launch programme won the Business Process Innovation award by Marico Foundation, and forms a case study in the curriculum of the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad and SPJIMR. The launch strategy in Ahmedabad was chronicled as a case study at IIM Ahmedabad, and also talks about how the entry of Divya Bhaskar expanded the readership base of the state by 50 per cent.

Seeing the competition intensify in the region, the other Gujarati dailies introduced colour pages, and carried out steep price reductions and customer gratification offers. The newspaper invested in state-of-the-art printing technology, a KBA printing press from Germany at its Ahmedabad plant. The printing facility is capable of printing 2.55 lakh copies per hour with high quality colour images.

Divya Bhaskar competes with Gujarat Samachar, Sambhaav and Sandesh in Gujarat.