It has worked in both front end and back end of businesses, both in India and abroad. So I have a fairly good degree experience of how a business works. But I am gifted with an outstanding marketing team in HT, some of which I have built after coming here. We are very fortunate to have some of the best marketing talents with us which is a strong differentiator for the company vis--vis other companies. One of the first things that HT tried to do is to make sure that its brand is more sharply defined in the minds of its readers.
He adds For this, in Delhi we did a campaign to communicate the positioning of HT as a brand. One of the strengths of HT is that over several decades, it has been seen as a dominant brand influencing the thoughts and behavior of people it reaches out to. In certain ways, HT was playing the role of a thought leader, a brand which stimulated thought, thus empowering the reader.
So we communicated that using various means of communication. It took us almost four to five months of work to very clearly articulate the positioning of the brand. Let me tell you, research has shown that the entire effort was highly successful in communicating the message to readers. First, because it has the country's largest advertisement revenue of Rs. The new entrants are vying for a piece of the pie. The Times of India's advertising rates are the highest in the country. For long, advertisers have felt that they have been held to ransom as they have no choice but to pay exorbitant rates to The Times of India in order to reach Mumbai's up market consumers.
Now, there are other platforms, but they will have to prove themselves before advertisers start considering them an option. But, there won't be a dramatic shift in ad spends in the short term. Only when any of these newspapers cross 50 per cent of The Times of India readership, will they claim a place in any advertiser's media plan," says Himanshu Shekhar, Investment Director of Mindshare Fulcrum, a leading media planning agency. The Times of India is too old and established to be overthrown in the short term. With a six lakh circulation, it was far ahead of earlier competitors like Indian Express 58, In fact, it was The Economic Times 1.
While there are varying estimates on how the new newspapers are doing, market sources estimate that DNA sells around two lakhs. However, DNA claims that it is printing 2. Though The Times of India claims that its circulation remains the same, a newspaper agent says that its counter sales have reduced by 40, to 50, copies. Moreover, people are curious about the new newspapers," he says. But it did not sell much, so The Times of India started distributing it free with the main newspaper.
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Now, for Rs. By including Mumbai Mirror with The Times of India, we are improving the price performance ratio of our brand," says Bhaskar. Das, executive president of The Times of India group. It's for the supersonic age where people want to scan news without going into too much depth. The Times of India readers are suddenly seeing a lot more news in a paper that once gave news a back seat to fluff.
New competitors have raised the bar," says Das. Moreover, both The Times of India and Mirror went on a massive recruitment of journalists and media executives at high salaries, mopping up manpower and making it more expensive for their competitions to recruit. What seems inevitable, however, is that circulation will expand. As Girish Agarwal, Director of the Bhaskar group that owns DNA, points out, "We believe in widening the market, like we have in all the cities that we have launched newspapers and become the leader. Since the time we started Divya Bhaskar in Gujarat, readership there has increased by 49 per cent in two years and ad revenue also increased by 40 per cent.
There will be dramatic market expansion in Mumbai. But ad spend won't keep up, since it is already oversaturated. Mumbai has the highest ad rates in the country. Until now, The Times of India was way ahead of the competition. So, it had a high cover price and didn't push for greater sales, because that would increase their costs since the cost of producing a newspaper is much greater than its market price.
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They didn't need to increase circulation, since they anyway milked all the ad revenue," says Madhvani. However, now they have tried to increase their value proposition by adding a second free newspaper to The Times of India," says Sandip Ghose, Vice-President, Marketing, Hindustan Times.
DNA's vice president, Sales, N. Verma, says: "We want as many people as possible to sample our product, so we have kept the price low. The Bhaskar group, which has established several successful Hindi editions and the Gujarati Divya Bhaskar, has always followed the strategy of reaching out to readers through surveys, flooding the market, distributing freebies. But, as a newspaper agent points out, a vendor stands to earn 45 paise more per copy if he sells DNA in the raddi recycled paper market, rather than selling it at the counter at Rs. So, are the new newspapers really offering the reader anything different?
Hindustan Times takes up Mumbai's issues without dumbing down the content or making it tabloidish," says Ghose. With fewer pages than its competitors, Hindustan Times' layout, more classical and less cluttered, does look different. DNA, with different business, sports and lifestyle sections, says it is trying to make newspapers more accessible to readers. In our paper, we clearly differentiate fact from fluff. Readers want both, but they are not mixed together.
We have recruited the best journalists for our team," says Agarwal.
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The Times of India, while maintaining some of its fluff, has become far more news-oriented and also more colourful. We are not into crusading or agenda journalism, but are still doing investigative stories on issues that matter in our reader's life," says Das. As Charudatt Dangat, Mumbai's largest newspaper agent, put it, "What choice does the reader really have? It's more in terms of price. Most of the stories in all of the newspapers are the same.
Hindustan Times launched the Leadership Summit - an annual conference that seeks to enhance the level of discussion on pressing issues, encourage interaction among leaders in various areas and present international quality thought platforms, as part of its mission to contribute to thought leadership and evolve action plans for a secure and better future. This year we bring to you the third such meeting of minds, at a summit titled Building a Better Future on 15th 16th November The Hindustan Times Leadership Summit will deliberate on Building aBetter Future and will aim to evolve a roadmap for economic and social transformation in the developing world, building trust and mutual confidence amongst various groups and ensuring environmental conservation and sustainable development.
Key political and business leaders, strategists and leading minds from India and overseas will attend this select, by-invitation gathering. The Hindustan Times Leadership Summit, , is a platform for eminent leaders to interact, share their opinions and views on important issues of concern and arrive at solutions. The conference aims to understand the world's views on social, economic and political issues.
It tries to gain insights on India's role in the world and its importance in the global growth scenario.
The Hindustan Leadership Summit invites international business leaders, strategists along with renowned personalities from India and abroad. All speakers, delegates, major corporations, policy-making institutions and thinktanks around the world are. Strengthening its mission to contribute to thought leadership,.
The Hindustan Times is being sold at an inaugural price of 2. It's in your DNA. Diligent has booked orders for , copies of DNA, said Girish Agarwal, a director of the company. Still, the market may not be big enough to sustain the ambitions of the new entrants, said Vinod Mehta, editor of Outlook, the second-biggest weekly news magazine in India. It's like changing your wife. We believe there is space for a second or even a third general newspaper in the city," Arora said.
However, in the late s, they became just another fast moving consumer commodity. The companies started aggressive marketing and promotional strategies to increase circulation and readership. The industry witnessed tough competition both regionally and nationally. There was fierce competition for the advertising rupee By late s, electronic media like television had made a dent into the print media revenues. Print media was facing a squeeze due to the increasing popularity of televisioninitially color television and then satellite television.
The ad market worth about Rs.
Newsprint costs too spiralled. The companies survived by increasing the ad rates every year. However, analysts felt that newspapers could not survive for long by increasing advertising rates.
In , the print industry was expected to see a negative growth in revenues for the first time. The case discusses the fierce competition in India between two major publishing houses - Hindustan Times and Times of India. The case focuses on. However, to gain a bigger share, Hindustan Times' vice chairperson Shobhana Bhartia chalked out a restructuring plan with an investment of Rs. The case discusses in detail, the restructuring plan. From the case, it is necessary to understand and analyze the strategies of the two newspaper companies.
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And also ought to analyze whether Hindustan Times should counter Times of India in Mumbai, Chennai and other cities or stick to northern India. This was a major cause of worry for HT, as three-fourths of its ad revenues came from Delhi. For the first time in its year history, HT made an operating loss in the first quarter of fiscal It seemed to be the beginning of a spectacular battle in the domestic publishing industry.
The early s saw HT and TOI engaged in a bitter battle for supremacy in Delhi, which is perceived to be the most important market in India. In , TOI had a circulation of around 70, in Delhi as against 0. In , TOI slashed its price from Rs. By , the difference in circulation figures narrowed down to a few thousand copies.