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Hindustan Rides On The Wave Of One Crore Readers

As the No 3 Hindi daily celebrates its stupendous performance in the Quarter 2 results of IRS 2010, speaks to Shashi Shekhar, Editor-in-Chief, Hindustan on the way ahead for the paper and its expansion plans.

Rajat Arora | Delhi | August 30, 2010

After showing a constant growth in the IRS, Hindustan has finally entered the Top league of newspapers with Crore Plus readers. The paper is at No.3 with 1.01crore Average Issue readership (AIR). Its Total Readership has reached up to 3.09 crore by adding 15 lakh readers in IRS Q2 2010.

Speaking to Shashi Shekhar, Editor in Chief, Hindustan, said, “It is indeed heart warming that people of India have given such a good response to the newspaper. We at HT Media have history of making paper serving the needs of its readers. We’ve been constantly trying to give our readers the best in terms of content and design.”

The paper may not have faired to well in the parts of western UP in comparison to Dainik Jagran and Amar Ujala but in has come as No.1 newspaper in the Bareilly region where it was launched recently.

Clarifying on this Shashi Shekhar said, “We first launched the paper in Meerut and Agra and later went to Bareilly last year. The reason we couldn’t fare well in Meerut and Agra was that people had notion that it’s a newspaper from Delhi but now we’ve made paper more local and this will surely improve our readership in coming days. Apart from this we’ve done really well in Dehradun and we are only two year old in that market.”

The paper enjoys its highest readership in states of Bihar and Jharkhand. In Bihar paper commands a massive 73% share of the Hindi readership market of Bihar. Hindustan has been the No. 1 newspaper of Jharkhand, ever since readership surveys have been reported for the state. The paper has strong readership base of 14.69 lakhs in Jharkhand.

The coming days in Jharkhand and Bihar may not be easy for Hindustan as Dainik Bhaskar, nation’s no.2 Hindi daily last week launched its Ranchi edition and in Bihar Dainik Jagran, country’s no.1 daily has pulled up its socks. All this enough to give Hindustan sleepless nights.

Commenting on this Shashi Shekhar said, “Traditionally we’ve been strong in these markets and over the period of time the paper has become the part of the life of people in this region. Content wise we’ve always been innovative and blunt. We have no threats from Bhaskar entering Ranchi and Jagran pulling up its socks in Bihar till the time we know that our paper is superior.”

Delhi Market hasn’t brought desired results for the paper. Hindustan has seen decline of 2% in its AIR in Delhi. The paper remains at second spot with AIR of 11, 60,000. The paper had AIR of 11, 89,000 in Q1 of IRS 2010. Navbharat Times has always been the Leader in Delhi market. This time also Navbharat Times remained at the first spot with AIR of 17, 24,000. The paper has seen growth of 2% in its AIR. In QI of IRS 2010 the paper had AIR of 16, 90,000.

When asked about whether there’s a vacuum in Hindi Business daily market as the papers available in this genre are mere translation of their English editions, Shekhar asserted, “the Hindi Business daily market has still not evolved that much as market of English business daily market. The costs involve in launching a Hindi business daily would be huge and the returns would be meager.”

Commenting on further expansion plans Shashi Shekhar said, “We’ll surely be entering Hindi speaking states like Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Rajasthan. Our launch in Gorakhpur got delayed due to certain reasons but in a month or to the paper would be rolled out from there.”

Shashi Shekhar refused to comment on when Hindustan will be entering Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Rajasthan but indicated that Madhya Pradesh is first on their radar and soon paper will enter that market.

This will be enough to intense the war between Dainik Bhaskar and Hindustan as  the former is no.1 newspaper in Madhya Pradesh and has also recently invaded the territory of Hindustan with its Ranchi edition.

Hindi daily ‘Hindustan’ has recorded more than 2% growth in its AIR in 2nd quarter of 2010 and added 2 lakh readers as compared to IRS Q1 2010. Further strengthening its position at No.3, Its AIR now stands at 1.01 crore which was 99 lakh in the previous quarter. The Hindi daily from Hindustan Media Ventures had added 5.78 lakh readers in last quarter registering a growth of 6% as compared to IRS R2 2009.

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