Bipin Chandran Editor, Entrepreneur
Launched with a lot of fanfare and high expectations, Entrepreneur, India’s first magazine for entrepreneurs from the house of Infomedia has completed its first year. Surpassing all expectations, the magazine has been amongst the top five selling magazines and often No 1 in modern outlets since its launch and is now reaching out to over 6 lakh readers.
In a short span of one year the magazine has not only caught the nerve of aspiring entrepreneurs but has also become the Business Bible for them. Riding on a wave of good reader base, entrepreneur celebrates its first birthday with a special issue.
The anniversary issue spans a range of industries and features inspiring experiences of entrepreneurs like IT genius Shiv Nadar, Biocon Ltd’s Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, the Curry King of Britain Sir Gulam Noon, Dalmia Cement’s Puneet Dalmia, Mumbai’s Muchhad Paanwala and also actor Shah Rukh Khan, among 60-odd more of India’s best entrepreneurial minds.
On the occasion of first anniversary, Rajat Arora of BestMediaInfo.com spoke to Bipin Chandran, Editor, Entrepreneur Magazine. Read the complete interview:
Q) Congratulations on the first anniversary. It is always a great fun to turn a year older and first one is always a biggest landmark/milestone for any startup. How has been the journey so far and what were the important milestones during this journey?
It has been exhilarating, as the team of any successful venture feels. From the first issue onwards, we have kept our focus firmly on what our readers want. Our focus is on SMEs and budding entrepreneurs and our editorial content has been geared towards addressing the wants of this segment. We have been lucky that a number of experienced and successful entrepreneurs have given their valuable inputs to us, either in the form of running columns or in the course of interviews with our reporters. We have introduced informative articles which not only help startups and entrepreneurs understand all aspects of their businesses, but also explain the negative propositions any venture may throw up.
Q) The magazine helps nurture budding entrepreneurs and SMEs and has seen many startups turning one. Do you find your feelings on this occasion similar to your readers reactions on turning 1?
We thrive on reader feedback and try and inculcate as much of their suggestions as possible in our magazine. So, at all times, we are in complete sync with our readers’ feelings.
Q) What all were the challenges if you consider India as comparatively new market for proper positioning of such magazine, especially when awareness on entrepreneurship is not a common trend here?
India is a storehouse of talented entrepreneurs, and they are not relegated to the woodwork. A large number of startups have mushroomed over the recent years and entrepreneurs in our country are venturing into every field possible, be it energy, IT, pharma, organic foods or the entertainment industry. The possibilities are immense and the government machinery is also helping these entrepreneurs today. So, there is awareness and that awareness is only increasing today. We are doing our bit too, to help these entrepreneurs, who are the future of our country. Entrepreneur is popular in the U.S. and South Africa and we believe that it has made its mark in India too. Of course, any niche product faces challenges at its inception stage, but we have overcome that and are moving forward now.
Q) Do you see any specific change in readers’ behavior towards informative magazines like Entrepreneur?
When a publication is informative, interesting and available easily, either through subscription or on newsstands, it attracts eyeballs faster. Startups and young, budding entrepreneurs are keen on absorbing every little information that they can lay their hands on. And if you provide them with what they want, more and more entrepreneurs will enjoy reading magazines like Entrepreneur.
Q) What are the other parts of magazine which have been the focus areas due to audience responses? How frequently you have upgraded and changed content strategies as per the interests of readers?
We are constantly innovating to give our readers the best product possible. We started with a section termed Green Signals, which focused on specific green projects. We took it off in between when we had a plethora of other stories to narrate, but due to constant feedback from our readers who wanted to read more about such green projects, we have reintroduced this section recently. We also recently reworked the Back of the Book to include a bit of luxe living and objects of desire. So there’s a bit of everything for everyone in our magazine now.
Q) How has been the response to your ambitious part ‘Start Up’? Can we see more initiatives like this?
Startups are an integral part of India’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. We see a great number of new companies taking shape. The response has been great so far. In fact, we provide a lot of information for startups throughout our magazine, in sections like How To, where we talk about the specific issues that startups have to deal with and offer solutions to problems they may face. As I’ve said earlier, we are constantly innovating, so yes, you can look forward to a lot more interesting sections coming up too.
Q) Have you achieved your 1st year’s target in terms of reach and revenues?
Yes, we have surpassed our own expectations in this regard and are in the happy state of reaching all our targets.
Q) What are the new plans and targets for New Year?
We are not in a position to comment on targets.
Q) You have partnered with your group’s business news channel CNBC Awaaz for various events based upon SMEs. Considering such in-house associations, how much advantage did ‘Entrepreneur’ get being from Network18 family?
When you are part of a big and successful family, there are natural benefits regarding brand positioning and recall value. We have reaped these natural benefits too, but beyond a point, it is each to his own and we have created our own position in the market today. Of course, tie-ups with CNBC Awaaz have further promoted our brand, but we have also successfully created our niche position today.