Hindu on expansion (and consolidation) mode

14 Dec,2011

By Tuhina Anand

 

The Hindu Group seems to be in the midst of activity with plans of new launches, expanding footprint and getting new people on board. There has also been talks of  The Hindu shutting its printing press in Delhi to rationalise its operational costs. K Balaji, Managing Director, Kasturi and Sons Limited talks to MxMIndia exclusively and shares details on company’s growth plan.

 

Talking about The Hindu beyond the Tamil Nadu market, Mr Balaji said, “We have traditionally been strong in Kerala and Andhra Pradesh with the possible exception of Hyderabad. We are the No.1 English Daily in these markets. In Kerala we have editions out of Trivandrum and Kochi. We are strengthening our presence by adding Kozhikode early next year. Although Kerala is dominated by Malayalam dailies, we are seeing a trend in English language aspiration. People want to learn the language for personal and professional reasons. This we feel will grow the English readership in that state. We are well poised to nurture that market.”

 

He added, “Andhra Pradesh in general is turning out to be an English readership aspirational market, and we feel with our core strengths we are growing at a good rate. We do have plans to supplement these markets with growth in Bangalore and Hyderabad, which will further consolidate our position as the largest read English newspaper inSouth India.”

 

It is learnt that The Hindu in all probability is looking at its Kozhikode launch on January 14, 2012. It is also learnt that Smart Buy (The Hindu BusinessLine supplement) with focus on metro is expanding its footprint. Talking about Smart Buy, Mr Balaji said, “This product was launched three years back and the response for it has been encouraging and we plan to take it to the next set of cities in the south such as Coimbatore.” It is learnt that the Coimbatore entry for Smart Buy is slated for December 14, 2011.

 

It is also leant that The Hindu is roping in a Vice President for its circulation, a post which has been vacant for a while. Though details on the new appointment could not be obtained, Mr Balaji, responded, “This is part of the strategy to strengthen the senior management team to take the organization to the next level of growth.”

 

On the rumours to shut the production facility in Delhi, he said, “We are not shutting down our Delhi Edition. Our production facility at Delhi has been catering to the entire Northern India. A growing circulation and capacity constraint meant that the paper was reaching late in several markets. Earlier this year, we entered into a strategic alliance with Hindustan Times and as part of the tie up we are utilizing their printing facilities in the north to the service to our readers. We have already started our printing from Mohali, Allahabad and Noida, and expect to add Lucknow to the list.”

 

“Yes, we have charted a growth plan to consolidate existing markets as well as tap into new markets for both The Hindu and Businessline. It is too early to comment on our plans for growth,” concluded Mr Balaji.

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One response to “Hindu on expansion (and consolidation) mode”

  1. Raju says:

    The Hindu seems to have missed the bus many years ago when they failed to launch an edition in Mumbai and other regions of India where also there was heavy demand for the paper . HT , DNA etc have in the mean time started consolidating in all these markets . It is strange that only after DH and TOI started expanding in all southern market , it struck the bosses at the HINDU to expand in other regions . Unless the company has ambitions and aggressive styles , The Hindu has a bleak future . All other newspapers have already started to expand and overtake THE HINDU already .

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