New Delhi: Saying “nobody can stop an idea whose time has come”, the Financial Chronicle joined five stand-alone English business newspaper predecessors in India when it launched a 16-pager in two southern cities of Hyderabad and Chennai on Wednesday.
The newspaper is being published by Deccan Chronicle Holdings Ltd, the Bombay Stock Exchange-listed publisher of dailies such as the Deccan Chronicle and The Asian Age.
The new financial paper, which includes four pages of stock market listings, is “founded on the bedrock of four simple words — buy-sell-save-spend...” wrote its editor Shubhrangshu Roy on Page 1. “We are here to Live Rich! So, enjoy.”
“One of the stories we ran today is about 20-year-olds investing in equities,” noted P.K. Iyer, managing director of the parent company. “So, clearly, there is a huge demand for quality business and financial news and that is why we decided to launch Financial Chronicle now.”
Iyer serves on the editorial advisory board of the new paper. Scientist M.S. Swaminathan, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India chairman Nripendra Mishra, MindTree Ltd co-founder Subroto Bagchi and Congress party Lok Sabha member Sachin Pilot are other members of the editorial advisory board.
With a cover price of Rs1.50, the Financial Chronicle is the cheapest business daily in print. It plans to eventually have five editions, with the addition of Mumbai, New Delhi and Bangalore though no timetable was provided for those markets.
Iyer said the combined print run for the two editions on opening day was around 70,000 copies.
The paper introduced former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Board of India M. Damodaran as its ombudsman, a first for a financial daily in India.
In a note to readers, Damodaran said he saw his role as an opportunity “to validate some of the thoughts and beliefs that I had held on for long, in the face of increasing doubt occasioned by some developments in the media world.”
He went on to write that “readers who subscribe to the belief that fact is sacred and opinion is free find it difficult to live with views masquerading as news” and that he will address these and other issues “proactively and in near-concurrent fashion.”
Deccan Chronicle Holdings is launching the paper in the same week as the launch of The Times of India in Chennai, which is a key market for its flagship Deccan Chronicle. On Wednesday, its shares closed on the Bombay Stock Exchange at Rs150.4, up Rs3.50.
The Financial Chronicle comes into what was long seen as a saturated business newspaper market, but a business that has seen renewed competitive activity following the February 2007 launch of Mint, which is sold in New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Chandigarh.
Mint is published by HT Media Ltd.
The Hindu Business Line published by Kasturi and Sons Ltd, The Economic Times by Bennett, Coleman and Co., The Financial Express by Indian Express Newspapers Ltd, and Business Standard are the other four veteran business dailies in India.