Diligent Media Corp. Ltd, the company that publishes Daily News and Analysis (DNA), a daily English newspaper here, has announced ambitious expansion plans.
The company said it will invest Rs100 crore in a Gujarat edition of DNA, to be launched by the year-end. This will be followed by the launch of editions in other metros across India.
No time frame has been set for other launches.
“DNA is well placed to be among India’s Top 3 newspapers in a few years,” said K.U. Rao, chief executive, Diligent Media. “Our presence in Mumbai has stabilized, so we plan to launch the new edition in Gujarat since it is a big financial hub. We aim to launch the paper before the Gujarat elections.”
Diligent Media is a 50:50 joint venture between the Dainik Bhaskar Group, a leading Hindi and Gujarati print media company, and Essel Group, a diversified media and entertainment house.
The company plans to fund the investments through internal resources and has no plans to tap the capital market or private equity firms.
Diligent Media said it had revenues of about Rs58 crore in 2007-07 and aims to generate profit by the end of 2008.
According to the first round of Indian Readership Survey (IRS) 2007, DNA, which was launched in July 2005, has a readership of 5,39,000.
The company claims to have a daily average circulation of around 4,00,000.
“The Times of India sells around 75,000 copies in Gujarat, and DNA will be looking at a significantly bigger number than that,” Rao said, adding: “We plan to launch in Delhi very soon.”
Meanwhile, the company also plans to spin off its weekly women’s magazine Me, which was distributed free of cost with DNA’s weekend edition, as a stand-alone monthly magazine. The magazine will be launched nationally.
While it will remain free in Mumbai, it will be sold in other markets at Rs25. The magazine, which is likely to have around 140 pages, will be launched on 7 October.
The company claims to be distributing more than 4,00,000 copies of Me in Mumbai and says it aims to sell an additional 90,000 copies with the national launch.
Hindustan Times, which competes with DNA in Mumbai, is published by HT Media Ltd, the publisher of Mint.