The Business Daily boom in the country


A year ago there were six national newspapers or regional dailies in the English langauge business space, including Mint, published by HT Media Ltd, The Economic Times, published by BCCL, the Business Standard, Hindu Business Line from Kasturi and Sons, Financial Express from the Express Mumbai group, and DNA Money from the DNA joint venture of Zee Television and the Dainik Bhaskar group.

Since then, in the Hindi market segment, Economic Ttimes launched its daily on 19 February 2008 and currently has seven Hindi editions. Business standard launched their Hindi daily three days earlier on 16 February 2008. Both publications also have Gujarati editions. Amar Ujala had started a business daily Karobaar in 1994 and discontinued it in 1999. It will enter the market again with a business daily by the end of this year. The Dainik Jagran group and Network 18 have come together to launch a business daily in Hindi and Gujarati. The combined circulation of these vernacular is approximately Rs.13 lakhs (Rs.1.3 million) with a combined ad revenue of Rs.800 crore.

Dainik Jagran, Dainik Bhaskar, Amar Ujala, Deccan Chronicle, Financial Times
Upbeat trend in vernacular business dailies

Survey’s show only 0.4 per cent of the country’s population reads business papers of any kind. According to the Indian Readership Survey (a survey on readership carried out buy Media Readers Users Council, a not-for-profit entity that has representatives from advertisers, advertising agencies and media companies), 38 per cent of the population reads at least one daily news publication.

The advertising revenue generated by the financial dailies and magazines is about Rs.800 crore (US$ 200 million). The financial press reports that The Economic Times generates about Rs.600-crore of advertising revenue currently. The balance Rs.200 crore is apparently distributed between Business Standard, Hindu Business Line, The Financial Express, DNA Money, Mint and the numerous financial magazines and periodicals. Again, launching a business daily is not easy, say experts. It costs roughly Rs.12 to 20 to bring out a copy of a newspaper. If the circulation is one lakh (100,000) copies, the investment works out to about Rs.12 lakh per day. There is still apprehension as to whether the market can accommodate all the papers.

T Ninan the founder-editor and publisher of Business Standard writing about the prospect of financial dailies in Indian languages editorialized on the day of his paper Hindi launch,, “Our market research has revealed a hunger for news on the stock market, on companies and brands, on technological developments and consumer finance, on prices and interest rates. The survey findings reflect a more upbeat mood than many people might have assumed, a desire to grab opportunities, and a strong wish to be better informed on economic issues. It is now getting on to nearly six decades since the first English-language business newspaper was born.

It took about three decades after that for the first of these business newspapers to register paid circulation of a hundred thousand copies. In contrast, it goes almost without saying that the Hindi business newspapers will start off more confidently, with large circulation numbers from the very beginning. There will not be advertising to match, at least initially, but that may change because the marketing world too has woken up to the importance of the heartland. For all one knows, Hindi business readership might overtake English readership in the coming years, just as it has done when it comes to the general newspapers”.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

It is the right time to support our high-impact reporting and authoritative and technical information with some of the best correspondents in the industry. Readers can power Indian Printer and Publisher’s balanced industry journalism and help sustain us by subscribing.

– Naresh Khanna

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