Essel Group forays into print with Zee Marathi Disha

Essel Group forays into print with Zee Marathi Disha

Mumbai-based Essel Group recently forayed into printing with the launch of its weekly Marathi newspaper, Zee Marathi Disha. This will be a first-of-its-kind of offering by a television network in print. Devendra Fadnavis, the chief minister of Maharashtra, unveiled the weekly on 5 December 2017.

Vijay Kuvalekar has been appointed Editor-in-Chief of Zee Marathi Disha. Speaking on the launch, Kuvalekar said, “In the cluttered news space with multiple news formats, there is a lacuna of a single aggregator which brings together the entire array of content suitable for family. Credibility and in-depth analysis is lacking in modern times. The reader is looking for solutions from experts which can cater to multiple people in the same household.”

The Marathi weekly will cover genres like current affairs, business, health, entertainment, technology and kids. The 44-page weekly newspaper aims to be a family favorite, targeting new-age readers, who are ambitious and savvy, yet rooted in culture. Zee Marathi Disha will be available to readers in 130 towns across Maharashtra, hitting newsstands on every Saturday and through subscription.

Sanjeev Garg, chief executive officer, DNA and Zee Marathi Disha,  shared, “There was a clear opportunity to create a vibrant and premium newspaper that is an aggregator for the whole family. The market looks for brands that they can trust in the era of fake news. Zee Marathi Disha will resonate with the values, ambition and the mind-set of every household in Maharashtra. It was about time that we had differentiated, yet extremely relevant, content served to the readers in Maharashtra and we readily accepted the challenge. The clutter-busting approach of adopting an all family inclusive newspaper as opposed to the traditional segmentation helps in getting families together though the product.”

The brand positioning of the Marathi weekly clearly states that it will contain something that will get the family back together again with its wide range of content in a single newspaper. In-depth analysis of topics that impact consumers and relentless pursuit of truth are the values around which the brand plans to center its content.

As per Fadnavis, “One may be surprised that a group like Zee, which is well-entrenched in electronic media, is turning towards print. But then, Subhashji is known for his innovative spirit. I am sure that like  Sukh Wartaon Zee 24 Taas, Disha, too, will provide much needed positivity to society at large.”

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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