Lokmat launches its Delhi edition

Marathi dailies gain momentum

Lokmat's Delhi edition launch by Venkaiah Naidu

Lokmat, a Marathi daily, launched its Delhi edition on the occasion of the group’s Centenary year. At a special inauguration ceremony, held on 14 December 14 2017 at Delhi, Vijay Darda, chairman, Lokmat Media Group, said, “This is a moment of immense pride for all of us at Lokmat Media Group. We thank our readers as we step into our Centenary year. Lokmat has always meaningfully engaged with its readers and opinion makers. With 11 editions, 45 sub-editions, and a widespread reporter network, we are truly the ‘Voice of Maharashtra’. Our benchmarked journalism, rooted in nationalism and core values has helped us create newer approaches and stay relevant to our readers standing tall amidst the onslaught of new age media. We thank our readers who have made us the leading Marathi daily of the country and we hope to continue our legacy in New Delhi as well.”

Addressing the gathered media on the occasion, Venkaiah Naidu, the Vice President of India, said, “This is such a wonderful day and we are amidst some of the greatest minds. It is a great day to launch Lokmat in Delhi. Families must converse in their own regional language at home. Language and emotions move together better when conversed in the mother tongue. I was educated in the regional medium and I am very proud of it. I feel one should respect one’s mother, who has given you birth; the motherland, place where you are born; and your mother tongue, the country to which you belong to.”

“Information with confirmation is very important; views and news must not be mixed together. Sensationalism should end; nationalism must be given prime importance. News is public benefit and one must use power to influence wisely – use it get to the truth. Satyam – Truth, Shivam – for the greater good – Sundaram – in a beautiful manner,” Naidu added.

Lokmat has set up a strong and robust team over the last one year, with a view to launching its Delhi edition. The newspaper daily will commence the Delhi edition with 50,000 copies. The group has plans to promote the launch via print, radio, outdoor campaigns, and events. Darda strongly believes in the principle, Jithe Marathi, Tithe Lokmat (Where you find Marathi-speaking people, there you will find Lokmat). Meanwhile, in the last few years, the group has focused on Pune and Kolhapur campaigns in Maharashtra, where the newspaper enjoys an unparalleled readership.

Other dignitaries present at the launch party were Manmohan Singh, former Prime Minister of India; Arvind Kejriwal, Chief Minister of Delhi; Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister of Road, Transport & Highways, Shipping & Water Resources; Prakash Javedkar, Union HRD Minister; and Ravi Prasad, Union Minister of IT.

Marathi newspapers are experiencing unprecedented rise in their readership and popularity as the last two months have seen two new launches in Marathi language. Readership stats released recently by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting state that 4,007 new publications were registered last year and Marathi language dailies stood third in terms of circulation (28,538,505), which that clearly indicates the momentum that regional language dailies are gaining.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels 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. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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