Gujarat Samachar to increase its capacity in FY 18-19

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Ranjeet Singh, branch manager of Gujarat Samachar’s office at INS, Delhi.
Ranjeet Singh, branch manager of Gujarat Samachar’s office at INS, Delhi.

Founded in 1932 and headquartered in Ahmedabad, Gujarat Samachar is a leading Gujarati daily that is supplied to the Indian states of Gujarat and Maharashtra. With a branch in Surat as well, the newspaper is distributed from Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat, Rajkot, Bhavnagar, Mehsana, Bhuj and Mumbai city.

“There hasn’t been any new development in Gujarat Samachar in the past few years. However, we’re looking to add more machines at our printing unit this year. The final decision on the machines has not yet been taken,” says Ranjeet Singh, branch manager, Gujarat Samachar.

The circulation figures of the daily stand somewhere close to 14,00,000. Though circulation figures for most of the leading dailies are going up every year, they are adversely hit by a sharp fall in revenues. According to Singh, Gujarat Samachar is a leading Gujarati daily with the highest circulation figure and readership. Other Gujarati dailies include names such as Sandesh, Divya Bhaskar and Jai Hind.

“We’ve been able to maintain the top position as our newspaper is the most renowned. I have seen some Gujaratis in Delhi buying Gujarat Samachar even though it is available at exorbitant rates in the city. Observing the circulation figures, we’ve decided to add machines at our production facility,” Singh adds.

The company has four printing presses at two locations in Ahmedabad. The Mumbai unit also has four printing presses at two different locations and has a press each at all its other locations. All the machines used by the daily are imported from other countries.

Gujarat Samachar claims to receive good support from the Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity (DAVP) though the number of advertisements from private companies far exceed the number given by DAVP with a considerable difference in the rates.

Talking about the impact that the current government’s Make in India movement has had on Gujarat Samachar, Singh says, “The imports from China still haven’t reduced. The Chinese continue to dominate the Indian market. The Make in India initiative was primarily taken to cut the imports but there hasn’t been any significant change post implementation of the initiative. Though it is an excellent initiative taken by the government, I think it largely failed due to lack of proper implementation.”

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.

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– Naresh Khanna

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