Amar Ujala launches new edition in Shimla, Himachal Pradesh

Commissions 6-tower web offset press in new Shogi plant

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Amar Ujala
The new plant in Shoghi has enabled timely distribution of copies in Himachal (Amar Ujala)

The well-known Hindi daily Amar Ujala launched its latest edition from Shimla in Himachal Pradesh on 1 September 2022., re-emphasizing its focus on the North. This brings the daily to 22 editions across six states and two union territories covering 179 districts in North India.

The new production plant in Shoghi is 15 kilometers downhill from Shimla with a TPH Orient36 newspaper web offset press. The six 4-Hi tower line is capable of printing 24 broadsheet pages in full color in a single section at 36,000 copies an hour.

Amar Ujala entered the Shimla market through its Chandigarh edition in 1999 and claims that it became a strong number-one player in the region, in readership as well as advertising. The new edition brings the daily closer to upper Himachal and Amar Ujala says that it continues to be the preferred choice for the affluent Himachal, Chandigarh, Haryana, and Jammu & Kashmir markets.

The Hindi daily says it has done well post-covid, “…in regaining the confidence of the readers and advertisers, by finding opportunities in the challenges, and emerged stronger and more resilient. The people of Shimla have wholeheartedly embraced the publication’s offerings with positive reviews.”

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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