The Times of India (TOI) is planning to get aggressive in
South India. After Tamil Nadu, the English
daily is eyeing the Kerala market. The first edition of TOI in Kerala is
expected to be launched by Feb 1 2012. .
For this, BCCL (Bennett Coleman & Co Ltd) has entered into a strategic tie-up with Mathrubhumi, the No. 2 Malayalam daily (IRS 2010 Q2). As per this tie-up, Mathrubhumi will provide its printing facilities and its distribution network to TOI. However, the memorandum of understanding between the two parties is yet to be formally announced.
The tie-up will also be extended to combo pricing for both ad sales and subscriptions. In a bid to reach the readers well on time, TOI editions will be printed from all the printing facilities of Mathrubhumi in Kerala.
Rahul Kansal, CMO, BCCL, confirms this development. Elaborating further about the launch, Chinen Das, South head, BCCL says, “TOI will have four editions in Kerala, catering to the four regions in the state — Malabar,
Travancore and Kottayam.” Kochi
According to a 2005-2006 national survey, Kerala’s literacy rate of 90.92 per cent is among the highest in Indian states. Besides, with a female literacy rate of 87.86 per cent (according to the 2001 census), Kerala leads the other states in women’s education.
Divya Radhakrishnan, president, TME, is of the view that “The scope of print publications is very high in Kerala and Malayalam dailies are a testimony to that. They have done very well since ages. And now, with the younger generation coming in, they would want English dailies. So, it’s time that English dailies start looking at this market seriously.”
She adds, “TOI will have an advantage in Kerala; because though The Hindu and New Indian Express are there, they can’t match TOI, which is known for its marketing strategies.”
Apart from this, BCCL is all set to launch two more editions from Tamil Nadu —
edition will be launched in January 2011 with an estimated initial print run of
70,000 copies. The Coimbatore
edition will be launched in March. Madurai
The total readership of English dailies in Kerala, as per IRS 2010 Q2, stands at 8.84 lakh. Here, The Times of India will face competition from The Hindu, which is published from two regions (Talking about how the tie-up will benefit Mathrubhumi, Sandeep Lakhina, chief operating officer –
Kochi and ),
and has a readership of 2.46 lakh and 2.32 lakh, respectively. The other
English daily, The New Indian Express with Trivandrum Kochi,
editions, has a total readership of 3.67 lakh in the state. Trivandrum
Key words: Times of India kerala edition launching, Times of India Kochi edition, Times of India Malabar edition, Times of India Malabar edition, Times of India Kottayam edition, Times of India tie up with Mathrubhumi daily, Times of India mathrubhumi combo offer.