Dr Batra Group turn publisher with Homeopathy & You

Well-known homeopathty treatment company, Dr Batra Group recently ventured into magazine publishing with their B2C magazine Homeopathy & You. Dr Mukesh Batra, the founder-chairman of Dr Batra’s Group talks to Supreeth Sudhakaran of PrintWeek India explaining the decision and the scope of niche magazines in India.

10 Dec 2013 | By Supreeth Sudhakaran

How does Dr Batra group plan to publish this magazine? Will there be an active editorial team/or separate publishing entity? If yes, who all will be part of the senior management?

We have a publishing tie-up with a professional company for both design and printing. We have an exclusive editorial team, with a senior editor, which provides editorial content and inputs. Yes, in print and on the Web. The Website and Web edition in downloadable .pdf will be available to subscribers sometime in Jan 2014. Yes — we have a senior management team — sharing resources with the group, IT and marketing. It is part of Dr Batra’s Media, our new vertical in publishing. We have tied-up with Paprika Media, which publishes Time-Out magazine, a part of the Essar Group, for distribution.

Initially, how does the company plan to market the title? What are the strategies in place?

Both distribution and subscription routes. The idea is also to make the magazine available at all our clinics. We have a strong newsstand distributor; we have also ‘tied-up’ with Cafe Coffee Day, Barista, Crossword, and 5-star hotels, through them, and over 1,000 outlets across 17 cities as well as key airports for the magazine’s visibility and availability. Most importantly, the magazine is displayed and sold in our 123 clinics. This is a very good good base, because our patients read the magazine at our clinics, buy and/or subscribe to it.

From where would the magazine be printed and published? Will there be other publishing centres too?

Mumbai. We have already received encouraging response and also inquiries from abroad. We will have an international edition, in the near future, and other language editions within the country and, perhaps, overseas.

What prompted Dr Batra Group to become a publisher? What are the market opportunities the company sees in this niche B2C market?

We are leaders in homeopathy. We wanted a first-rate strategy to grow the category — with good visibility and greater awareness. With 150 million already using homeopathy in India, we felt that we should take the holistic advantages of this wonderful science to the masses. Besides, there has always been silent support for homeopathy from the common man to business leaders and industrialists, among others; people like Rajiv Bajaj, for instance. We wanted to tap them and provide intellectually stimulating reading, because they are people who are passionate about homeopathy. This also prompted us to come up withHomeopathy & You.

How has been the response to the magazine? What are the circulation and readership figures as of now?

The response has been good; in fact, very good. It is as early days yet. However, the best advantage is we have a great potential at our clinics — more so, with our patients who are all lovers and supporters of homeopathy. We further believe that the magazine offers a platform to people to know more about homeopathy and vibrant health and wellness. We also believe that health awareness is important; also a great deal can be done if we educate people about their wellness. This bids fair to the idea to popularise homeopathy and create awareness on various lifestyle issues. Just considering the patient visits to our clinics, we already have a readership of more than two lakh.

Will the magazine be driven by a subscription based model or an advertisement backed model? 

Yes, as already cited, and also advertisement — the latter is, of course, a time-honoured approach to sustain any publishing venture.