EssBee Media establishes a print plant

Keen to take advantage of the growth in the newspaper segment, the media house envisages, it has brought printing in-house. Arun Kumar Singh of EssBee Media tells Rahul Kumar

19 Feb 2014 | By Rahul Kumar

Kanpur-based EssBee Media has established its own printing plant for its 18-months-old Hindi daily broadsheet, National Duniya. The Hindi daily has been launched by the same team that had worked with the Nai Dunia Delhi/NCR edition. It was launched from Delhi and NCR on March 30, 2012.

The newly established printing plant is equipped with Pressline Prima and TechNova CTP. The printing press can run at 36,000 copies an hour with 546mm cut-off size.

Arun Kumar Singh, chief general manager, said, “Outsourced printing is not a viable model for a growing newspaper like us. Now we need around 1.5 lakh copies per day for our editions and this number will grow in future. Thus our own printing facility became a necessity for us.”

National Duniya is an all-colour 20-page daily. It has been launched with a cover price of Rs 3.50 per copy. Now the cover price varies from Rs 2.50 to 4.50. The newspaper publication company claims to have a circulation of about one and a half lakh copies. The daily is distributed in Delhi and NCR, including Noida, Greater Noida, Ghaziabad, Faridabad and Gurgaon, and Meerut, Jaipur and other cities in Rajashtan. In future, the company plans to launch more editions and establish printing plants, especially in the Hindi belt.

The printing plant produces newspapers for all the editions except Rajasthan and Jaipur. The publication house prints around 1.5 lakh copies of the daily, more than 75,000 copies from its Noida-based plant and rest are outsourced for its Rajasthan and Jaipur editions with 350 employees.

The new printing plant is established in a 400 sq/m area and around 50 people work there. The in-house CTP system produces around 200 plates to feed the newly installed Pressline Prima press.

The project is backed by Shailendra Bhadauria, secretary, Maharana Pratap Group Institution. The group was established in 1995 and now, the group has six schools, nine colleges and a university in cities Kanpur, Lucknow, New Delhi and Jaipur.

Arun Kumar Singh

Newspaper pricing
While the cover cost of newspapers has remained the same for years, raw material and input costs have kept on rising over the years.

There is a huge difference between cover price and printing cost. The cost incurred for producing a newspaper is in double digit and while the selling  price is single digit. This has impacted bottom-lines. In the meanwhile, dependence on machine operation has increased, resulting in more investments. Right now, there is no successful model except revenue from advertisements.

Newspaper growth
The penetration of newspapers is increasing in tier-two and tier-three towns and villages. Hindi and other Indian regional language newspapers are seeing growth. The other reason for the growth is the hunger for information. Everyone wants to know what is happening around the globe.

Expansions in the newspaper segment
Big newspaper publication houses are expanding with new editions and printing plants. Navbharat Times has launched more editions and the Bhaskar Group is entering in to Bihar. New media is not a threat for local newspapers. Infrastructure is a big issue for new media.

There are two categories of newspaper consumers – masses and classes. In Indian villages, newspaper is a symbol of status. Currently, there are only one or two newspapers for the entire village so the opportunities are huge.

Future plans
We will be publishing more editions and printing plants to print them. Right now, we are working on the news with views pattern. We will also go for job work in day time.