We are a leading print media company in India, publishing India’s fourth largest major daily newspaper, Amar Ujala (in terms of total readership) (Source: Indian Readership Survey (“IRS”) for fourth quarter of 2012(“IRS2012Q4”). Amar Ujala, our flagship Hindi daily newspaper, has total readership of approximately 30.13 million readers per day (Source: IRS 2012Q4). Further, the average circulation of Amar Ujala was approximately 2.49 million copies per day during the first half of 2015 (Source: Audit Bureau of Circulation (“ABC”) January to June 2015 (“ABC Jan-June2015”)). Amar Ujala is one of the fastest growing major daily newspapers in India with a growth in circulation of 27.69% during period of January-June 2015 (with an average circulation of approximately 2.49 million per day) compared to the period of January-June 2014 (with an average circulation of 1.95 million per day) (Source: ABC).
Amar Ujala was first published in the late 1940s in Agra, Uttar Pradesh and is now published in 19 editions in states of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab and Haryana as well as union territories of New Delhi and Chandigarh. Amar Ujala has been ranked as the most widely circulated and read daily newspaper in the city of Lucknow and the states of Uttarakhand and Jammu & Kashmir, most widely read newspaper in Himachal Pradesh and second most widely circulated and read in the state of Uttar Pradesh (Source: IRS2012Q4 and ABC Jan-June2015). We also publish a Hindi daily tabloid newspaper, Amar Ujala Compact, in six editions published in the state of Uttar Pradesh, with a combined readership of 2.59 million readers per day (Source: IRS2012 Q4). Amar Ujala Compact is the most widely read and circulated Hindi daily tabloid in state of Uttar Pradesh (Source: IRS2012Q4 and ABC Jan-June2015).
In addition to our news and current affairs print media business, we also publish educational books, under the publication series ‘Amar Ujala Education Books’, and educational magazines. Our series of educational books include general knowledge manuals, books based on curriculum of National Council of Educational Research and Training (“NCERT”) and study kits for the preparation of various entrance examinations including examinations conducted by Union Public Services Commission and University Grants Commission. We also publish Saflata, a niche monthly magazine providing study material for civil services and other examinations, and Safalta Samyiki, which provides information relating to general knowledge and current affairs.
In line with the comparable media groups, we offer convergent media content across mobile and web screens. We publish our editorial and news content in electronic form on our internet portal, (www.amarujala.com). Our internet portal contains content from the daily editions of our newspapers in form of e-papers as well as is updated round the clock by the editorial staff with breaking news and coverage. We also have a mobile internet portal as well as android and windows operating software based applications, for users to access our content on mobile devices. Since April 2013 the desktop site has registered a growth of more than  % in terms of number of page views (Source: Google Analytics, April 2013 and September 2015) while, since its launch in September 2013, the mobile site has registered a growth of more than [4,555] % in terms of number of page views (Source: Google Analytics September 2013 and September 2015). Our online offerings also include utilities and services such as an exam results portal, job information services and a Hindi blog posting platform.
We have a large newspaper production and distribution platform. We print our products across 18 facilities spread in 18 cities, with a total installed capacity of approximately 3.92 million copies per day as on September 30, 2015. We distribute our newspapers through a multi-tiered distribution and marketing network consisting of direct cash sale depots, newspaper agents and vendors at various distribution centres. In addition to our own publications, we also print newspapers, books, fliers and catalogues at our facilities for third parties under our commercial printing division.
OUR COMPETITIVE STRENGTHS
We are one of the leading print media companies in India, with a wide footprint, circulation and readership. We believe our key strengths are:
WE HAVE A STRONG ESTABLISHED BRAND IN THE INDIAN PRINT MEDIA BUSINESS.
We are one of the leading print media houses in India, and have been publishing Hindi daily newspaper Amar Ujala since the late 1940s. Amar Ujala, our flagship newspaper, has an total daily readership of 30.13 million readers, making it one of the most widely read broad-sheet newspaper in India (Source: IRS2012Q4). We believe that our brand commands respect and credibility and offers us competitive advantage when entering new markets in India. We also continually invest in building our brands by promoting our corporate identity and reinforcing our key strengths including through social and cultural initiatives.
AMAR UJALA IS ONE OF THE FASTEST GROWING MAJOR DAILY NEWSPAPERS IN INDIA.
Amar Ujala is one of the fastest growing major daily newspapers in India. The circulation of Amar Ujala increased by 27.69% from 1.95 million per day in first half of 2014 (Source: ABC Jan-June2014) to 2.49 million per day in first half of 2015 (Source: ABC Jan-June 2015), which was the one of the highest among all major daily newspapers in India audited by ABC during that period for which certificates were obtained from ABC by the members.
OUR REACH AND LEADERSHIP POSITION IN KEY MARKETS.
We have a presence in a substantial portion of North India. Our flagship newspaper Amar Ujala is published in 19 editions across six states and two union territories. There are 299.97 million people living in Amar Ujala’s footprint (which is all six states and the union territories where it is published from), which is approximately 24.79% of the Indian population (Source: Census of India, 2011) and accounts for a large part of the Hindi-speaking base in India (Source: Census of India, 2001). [Amar Ujala was ranked as the most widely circulated and read Hindi daily newspaper in states of Uttarakhand and Jammu & Kashmir, most widely read newspaper in Himachal Pradesh and second most widely circulated and read in the state of Uttar Pradesh (Source: ABC Jan-June2015; IRS2012Q4)].
The state of Uttar Pradesh is one the key markets for Hindi daily newspapers, with a population of approximately 199 million and literacy rate of about 69.72%. (Source: Census of India, 2001) Hindi is one the primary language spoken and read in the state. (Source: Census of India 2001) Amar Ujala was first published in the state of Uttar Pradesh, from the city of Agra and has since then expanded to publish 11 editions in the state, including major cities such as Lucknow, Kanpur, Agra and Meerut. Four of the 11 editions of Amar Ujala in Uttar Pradesh are leaders in their respective regions while the other editions are in high leadership position (Source: ABC Jan-June2015). Additionally, our Lucknow edition recorded the highest average circulation of all other newspapers in Lucknow city and Lucknow district in the first half of 2015 (Source: ABC Jan-June 2015). We also publish tabloid newspapers in Uttar Pradesh for price conscious consumers in the form of Amar Ujala Compact, which is the most widely read Hindi daily tabloid in state of Uttar Pradesh (Source: IRS2012Q4). We believe we are deeply entrenched and are in position to further scale up our operations in the market of state of Uttar Pradesh.
OUR PRODUCTS AND SERVICES
Overview of publishing business
Our primary business is our publication business comprising of newspapers which is our principal source of revenue. We publish two Hindi daily newspapers, Amar Ujala and Amar Ujala Compact. Amar Ujala is published in 19 editions, across six states and two union territories (including New Delhi) in India, while Amar Ujala Compact is published in 6 editions in the state of Uttar Pradesh. We also published a Hindi, educational weekly, Yuvaan, which was discontinued in March 2014.
In addition to our newspaper publishing business, we also publish various magazines including Safalta, a niche monthly magazine providing study material for civil services and other examinations including for railways, banks and defence services and Safalta Samyiki which provides information relating to general knowledge and current affairs. Further, we also publish educational books under the series ‘Amar Ujala Educational Books’.
Our internet portal (www.amarujala.com) was launched as a channel for providing our news and entertainment content and has been revamped in its form and content over time. We intend to expand this area as we believe the internet is one of our future growth engines. According to FICCI-KPMG, internet penetration in India is currently at 19%, which is lower compared to internet penetration in other countries. By the end of 2014, there were approximately 300 million Internet users in India, and it is estimated that Internet users in India will reach 640 million in 2019. The total number of mobile internet users in the country has also been steadily increasing, and is estimated to grow from 173 million at a CAGR of 21% till the end of 2019. Estimates also indicate that by the end of 2014, India had around 116 million internet enabled smartphones and such numbers are estimated to reach 435 million by 2019. (Source: FICCI-KPMG Report 2015) With the growth projected for India’s middle class and for internet and mobile usage in India, we believe our potential digital reader base remains largely untapped and offers significant potential for growth.
Our portal has expanded exponentially in the recent years. Since April 2013 the site has registered a growth of more than 147% in terms of number of page views (Source: Google Analytics, April 2013 and September 2015). The website clocked in excess of 48 million page views and got over 1.50 million unique visitors in September 2015 (Source: Google Analytics, September 2015). Our digital content is also accessible in form of mobile internet portal, which is accessible at www.m.amarujala.com. Since the launch of mobile portal in September 2013, it has registered a growth of more than 4,555% in terms of number of page views (Source: Google Analytics September 2013 and September 2015). Also, it clocked in excess of 148 million page views and got over 5.6 million unique visitors in September 2015 (Source: Google Analytics, September 2015). In addition, internet surfers spent approximately 8.5 minutes and 6.2 minutes on our desktop and mobile sites, respectively, per average user session (Source: Google Analytics, September 2015), as of September 30, 2015. Currently the digital business is operating through our wholly owned subsidiary Amar Ujala Web Services Private Limited.
In order to maximize the usage and utility of our equipment at our printing facilities, we enter into arrangements with a number of third parties for printing various products including newspapers, news periodicals, supplements, books, fliers and product catalogues. These arrangements are typically on the basis of individual work orders but in some cases we have also entered into agreements with third parties to provide such services on a regular basis. As per the terms of these agreements, we are required to provide the printed material to the publisher on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, and are entitled to receive the consideration either in advance, or upon supply of the materials. Among others, we have agreement with publications division, Government of India, to print Employment News and Rozgar Samachar newspapers and with Bharti Retail Limited, to print flyers, leaflets and broadsheets.
While we utilize our machines used for newspaper printing business to also publish the newspapers for third parties, we have separate, dedicated machines in our facilities for printing other materials such as fliers and catalogues. Our printing income was ` 225.13 million for Fiscal Year 2015, which was 2.91% of our total revenue and was ` 86.49 million for the three months ended June 30, 2015, which was 4.02% of our total revenue over the period. As of September 30, 2015, we have 109 employees engaged in our commercial printing business.
Touch Point, a division of our Company, is engaged in brand activation and specializes in conceiving all-round and intelligent brand solutions for our advertisers in ways which enable them to derive maximum benefit from advertising with us. The established media network of Amar Ujala provides Touch Point with an opportunity to provide its clients with below the line marketing solutions. Our innovative solutions to our clients factor in infrastructure, population demographics of the area as well as product being advertised. Depending on requirements of our client and the target audience, we provide both fixed and transit media solutions, including through liveries on van and trucks or organizing road-shows. Our promotional marketing and event management clients have included Hindustan Unilever Limited and National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD). We believe our newspaper distribution infrastructure allows Touch Point to target a much larger market share of the below the line marketing industry than its competitors. Our arrangements with our clients for activation business are typically carried out on order basis, though sometime we also enter into medium term agreements to provide our solutions over a period of time.
Out of total number of copies of newspaper printed at our various facilities, a certain number of copies are received from newspaper agents or remain with our direct cash sales depot as unsold inventory. We sell such unsold inventory as scrap/waste to paper mills. Additionally, as part of our waste management division, we have also expanded our operations to purchase waste paper from third parties and sell it to paper mills. We have recently commenced, on pilot basis, a direct sourcing project in Agra, ‘Meri Green City’ which is aimed at creating awareness about paper waste management by undertaking social drives and seek paper waste from households and institutions.
OUT OF HOME ADVERTISING
“Autdoors”, a division of our Company has recently commenced the business of providing OOH advertising solutions. Through Autdoors, we intend to leverage our existing relationships with advertisers and advertisement agencies and provide our clients with marketing solutions involving outdoor hoardings. To this end, we have recently entered into an agreement with [ARC Media] whereby ARC Media has granted sole marketing rights to us for the use of numerous outdoor hoardings, such as unipoles, public utilities and gantries maintained by ARC Media in numerous cities and towns, including Delhi, Noida, Greater Noida, Agra, Ghaziabad, Lucknow and Dehradun, for providing OOH solutions. This arrangement also provides us with a right of first refusal for licensing of any new outdoor medium created by ARC Media in its areas of operation.
We actively promote our brands and undertake a variety of programs with the objective of increasing awareness and to present the credentials of our brand ‘Amar Ujala’ thereby engaging the consumer. Our branding department develops brand strategy, manages the brands and communicates our brand positioning to target readers. Its role also includes developing various reader engagement programs. These programs are targeted towards different segments of the society keeping in mind the different geographies that we cater to.
To enhance our brand image, we use a wide range of marketing tools, including advertising, public relations and consumer involvement promotions. From time to time, our marketing department uses various media vehicles to strategically promote our brands. For instance, we have constituted a club for women, Roopantaran, whereby the women are able to get together for several activities such as cookery shows and health related activities. Our Touch Point division has recently organised the “Summer Valley Talent Hunt Competition”, a talent competition for children in Moradabad. We also have initiated various social initiatives like Atul Maheshwari Chatravritti, as part of which we promote meritorious students and provide them with financial assistance, Medhavi Chatra Samman in which we provide a platform to students to present their credentials to the world and Maa Tujhe Pranam, where we perform series of thematic activities which revolve around patriotism and attempt to create a sense of responsibility towards nation.