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Ramesh Chandra Agarwal (1944-2017): A book lover who created a media empire

Ramesh Chandra Agarwal, chairman of the Dainik Bhaskar Group was drawn to the books as a child

Viveat Susan Pinto  |  Mumbai 

Ramesh Chandra Agarwal, dainik bhaskar
Ramesh Chandra Agarwal, chairman of the Dainik Bhaskar Group, now known as DB Corp

Ramesh Chandra Agarwal, chairman of the Group, now known as DB Corp, was drawn to the books as a child, thanks in part to a books business that his father ran in Uttar Pradesh’s Jhansi, the place of his birth.

Agarwal, who passed away on Wednesday at the age of 73 following a cardiac arrest, put his passion to good use when he stepped into newspaper publishing years later. He chose to turn around the family’s ailing newspaper business in Bhopal, the capital of Madhya Pradesh, a place they had moved to in the 1950s, never looking back. 
 
Dainik Bhaskar is today published from 14 states with 62 editions. It is the fourth-largest circulated daily in the world, according to its 2015-16 annual report. DB Corp, led by Agarwal, changed the rules of the game in publishing. It is known to act quickly, launching editions aggressively across markets, supported by huge media, marketing and subscription drives. 

Agarwal, say his peers, was never content restricting his publishing empire to Madhya Pradesh. He chose to redraw its boundaries all the time, taking on well-entrenched players, such as Rajasthan Patrika and Gujarat Samachar as well as The Times of India in Mumbai.  

At every stage, the group, which has interests in radio and digital, besides publishing, chose to bust myths, including that vernacular publishers were better off focusing on a single language. While Dainik Bhaskar is a Hindi-language daily, Divya Bhaskar, circulated in Gujarat, is published in Gujarati, Dainik Divya Bhaskar, circulated in Maharashtra, is published in Marathi. The company also has an acquired Gujarati brand, Saurashtra Samachar (which it bought in 2004), and an English-language daily, DB Post, which it launched in 2016 in Bhopal. 

DB Post, incidentally, wasn’t Agarwal’s first foray into English-language publications. It was his second, having first entered the space in 2005 when he got into a joint venture with media baron Subhash Chandra of the Essel Group to launch Daily News and Analysis (DNA) in Mumbai, a stronghold of The Times of India. 
 
Agarwal along with Chandra launched DNA in characteristic style in 2005, poaching people from the Times, launching huge ads and publishing drives and generally raising buzz in the stagnant Mumbai market. 2005 was to be a landmark year in Mumbai's print market with Hindustan Times foraying into the metropolis with a new edition and the Times Group launching Mumbai Mirror at the same time.

The last few years — following exit from its 50:50 joint venture with the Essel Group — has seen the group increase its presence across platforms, such as digital and radio. It has 28 radio stations across seven states under the brand name 94.3 MY FM and has a number of internet portals as well. The group reported Rs 2,080 crore in revenue in 2015-16.

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Ramesh Chandra Agarwal (1944-2017): A book lover who created a media empire

Ramesh Chandra Agarwal, chairman of the Dainik Bhaskar Group was drawn to the books as a child

Ramesh Chandra Agarwal, chairman of the Dainik Bhaskar Group was drawn to the books as a child
Ramesh Chandra Agarwal, chairman of the Group, now known as DB Corp, was drawn to the books as a child, thanks in part to a books business that his father ran in Uttar Pradesh’s Jhansi, the place of his birth.

Agarwal, who passed away on Wednesday at the age of 73 following a cardiac arrest, put his passion to good use when he stepped into newspaper publishing years later. He chose to turn around the family’s ailing newspaper business in Bhopal, the capital of Madhya Pradesh, a place they had moved to in the 1950s, never looking back. 
 
Dainik Bhaskar is today published from 14 states with 62 editions. It is the fourth-largest circulated daily in the world, according to its 2015-16 annual report. DB Corp, led by Agarwal, changed the rules of the game in publishing. It is known to act quickly, launching editions aggressively across markets, supported by huge media, marketing and subscription drives. 

Agarwal, say his peers, was never content restricting his publishing empire to Madhya Pradesh. He chose to redraw its boundaries all the time, taking on well-entrenched players, such as Rajasthan Patrika and Gujarat Samachar as well as The Times of India in Mumbai.  

At every stage, the group, which has interests in radio and digital, besides publishing, chose to bust myths, including that vernacular publishers were better off focusing on a single language. While Dainik Bhaskar is a Hindi-language daily, Divya Bhaskar, circulated in Gujarat, is published in Gujarati, Dainik Divya Bhaskar, circulated in Maharashtra, is published in Marathi. The company also has an acquired Gujarati brand, Saurashtra Samachar (which it bought in 2004), and an English-language daily, DB Post, which it launched in 2016 in Bhopal. 

DB Post, incidentally, wasn’t Agarwal’s first foray into English-language publications. It was his second, having first entered the space in 2005 when he got into a joint venture with media baron Subhash Chandra of the Essel Group to launch Daily News and Analysis (DNA) in Mumbai, a stronghold of The Times of India. 
 
Agarwal along with Chandra launched DNA in characteristic style in 2005, poaching people from the Times, launching huge ads and publishing drives and generally raising buzz in the stagnant Mumbai market. 2005 was to be a landmark year in Mumbai's print market with Hindustan Times foraying into the metropolis with a new edition and the Times Group launching Mumbai Mirror at the same time.

The last few years — following exit from its 50:50 joint venture with the Essel Group — has seen the group increase its presence across platforms, such as digital and radio. It has 28 radio stations across seven states under the brand name 94.3 MY FM and has a number of internet portals as well. The group reported Rs 2,080 crore in revenue in 2015-16.
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Business Standard
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Ramesh Chandra Agarwal (1944-2017): A book lover who created a media empire

Ramesh Chandra Agarwal, chairman of the Dainik Bhaskar Group was drawn to the books as a child

Ramesh Chandra Agarwal, chairman of the Group, now known as DB Corp, was drawn to the books as a child, thanks in part to a books business that his father ran in Uttar Pradesh’s Jhansi, the place of his birth.

Agarwal, who passed away on Wednesday at the age of 73 following a cardiac arrest, put his passion to good use when he stepped into newspaper publishing years later. He chose to turn around the family’s ailing newspaper business in Bhopal, the capital of Madhya Pradesh, a place they had moved to in the 1950s, never looking back. 
 
Dainik Bhaskar is today published from 14 states with 62 editions. It is the fourth-largest circulated daily in the world, according to its 2015-16 annual report. DB Corp, led by Agarwal, changed the rules of the game in publishing. It is known to act quickly, launching editions aggressively across markets, supported by huge media, marketing and subscription drives. 

Agarwal, say his peers, was never content restricting his publishing empire to Madhya Pradesh. He chose to redraw its boundaries all the time, taking on well-entrenched players, such as Rajasthan Patrika and Gujarat Samachar as well as The Times of India in Mumbai.  

At every stage, the group, which has interests in radio and digital, besides publishing, chose to bust myths, including that vernacular publishers were better off focusing on a single language. While Dainik Bhaskar is a Hindi-language daily, Divya Bhaskar, circulated in Gujarat, is published in Gujarati, Dainik Divya Bhaskar, circulated in Maharashtra, is published in Marathi. The company also has an acquired Gujarati brand, Saurashtra Samachar (which it bought in 2004), and an English-language daily, DB Post, which it launched in 2016 in Bhopal. 

DB Post, incidentally, wasn’t Agarwal’s first foray into English-language publications. It was his second, having first entered the space in 2005 when he got into a joint venture with media baron Subhash Chandra of the Essel Group to launch Daily News and Analysis (DNA) in Mumbai, a stronghold of The Times of India. 
 
Agarwal along with Chandra launched DNA in characteristic style in 2005, poaching people from the Times, launching huge ads and publishing drives and generally raising buzz in the stagnant Mumbai market. 2005 was to be a landmark year in Mumbai's print market with Hindustan Times foraying into the metropolis with a new edition and the Times Group launching Mumbai Mirror at the same time.

The last few years — following exit from its 50:50 joint venture with the Essel Group — has seen the group increase its presence across platforms, such as digital and radio. It has 28 radio stations across seven states under the brand name 94.3 MY FM and has a number of internet portals as well. The group reported Rs 2,080 crore in revenue in 2015-16.

image
Business Standard
177 22