Flying high in India -
Deccan Chronicle leads the market (nur in Englisch verfügbar)
Venkattram Reddy, chairman (left) with his brother T Vinayak Ravi Reddy, managing director of Deccan Chronicle
Article written for and previously published in Goss’s corporate magazine.
T. Venkattram Reddy is in a hurry. India is booming and so is his newspaper business. So fast, you might say, that Reddy needs more than his Porsche Cayenne 4x4 to keep up. Reddy needs more presses to print The Deccan Chronicle, a daily broadsheet published from Hyderabad, a thriving city in southern India nicknamed Cyberabad for its hi-
Reddy already operates a Goss Uniliner® ‘S’ press that was ordered at Drupa 2004, a 75,000 cph workhorse that has underpinned the Chronicle’s expansion since last April to Chennai, the country’s fourth largest city, formerly known as Madras. But it needs another.
“We are No. 1 in Chennai now – that’s why we are buying a second press,” says Reddy, the 46-
Reddy placed orders in August 2005 for two further Uniliner 'S' and five Goss Community presses and then in November placed another order for three more Uniliner 'S' presses.
Reddy is optimistic about the future in Chennai. “We are selling about 320,000 with a potential to go up to 550,000,” he says. Reddy, who runs Deccan Chronicle in a fast decision-
Reddy is not stopping at two Goss Uniliners in Chennai. There are five Community presses, two of which are being commissioned in Hyderabad, the other three for locations Reddy won’t reveal. There’ll be three more Uniliners in Hyderabad, and one in Bangalore, the other hi-
Reddy has high ambitions for The Deccan Chronicle, which, like many of India’s successful newspapers today, was founded in the movement for independence from Britain in 1938.
“When I started working in newspapers in 1979 it was more of a local newspaper covering local events,” he explained. “Today we have an international outlook. Now we print from eight other remote centers with six more in the pipeline.”
In late 2004 Deccan Chronicle became the first newspaper company in India to be listed in the stock market, providing the funds to fuel growth. A broader outlook also led to Reddy and a couple of friends founding the Asian Age, an English-
“Maybe we were a little ahead of our time,” Reddy admits. “We wanted it to be the paper for Asians travelling in the continent – like the Herald Tribune. The principle was the same.”
Now, with full control of the paper, Reddy has streamlined the Age and adopted a novel approach to editing by handing control of certain sections of the paper to editorial centers across the country under the overall leadership of one of India’s most distinguished journalists, M. J. Akbar.
“We have done something unique which most newspapers can’t even understand,” Reddy says. “We have used the strength of each of our offices to create certain pages of the newspaper. The political pages are made in Delhi. The business pages are made in Mumbai. The sports pages are made in Chennai. The features are made in Hyderabad.”
Reddy and Akbar are also involved in a ground-
Including the Asian Age, the Chronicle is now printing 800,000 newspapers a day. Reddy is clear as to why it has been successful. “The company’s doing well because we are market leaders wherever we are and advertisers get their value for money,” he says. “We have the lowest advertising tariffs compared with newspapers with the same circulation.”
Reddy started his newspaper career on the shop floor when he was 19. Then he moved from printing to circulation, then to editorial, finally, advertising. The only time Reddy has left the helm of the newspaper was to serve out his father’s term as a member of parliament on his death.
Page first published: 28.06.2006