Hindustan Times vs The Times of India|Business Strategy|Case Study|Case Studies

Hindustan Times vs The Times of India

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Case Details:

Case Code : BSTR016
Case Length : 9 Pages
Period : 1999 - 2001
Organization : Hindustan Times, Times of India
Pub Date : 2002
Teaching Note : Available
Countries : India
Industry : Media, Entertainment & Information

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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A Brief On The Industry Contd...

Newsprint costs too spiralled. The companies survived by increasing the ad rates every year. However, analysts felt that newspapers could not survive for long by increasing advertising rates. In 2001, the print industry was expected to see a negative growth in revenues for the first time...

Price Wars

The early 1990s saw HT and ToI engaged in a bitter battle for supremacy in Delhi, which is perceived to be the most important market in India. In 1991, ToI had a circulation of around 70,000 in Delhi as against 0.35 million for HT.

In 1994, ToI slashed its price from Rs.2.30 to Rs.1.50. By 1998, the difference in circulation figures narrowed down to a few thousand copies. (Refer Table III). Since 1991, ToI's circulation has increased in percentage terms more than HT. Analysts felt that ToI increased its share largely by breaking into HT's readership. A fresh round of price-cuts began in 1999. On March 19, 1999, HT cut its price from Rs.1.50 to an all-time low of Re. 1 on all days except Sundays...

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Challenging the Market Leader

From a strong one-city brand in the early 1990s, ToI emerged as the only national newspaper with a circulation of 1.7 million all over the country by 2000. HT with a circulation of about 0.9 million in Delhi was still restricted to Northern India.

With revenues of Rs.4.05 billion during 2000-01, HT's share was roughly a third of ToI in revenue. (Refer Exhibit I) To strengthen its presence in Delhi as well as to expand nationally, Shobhana Bhartia initiated a major restructuring plan in 2000-01. (Refer Exhibit II) As a first step towards realization of the plan, in September 2000, Vir Sanghvi was appointed editor of HT.

Rajan Kohli, of Fujitsu-ICIM was brought in as the executive president to head a new team of 20, which redesigned the paper and made it more youthful. Five new supplements were introduced, and new editions were launched in nine cities in India. HT followed the ToI style of marketing blitzkrieg: events, promotions and ad campaigns...


Exhibit I:
Exhibit II: HT's Game Plan
Exhibit III: HT - AD Revenue Break Up

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