Mr. Sudhir Agarwal, Managing Director, Dainik Bhaskar Group (DB Corp Ltd.), has been the driving force in making Dainik Bhaskar, the flagship Hindi daily of the group, the World’s fourth largest and India’s largest circulated daily from just another newspaper started by his grandfather Dwarka Prasad Agarwal in 1958. This very achievement of his is nothing but sheer passion fuelled by the ambitious vision of making Dainik Bhaskar Group the largest and most admired language media brand enabling socio‐Dainik Bhaskar Group today boasts four dailies—Dainik Bhaskar (in Hindi), Divya Bhaskar and Saurashtra Samachar (in Gujarati) and Divya Marathi (in Marathi)—with a combined readership of 44 million.
Among its diverse businesses, group’s 94.3 MY FM is the 5th largest Radio network in India with strong presence in 17 cities across 7 states. The digital arm of group, DB Digital has 691 million page‐views per month and nearly 40 million unique visitors across its portals in four languages, Hindi, Gujarati, English and Marathi. The Group has its Mobile App in three languages, Hindi, Gujarati and English. The Group also has diversified interests in Power, Textile, Real Estate and Hospitality sectors across India.
Dainik Bhaskar began its journey in 1958 in Bhopal. In the 1970s, regional media was quite weak and confined to single states only. But things started looking up when Sudhir Agarwal, joined his father’s business in 1980. Today, Sudhir along with his two brothers Girish and Pawan Agarwal, are acknowledged as the strategic enablers behind Dainik Bhaskar Group’s robust growth.
Under his dynamic leadership, Dainik Bhaskar has not only progressed to encompass 61 editions across 14 states in India but also have helped Dainik Bhaskar become India’s largest circulated daily, for the third consecutive time. Recently, Dainik Bhaskar was ranked as the world’s fourth largest circulated daily by WANIFRA in the World Press Trends 2015 report.
With ten thousand employees, Dainik Bhaskar Group has been ranked as the 57th Biggest Employer of the year 2015 by Business World emerging as the biggest employer in the Media and Entertainment sector. Sudhir attributes the achievements to team spirit and a sense of commitment shown by the 10,000 happy workforce of the Group. Sudhir says “There are many hurdles in any business including ours, but we took it as an opportunity to improve as a team. We should do our work with 100 per cent commitment and responsibility and motivate ourselves to accomplish it with an inner passion.”
Sudhir Agarwal took on the unnerving task of launching the Jaipur edition of Dainik Bhaskar. Though pitted against the city’s reigning 42‐year‐old daily, Dainik Bhaskar launched with an incredible first-day sales of 1,72,000 copies, establishing itself as the leading newspaper right on the outset! Following the successful launch in Jaipur, other editions were successfully launched in Rajasthan, Haryana and Chandigarh.
The next important milestone was the launch of a new Gujarati daily, Divya Bhaskar in Ahmedabad whereby the Jaipur model was replicated with some 1.2 million households being surveyed. In the process, a whopping 4,52, 000 copies were booked! The launch was so successful that it has since been used as a case study at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.
Sudhir’s legendary risk‐taking ability, dedication and an uncanny knowledge of business helped him to garner group’s major achievements and milestones which include the launch of Divya Marathi in Maharashtra, in 2011; launch of the Hindi magazine AHA! Zindagi, in 2004; launch of My FM in 2005; launch of the group’s digital media business, DB Digital, through the group’s subsidiary web media company, I Media Corp Ltd, in 2005; launch of the English daily DNA in Mumbai in partnership with Zee Group, as a franchise, in 2008; launch of the public issue of DB Corp Ltd in 2009; listing of DB Corp Public Issue on Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which went onto become one of the best listings of 2009 and 2010.
Sudhir is actually credited for a slew of innovations in the group’s dailies, and deservingly at its apex, as the most awarded Newspaper Brand of the country in 2015. The most noteworthy of the innovations by Dainik Bhaskar is the ‘No Negative Monday’ concept of reportage that is the first of its kind in the world. Under the aegis of this initiative, positive news is highlighted on the front page of all the 61 editions every Monday setting a positive note to every reader’s start of the week.
Sudhir then went a step even further ahead by extending product philosophy to each reader’s life through the ‘No Negative Life’ initiative. Under this initiative, every Monday, Dainik Bhaskar publishes half page on ‘No Negative Life’ comprising positive and inspiring articles for readers thereby helping them to lead positive life and shun negativity. Even Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed the initiative ‘No Negative Monday’ during one of his speech in ‘Zid Karo Duniya Badlo’.
Dainik Bhaskar has been voted the Most Trusted Brand for 2015 (in the Hindi newspaper category), according to a study conducted by the Brand Trust Report, India Study. On the technological side, installation of cutting‐edge printing facilities including fully automatic KBA machines at its high‐volume printing facilities such as in Jaipur and Ahmedabad was also the brainchild of Sudhir which, along with strategies to economize costs.
Corporate Responsibility and Social Stewardship have always been integral to Dainik Bhaskar Group. Sudhir, stressing on the importance of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives says “CSR initiatives are undertaken at Dainik Bhaskar Group with a vision to drive behavioral change thereby enabling socio‐economic change. Given the magnitude of our reach, we have undertaken an integrated approach of both making people aware and act accordingly for the betterment of society. Sudhir adds “Our CSR initiatives also contribute to UN Sustainable Development Goals pertaining to Quality Education, Zero Hunger, Clean Water and Sanitation, Sustainable Cities and Communities and Climate Action.”