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‘Gaon Connection’ to launch in Rajasthan and Bihar

MUMBAI: Having found resonance among readers and brands in Uttar Pradesh, Rural India’s mouthpiece ‘Gaon Connection’ is now looking to expand its presence beyond the state by launching independent editions in Rajasthan within the next four months, and in Bihar later in the year.

Launched in December 2012, the weekly rural newspaper was founded by writer Neelesh Misra’s Content Project Pvt Ltd. It was in a pilot phase for over a year to see the response from readers and brands for sustainability. The initiative is supported by the 40-year old organisation Bharatiya Gramin Vidyalaya Society.

Misra tells that since the pilot phase of the newspaper will be over within the next two months, Content Project Pvt Ltd now aims to scale up the circulation and is thus planning to launch in areas of Rajasthan and Bihar as various brands have shown a keen interest.

“Since we are a self-funded newspaper, we are currently working on the model for the new editions. Our team is in discussion and looking for ways to invest and earn further by scaling up our business,” he says.

‘Gaon Connection’ currently has one edition in Uttar Pradesh which is distributed across 45 districts in the state and in parts of Bihar, Jharkhand and Maharashtra.

Misra aims to start an independent edition in Bihar as a lot of advertisers in the region have shown interest to advertise in the newspaper. He claims that most of these are national brands from sectors including FMCG, auto and finance.

“I also aim to further expand the footprints in Uttar Pradesh since it’s a large region and there are still many areas that are unexplored. A lot of the auto and FMCG brands have approached us for advertising,” he adds.
In order to ensure value for both brands and itself, ‘Gaon Connection’ also plans to tie up with brands in innovative ways.

Taking a new approach, it will associate with 10 to 15 brands for long-term advertising, for the upcoming editions. The team is currently in talks with various telecom operators and FMCG companies for the association.

Misra adds, “Several media buying companies too are now coming aboard and helping us to customise the circulation of the newspaper.”