Dainik Bhaskar Group’s new launch used as business school case study

by Sanjeev Kotnala        

Divya Marathi’s “Crack the Case” contest was used as a live case study to engage the local advertising community, educate business school students, and get expert input.

Click the image to view a larger versionThe successful launch in 2011 of Divya Marathi, Dainik Bhaskar Group’s Marathi-language newspaper, was captured as a classroom case study by Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Bangalore. 

The case illustrates the fast-paced expansion of the Dainik Bhaskar Group, India’s largest newspaper group, now in 13 markets. It also showcases the successful launch of Divya Marathi in Aurangabad, Maharashtra, where we have five editions that provide complete, central Maharashtra coverage within a short span of time. 

Case studies have been gaining popularity as a teaching method, especially in business and legal education. Business schools incorporate case studies into their curriculum to allow students to assess business solutions and make decisions based on them. 

Dainik Bhaskar Group’s remarkably fast-paced growth has previously been used as a case study in two leading business schools – India Institute of Management (IIM) Ahmedabad and Mudra Institute of Communications Ahmedabad (MICA). 

However, this time with the IIM Bangalore case study, the Group recognised the difference between “knowing” and “doing,” and conceptualised “Crack the Case,” allowing students an opportunity to work with a live case, and inviting industry input into the Group’s next market entry strategy. 

This case study was unique because it was “live,” with no camouflaging of the brand, company, or data. 

Concept: To gain creative buzz, the Group initiated the “Crack the Case” contest, designed for the advertising industry and students of premier management schools. The winner took all, with a prize of US$1,821. 

Contestants were asked to provide their take on a question of strategic importance: “Keeping in mind the fast-paced growth and unique market penetration strategy of the Group, which new market/territory should Dainik Bhaskar Group enter next?”

Approach: Dainik Bhaskar Group created a plan to garner the viewpoint of professionals within the media, advertising, communication, as well as marketing industry and students of premier management institutes.

We used trade publication, trade portals, e-mailers, posters, and social media to connect with the target group. Initially, the participant in a team of two was asked to register, then send in a synopsis and rationale for its solution. Next, we flew five short-listed teams to Mumbai to present their response to a jury composed of local leaders and Dainik Bhaskar Group’s senior management.

Response: Dainik Bhaskar Group’s “Crack the Case” received tremendous response from the industry. We received responses from organisations such as Maxus, Cognition Media, IMRB International (formerly Indian Market Research Bureau), and others — not to mention top business schools.

The contest received more than 340 registrations and more than 100 valid entries, and was a resounding success. The IIM Bangalore EPGP (students with prior work experience ) team – Suryanarayana Pemmaraju and Vinod Unnikrishnan – walked away with the prize.

The event demonstrates that such cases could be used for engagement and message delivery. In addition to participants, many more people downloaded the case for reading. 

Sharing their views on the experience, the winning team had this to say: “The overall experience has been amazing. First, it gave us an opportunity to work with a near live case and understand more about the print industry. Had it not been for this contest, we would probably never have known of Dainik Bhaskar Group’s success story and its out-of-the-box approach of looking at a problem. Winning a pan-India contest organised by a leading newspaper such as Dainik Bhaskar is a matter of pride and achievement. It would be interesting to track what the group does in the near future and understand our contribution.”

The enthusiasm and dedication shown by the teams was commendable. We were overwhelmed by the quantity and quality of the entries received. Inviting inputs beyond internal research teams for the first time was a unique experience for our brand.

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