Telugu is one of the four primary languages spoken in India. The newspaper has also organised events for women across the length and breadth of Indian states, designed to empower them in ways that will help them earn enough to become self-sufficient. The result has been an increase in both circulation and readership.
Eenadu decided to address women in particular because news media companies were perceived to be a product skewed toward male readers, leaving women readers without an identity in the daily newspaper. Eenadu recognised a need for a focused environment for advertisers to target these consumers, as well as an opportunity to translate this into a product that women could look to with excitement.
But this initiative was not just about providing information; it was about uplifting them.
The Vasundhara page appears in broadsheet format as a four-page pull-out, and has changed the newspaper-reading habits of the family. Now women have the flexibility to have their own newspaper to read at their convenience. This created a new readership profile not just for Eenadu, but in the Telugu print genre.
By 2002, the Internet and a new economy scaled up for women. Young Vasundhara readers were already evolving into homemakers, progressive mothers, and successful professionals.
Eenadu recognised the need to engage and address this audience’s evolving needs, including children’s education, family health care, and savings and personal finance. With this came the launch of specific products addressing these specific needs amidst a cultural transformation.
2010 brought with it a changing canvas — changing market dynamics globally, nationally, and locally. This led to women wanting to climb an “aspirational pyramid” and want more. Eenadu listened to its readers and attempted to get closer to them — to engage them and also become engaged with them.
The news media company created a transformational platform and showcased entrepreneurial opportunities, encouraging progress and the acquisition of new skills. This provided new opportunities not only for women, but for advertisers who needed engagement platforms to create experiences around their products, as well.
Eenadu believes that women as entrepreneurs are influential and decision-makers — usually multi-taskers who are strong willed and hardworking, capable of managing both crisis and change, and possessing natural leadership skills.
They are proactive and swift, and the force behind well-organised families. This perception led to the launch of Vasundhara Kutumbham, a permanent platform for engaging and empowering women. It is convenient, relevant, and empowering.
At about the same time, Eenadu began holding workshops (paid and free) in 93 locations across Andrha Pradesh. They not only featured expert trainers from a range of fields, but offered certification in multiple skill-development programmes that encouraged entrepreneurship and a unique identity for each participant. The workshops also encouraged continued engagement with the newspaper.
Among the participants:
- 70% were undergraduates and 30% were post-graduates.
- 65% were between 25 and 45 years old.
- 13% were self-employed; 18% were employed; 55% were homemakers, and 14% were students.
- Saree design.
- Jewelry design.
- Culinary arts.
- Career guidance.
- Entrepreneurial skills.
- Personality development.
- Personal care.
- Mehndi design.
- Indoor games.
- Home management.
- Health care.
- Waste management.
Encouraged by the success of the workshops and the VK platform, in 2013, Eenadu launched the VK Expo, which provided a platform for the sale and display of products and services to members of the Vasundhara family. It featured 100 stalls, with 25,000 footfalls during the two days it ran in Hyderabad.