A newspaper closely associated with the Independence struggle of India. Hindustan Times which was launched for the first time played an integral role in the pre-freedom era. With a vast historical background to support it, Hindustan Times is the market leader in India even today with the highest circulation of 2,399.086 copies.
The newspaper was started by Congress enthusiasts and thus since its inception, it has always been favorable towards the Indian National Congress and thus embroiled in various controversies. The paper was one of the first English dailies of its times and the paper has been associated with great personalities like Madan Mohan Malaviya, Rubi Waston, K.M.Panikkar, C.F Andrews etc.
Currently, Hindustan Times is owned by the Birla Group. In addition to the newspaper, the group also owns a children’s publication, Hindi dailies, website and also a radio channel. The paper has more circulation in Northern parts of India and is very popular there.
Strengths in the SWOT analysis of Hindustan Times :
Strengths are defined as what each business does best in its gamut of operations which can give it an upper hand over its competitors. The following are the strengths of Hindustan Times are:
- History of the paper: The paper that dates back to 1924 has a strong history of great people who have written articles for it. The rich history of the paper has made it a forerunner in the publication space in India and made it strongly associated with Indian sentiments.
- Presence across channels: Hindustan Times has a presence in most channels of media through its social media website desimartini.com, job portal shine.com and radio Fever 104 FM. This ensured that the brand HT was continuously visible to the customer which in turn improved brand recall.
- Reach: Hindustan Times is a popular newspaper amongst old and young. The newspaper is popular in North India and has circulation in New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Lucknow, Patna, Ranchi, Bhopal Chandigarh, and Jaipur. This ensures that it has a maximum reach in these parts and access to the audience across.
- Advertising Support: The paper has a wide circulation and reach and is credible because of the history it is associated with. Moreover, it enjoys wide readership amongst all age groups and all this has made it immensely popular amongst advertisers which acts as its biggest strength.
Weaknesses in the SWOT analysis of Hindustan Times :
Weaknesses are used to refer to areas where the business or the brand needs improvement. Some of the key weaknesses of Hindustan Times are:
- Lack of leadership in South India: Though Hindustan Times is a popular newspaper in the North, the same cannot be said of South India. This prevents it from being the biggest news publication in the country.
- Pro-Congress approach: The newspaper which was started by the Akalis to reach out to non-Punjabi readers had a strong Congress orientation right from the beginning. This has made it part of various controversies and dimmed its popularity amongst other party supporters.
- More ads in competing newspapers: The race to the finishing line for any publication is about how many advertisements it is able to garner. Hindustan Times loses the race in this aspect to its closest rival Times of India.
- Compromise of quality: Newspapers are in a constant bid to increase their readership and thus in continuous touch with what readers demand. In a bid to stay in the race they often try to sensationalize events and this, in turn, affects the quality of the news drastically. This compromise for quality in the race for quantity often affects the newspaper drastically.
Opportunities in the SWOT analysis of Hindustan Times :
- Sensationalisation of events: Today media is robust and press activity at its peak. Every news irrespective of whether it is small or big can be sensationalized and this creates fodder for newspapers and every new bit of juicy information creates a circulation boom.
- More features, more revenue: Newspapers are trying their best to innovate to the maximum extent possible. Some of this includes adding new features like blogs, entertainment news, cartoons, games etc and each feature would mean more revenue streams.
- The building of long-term relationship: Newspapers often thrive on brand loyalty for which they need to build a bond with the reader. Once the bond is built it is difficult for the link to break. Hindustan Times through its history has been able to build a strong relationship with its readers.
Threats in the SWOT analysis of Hindustan Times :
Threats are those factors in the environment which can be detrimental to the growth of the business. Some of the threats include:
- Internet: Everything on the Internet like social media, entertainment websites, blogs, and shopping has almost replaced the newspaper in the minds of the younger generation. Advertisers are also preferring to go online as against advertising in newspapers and all this is likely to affect the industry at large.