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Shekhar Gupta and Barkha Dutt announce launch of ‘The Print’

Shekhar Gupta and Barkha Dutt

Shekhar Gupta and Barkha Dutt

Shekhar Gupta, former editor-in-chief of The Indian Express newspaper, and NDTV’s Barkha Dutt have joined hands to launch a digital media startup called ‘The Print’.

Dutt, who resigned from her position as group editor in NDTV in February 2015, is currently associated with the news broadcaster as consulting editor.

The announcement was first made on social media platform Twitter.

When contacted by VCCircle, Gupta said the duo will share further details about the startup in due course of time.

Gupta and Dutt join the growing league of traditional journalists and media company owners setting up a new media startup. Some of the startups have also raised funds from investors.

Raghav Bahl, founder and former managing director of Network18 Group, is one of the first ones to join the digital bandwagon. Bahl announced the launch of his digital media company Quintillion Media Pvt Ltd in December 2014. About eight months after the announcement, its mobile-first news platform, TheQuint.com, went live in March 2015.

Next, in May last year, Siddharth Varadarajan, former editor of The Hindu, along with one of the founding editors of DNA, Sidharth Bhatia, launched The Wire, an online news publication. At the time of its rollout, the digital publication had tied up with news agencies such as Press Trust of India (PTI) and Indo-Asian News Service (IANS) for content. At the time it was looking to raise Rs 10-12 crore.

That was followed by the launch of Arré’, a digital media brand from U Digital Content Pvt Ltd. The company was set up by founder of UTV Software Communications and former managing director of Disney UTV India Ronnie Screwvala, along with B. Saikumar, former group CEO of Network18 and Ajay Chacko, former COO of Network18 and president, A+E Networks/TV18 in 2012.

Then in September 2015, Chiki Sarkar, former publisher and editor-in-chief of Penguin Random House India, and Durga Raghunath, former vice president (growth) of Zomato, founded Juggernaut, a mobile-first publishing firm.

The duo, at the time of the launch of Juggernaut, raised Rs 15 crore from Nandan Nilekani, co-founder, Infosys Ltd; William Bissell, promoter, Fab India and Boston Consulting Group’s India managing director Neeraj Aggarwal amongst others.

As per the latest report released by Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), India is currently home to 243 million internet users. Of this, 65 per cent are urban users while 35 per cent are rural consumers. Moreover, of the total number of internet users 193 million are active.

At a time when India has witnessed an explosion in the space of news and entertainment, Gupta and Dutt’s new media offering needs to have a differentiated positioning and content to take on the competition.

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