A Challenge to an Ad World – A Case Study
When I was working on my previous Article “Time-pass Crazy Q&A”, an idea had crept into my mind to write an independent post on the subject titled here. The roots of the idea go deep to a Gujarati Weekly Magazine ‘Chakram’ (Crazy Guy), now known as ‘Chandan’ (Sandalwood). Now-a-days, I am not in touch with the said Magazine; but when it was in its flourishing times, a regular post of Q&A was being published under the Heading “Ajab Savaalo-naa Gajab Javaabo” (Wonderful Answers to Astonishing Questions). This very thing had inspired me to write down a specimen post on Crazy Q&A.
But, now I come to the track of my subject and give a very cute surprise to my Readers that ‘Chakram/Chandan’ is the only a Weekly Magazine without Advertisements even today. In July, 2005 ‘Chakram/Chandan’ had celebrated its 30th Anniversary as an ad-free publication. The Limca Book of Records noted its achievement of completing 30 years as an ad-free publication of a Magazine. If we go to the brief past of the Magazine, it is observed that it was first published in our India’s Independence year 1947 from Ahmedabad by Noormohammad Jussabhai well-known as Mr. N. J. Golibar. His son Mr. H. N. Golibar took the charge of the Magazine in 1971. During the initial tenure of Mr. N. J. Golibar and for further more 5 years, the Magazine had published some ads; but from 1976 to till date no ads have been published in this Magazine. I have marked the following positive aspects in the backgrounds of its achievement:-
(1) It was a Gujarati Magazine among rare of its kind in those days which entertained the people with its humorous content.
(2) Much of the content was generated by the editor and his family members hence there was a lot of cost reduction due to savings of any compensations to Authors.
(3) One more fact was that people bought the periodical paying a very handsome price and its circulation was about more than 1,00,000 copies.
(4) It was sold at Book-stalls on Railway Stations and Bus Stops. It is beyond our imagination how he would have extended his clientele circle. A note-worthy basic fact is that it could create a wide circulation only with its meritorious content. In commercial term, it can be said that the content is the king.
(5) Many popular features of the magazine reveal the secret of its popularity. One of them is a cyclic publication of crime or horror thrillers and another is a column of satirical jokes titled Atom and Fatakdi (big cracker and small cracker). ‘Wonderful Answers to Astonishing Questions’ was also an important section of the Magazine.
(6) Its present editor Mr. H N Golibar popularly known as Bholabhai is continuing also the tradition of publishing serialized mystery stories
(7) About 75 per cent of its circulation is as stand sale. Its 40 per cent readers are in Africa, UK, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand wherever Gujarati people live. The strength of the publication lies in its strong committed readership.
(8) It is an innocent and civic Magazine, full of humor content-wise, and the members of families of any age can read together with no any fear of vulgarity.
During my early age, ‘Chakram’ was sold at the price of 4 Annas (Present INR 0.25) I have witnessed many people reading ‘Chakram’ interestingly in public ignoring own status. A friend of mine openly advertised with the words as ‘If you wish to sharpen your intellect, ‘Chakram’ is the only Magazine that can help you a lot.”
When I am nearing to conclude the post, I would like to disclose the mystery of the owner’s last name as ‘Golibar’. Mr. Nurmohammad was an ordinary hawker selling lemonades (Aerated Drinks) in four-wheeled Hand-barrow shouting 12 for an Anna in its Gujarati version as “Lo Anna-ni Goli Baar (Twelve)”. His father was a businessman, but he never thought to join with him. He did all kinds of jobs. He used to give commentary at the time of silent movies and when movies got the voice, he became silent. But, his enthusiasm of doing something was never silent and he did show his great achievements in his publications as mentioned above.
I would like to say that when Internationally famous Magazines like ‘Time’, purely dependent on Commercial Ads, had to pass through financial crisis some years ago; an ordinary Magazine – ‘Chakram-Chandan’ will complete its non-stop 62 years in July, 2009 successfully with no any support of Ad revenue.
Summing up to say, three more feathers in crown of his success have been added recently in May, 2009 that Mr. H. N. Golibar has launched (1) Puzzle Magic (2) Magic Fun; and (3) Science City. I hope that the team of MBA students locally at Ahmedabad may visit ‘Chakram-Chandan’ office just to know as a case-study how an unqualified self-employed Professional has conquered high summits of his glorious success.
– Valibhai Musa
Tags: advertisement, Atom, Business, crazy, Golibar, Limca Book of Records, Literature, Magazine, Q&A
July 5, 2010 at 4:11 pm
I remember very distinctly, the magazine. It was considered to be a below average one, and we were forbidden by my father to read it .( He was working at Rly Stm. wireless office , and might have seen the public reading it.) We were encouraged to read ‘Kumar’ , which no doubt was an elite magazine.
But I had read a few pages, just on the street, by the newspaper stand; and the content did appeal to me.
But now I know more about it and regret , I missed to sharpen my intellect. Maybe that is why , I am a bit dumb!!
Ek ana ni baar Goli . Vah! Golibar , Vah
August 16, 2014 at 9:39 am
Without ad revenue it is difficult to manage quality of any magazine year by year! It is a great achievement to run ‘ad-less’ publication for decades! It requires more than MBA thinking 🙂
Thank you Valibhai for the article and appreciation.
May 6, 2016 at 12:03 am
Excellent article, Valibhai. You took me on a journey of nostalgic memories. One more thing I would like to add pertain to pre-Chakram days of enterprising Mr. NJ Golibar. He was publishing booklets of lyrics of popular Hindi movies in Gujarati script. These were sold outside the movie theaters for one anna each (0.06 paise). I was a teen then, and remember one of my friends reading and singing songs from these booklets. This experience of “publishing” came in handy for Mr. Golibar when he commenced his Chakram enterprise.
મુર્તઝા પટેલ- નેટ પર વેપાર!
January 30, 2020 at 9:39 am
Here the Link as supplement: