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May 8, 2001
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CHIP set to go off stands from June

CHIP, arguably the largest selling technology magazine in India, will go off the stands from next month.

Jasubhai Digital Media, the company that publishes CHIP in India, announced on Tuesday that it plans to discontinue the magazine and May would mark the last issue of CHIP in India.

CHIP is being published in India by Jasubhai under a licensing agreement with Vogel-Veriag of Germany.

The parting of ways between the two has led to this situation. CHIP had touched a circulation of 120,000 through individual subscriptions as well as stand-sales through a distribution network spanning over 300 cities.

Jasubhai Digital Media now plans to launch a new magazine called DIGIT in place of CHIP.

DIGIT is expected to hit the stands from next month. Meanwhile, CHIP Hindi would be replaced by SMART COMPUTING.

Industry observers say that the reasons for the disagreement between Jasubhai and Vogel-Veriag were apparent. Apart from the licensing of the brand name there was little support from Vogel to CHIP India, they say. Three years ago, when CHIP started off, the upstart had no option but to take whatever was dished out to them

But today, when it rules the market, Jasubhai had decided to rebel and branch out on its own.

"Over the past two years, CHIP's content has been 100 per cent produced by our own editorial team and test center. Our writers and consumer marketing team have created a deep and empathetic bond with the readers. Our logistics team has ensured CHIP reaches over 300 cities and towns," Maulik Jasubhai, chief executive officer of Jasubhai Digital Media, said.

"Continuing the partnership in the absence of any kind of content, training or sales support from Vogel-Veriag no longer meets our business objectives," he added.

The first issue of CHIP was launched in April 1998 and it soon captured the numero uno position among magazines focussing on the IT sector.

CHIP's success in part came due a mixture of focussed marketing and brilliant innovations. For instance, CHIP took on its rival PCQUEST's the idea of dishing out a free CD with every issue and turned it into a money-spinner for itself--so much so that the free CD offered with every issue became the reason why many bought the magazine. The CD had shareware, games, wallpapers, themes and popular desktop utilities all of which, were chosen to appeal to the widest spectrum of the readers.

The free CD with the magazine idea helped boost CHIP's sales, propelling it to the slot of the most widely circulated IT magazine as per the Audit Bureau of Circulation figures.

Jasubhai now hopes to replicate the success of CHIP with its newly launched brands, DIGIT and SMART COMPUTING. It will have a print run of 120,000 for DIGIT and 35,000 for SMART COMPUTING in the first month.


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