Within the digital age the place everybody makes use of a cell phone to verify necessary dates and even the time and day, most Indian houses nonetheless depend upon Kalnirnay calendars for all of the details about the Panchang, auspicious days, festivals, holidays, dawn and sundown.
The almanac was launched in 1973 by Jayantrao Salgaonkar, a famend astrologer, scholar and historian, full with data on the Panchang. In the present day, it’s powered on by his son Jayraj Salgaokar, 68, the co-founder, writer and managing director, and Jayraj’s daughter Shakti, government director on the publishing home Sumangal Press, after Jayatrao’s dying in 2013.
Such is the sustained recognition of Kalnirnay that each one editions put collectively (Marathi, Hindi, Gujarati and in different languages), the Audit Bureau of Circulation pegs general gross sales at 1.8 crore. It’s sustained excellence, contemplating the inaugural publication bought 10,000 copies.
Kalnirnay has develop into a pattern, just like the outdated jingle in its commercials, ‘Bhinti Vari Kalnirnay Asaave’ (there have to be a Kalnirnay on the partitions of the houses). Kalnirnay’s recognition relies on Panchang, or the Indian almanac system which is round 2,000 years outdated. It actually means “having 5 limbs” — Tithi, Nakshatra, Rāśi, Yoga, and Karana — relying upon the moon’s motion.
Kalnirnay founders Jayantrao Salgaonkar (foreground) and his son Jayraj. Jayantrao handed away in 2013. | FPJ
Sumangal Press Workplace | FPJ
Jayantrao Salgaonkar and his son Jayraj with Atal Biharo Vajpayee. | FPJ
Workforce Kalnirnay 25 years in the past | FPJ
Kalnirnay Staff | FPJ
Remembering the five-decade-long journey, Jayraj Salgaokar says that it was like a mountaineering expedition. “I’m a mountaineer by nature. Mountaineering taught me lots of my life that I’ve carried out all these years. This journey would have been very robust and boring in any other case,” he says.
Mocked by associates and acquaintances earlier than the launch of the almanac, which many referred to as a “doomed enterprise concept”, Kalnirnay was a sold-out in its very first 12 months. The daddy-son duo went from door to door, from vendor to vendor, leaving samples of the calendar and agreeing to forego funds for the unsold ones. Even when the preliminary gross sales didn’t take off as per the plan, Jayantrao, who labored as a crossword compiler from 1952-56 with a number one Marathi each day, contacted his journalist associates to write down critiques, which later boosted the gross sales. He additionally acquired advertisers to market their model on the masthead of Kalnirnay.
“Once we have been about to launch Kalnirnay, we had already come out of the lottery enterprise which had failed and our household was going through a debt of Rs 30 lakh. My father confronted legal fees over non-repayment of loans. We had no credibility available in the market, no credibility among the many banks. All we had was this new enterprise concept, weird, because it was termed by many,” reminisces Salgaonkar.
Kalnirnay bought 25,000 copies in 1974 and the founders began to consider they have been heading in the right direction. “Calendars are historically used for depicting pictures of Gods and Goddesses. Later, it grew to become a medium to depict pictures of the good masters. In these occasions, no one realised the facility of this medium as a chance for promoting, as every web page of the calendar stays in entrance of you for a month, therefore it has a really sturdy registration and recall worth. We at Kalnirnay realised the potential,” Salgaonkar says.
“Our mantra was to stay to the 2 pillars… content material and promoting. These two pillars have performed a significant function in our success. Content material within the type of genuine Panchang, good articles by well-known writers and personalities. All of this helped,” he says. Kalnirnay almanacs have now advanced into carrying recipes, kitchen suggestions, well being and sweetness suggestions, monetary recommendation, astrological calculations and so forth, in in 9 languages (Marathi, English, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Punjabi, Tamil and Telugu).
Shakti says the protecting with the custom, the almanac is launched on the primary day of Navratri yearly. “Many of the gross sales happen by January 15. By Makar Sakranti, we’re settled. However typically we get bulk orders throughout April-Might as effectively,” Shakti, a former journalist and the primary feminine member of the Salgaonkar household to affix the household enterprise, says, “We need to innovate, as my grandfather and father did, however we don’t need to herald or plan any radical modifications as we’re conscious that Kalnirnay as a model has develop into an intrinsic a part of individuals’s life. I hope to contribute properly to the model.”
Her father says the complete staff is grateful to the pandits who labored onerous all these years and didn’t change the system. “These traditions have been dying as a result of lack of knowledge. Our pandits ensured the info will not be solely obtainable but additionally introduced to the widespread man in a simplified manner. It have to be famous that we’ve got by no means, ever promoted superstition,” Jayraj says.
Kalnirnay has adopted the digital mode protecting with the occasions, however has not diminished its give attention to the print model. “We launched our digital variations in 2011. There was lots of demand for Kalnirnay amongst Indians settled overseas. The Kalnirnay digital has 15 million downloads up to now,” he says.
When Kalnirnay was launched, it had a employees of 5 individuals who did the whole lot from designing, printing and distribution. In the present day, it employs round 250 individuals. Says Shamal Thakker, the gross sales promoting supervisor at Kalnirnay, “I’ve been working right here for the previous ten years. I’ve seen the model develop and it’s an thrilling journey. Right here’s to many, many extra years of success.”
It may effectively be. If computer systems and cell phones couldn’t get Kalnirnay calendars from our houses, there’s little likelihood the rest can.
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Printed on: Sunday, October 17, 2021, 11:55 AM IST