It’s raining foreign magazines. The spate of international magazines foraying into the Indian market continues with Conde Nast International set to launch GQ in India. The senior editorial team has been formalized with Sanjiv Bhattacharya appointed as editor, GQ India, while Brendan Allthorpe has been appointed art director of GQ India. CJ Kurrien has been appointed senior editor of GQ India while Iain Ball has been appointed features editor of GQ India.
Bhattacharya has written extensively for British GQ, where he served first as features and then contributing editor. Having spent the last 8 years in Los Angeles, his print work has been widely read both in the UK and the USA in titles like Details, the Los Angeles Times, Marie Claire, the Daily Telegraph and the Observer among others.
GQ is a men’s lifestyle magazine, targeted at the upscale, urbane male, which was launched in USA in 1957. GQ has always distanced itself from lad magazines like Maxim and FHM in the past and now with their imminent launch, Nicholas Coleridge, Vice President, Conde Nast International is clear that GQ’s entry into the market will not see any threat from existing titles in the space. He added, “We are going to publish GQ India as a monthly in October this year. It will be the 13th to be launched around the world, after Russian GQ, which has been a huge success for us. In India, the space is wide open for GQ. We have never underestimated our competitors. But in this case, I don’t think the competition is very good. The mass market Indian lifestyle magazines are not our competitors, neither is the lad magazine segment.”
On the timing of the launch, Coleridge said, “Almost all the luxury brands that have been advertising with Vogue have indicated that they plan to bring in their premium menswear line to India soon and have been enquiring about our plans in that segment. We felt that the time was right to create a high quality magazine environment like Vogue for this segment.”
Alex Kuruvilla, Managing Director of Condé Nast India said, “There is a huge vacuum in the men’s luxury magazine space: we have been inundated by requests from advertisers and readers to launch GQ in India. Like its international counterparts, GQ India will be stylish, opinionated and celebrate the finest journalism India has to offer.”
Coleridge added that the content for GQ would be predominantly local with about 70 percent local content and about 30% international. Conde Nast’s first title in the country Vogue India was launched in September 2007 and will soon be completing its first anniversary. It’s a product that Coleridge is particularly proud of, given that the India launch was his primary focus.
Coleridge feels that the market is ready for other Conde Nast titles to enter the Indian market sometime in the future. Asked about which titles seemed most relevant in the Indian context and he said, “I think what would be very successful in India would be Glamour. I can see an Indian version of Wired doing very well, too, given India’s strength in technology. What I can also see working in the Indian market would be a very good travel magazine. But of course, we are going to take it one magazine at a time and see what the market thinks.”
For the entire interview with Nicholas Coleridge, read the latest issue of Campaign India dated April 11.