Interview with Gary Singh, Editor of Entouraaj

Entouraj Editor Gary Singh
Entouraj Editor Gary Singh

Gary Singh hopes that his online magazine ��shall share and discuss perspectives on British and Asian men�۪s lifestyle interests that lie at the root of our identities�۪. And, of course, make some money along the the way, by enabling advertisers to specifically target a demographic that is not hugely served by the current crop of ethnic media titles ��� young (ish) Asian men.

Hamant Verma caught up with the excited editor for an interview for BizAsia.

1. Why have you decided to target British Asian men rather than the whole British Asian community with a website?
The main reason is that I do not believe we can target men and women through a single lifestyle publication. Part of that reason is their different interests and part of the reason is the differences in how you communicate to men and to women.

Secondly, I found many Asian lifestyle publications were very big on Bollywood and celebrity gossip (gup shup), but I wanted to focus on what is happening in the UK now. I am aspiring to create a platform which represents what Asian men are in Britain today; confident, ambitious, fashion savvy and health conscious individuals.

2. Why a website and not a print publication?
I think it is very much linked to who we are targeting. We work closely with our focus groups to take direction on many of our strategic decisions and our research indicated that we were more likely to access our target demographic through online content. It has since proved to be a wise decision. Our ideology is to provide something unique to users who can access it for free whenever they want.

3. How do you plan to market the Entouraaj website?
We have used word of mouth and social media to raise the profile of Entouraaj and to get our brand out to our audience. Hosting our own events is something we might consider in future. At the moment, our focus is presently on building our readership and improving our content. If we have learnt anything from the power of online and social media, it is building something of real value will always find its audience and generate its own momentum.

4. How have you financed Entouraaj up to now?
We financed the launch ourselves. Since then, we have financed it through advertising revenue. Key to our future growth will be sourcing and working with the right commercial partners, a process already underway. Our goal is to generate enough funds to finance the running of the business so that we may continue to improve our content and expand our reach. For this reason many companies see the value in what we are doing.

Entouraaj - the online men's magazine
Entouraaj - the online men's magazine

5. Which kinds of organisations have you targeted for advertising and have you been successful in doing so despite the recession?
The recession has made advertisers more savvy so that they are now looking for creative opportunities, not just the obvious ad placements. As mentioned, the key is sourcing the right client fit for your product. We talk to advertisers who are well matched with our demographic. In addition to that, we are talk to organisations that are open to a exploring the ethnic market. They key for us is to work closely with our audience and to take direction from our focus groups so not to (bombard) them with advertising which is of no relevance to them.

6. Where do you see ethnic print media in ten years�۪ time?
It is difficult because I think print as a whole is a dying industry, although some titles may stand the test of time. Part of the reason that the print is still alive is because sponsors still prefer having adverts appear in this format; it is a tangible product that they can feel, something online can never really replicate.

With regards to ethnic media, I have already seen many of the big name titles shift their focus to online. The younger readers are the market that is growing, so a strong online strategy is necessary to tap into the next generation of users.

7. What is the future for Entouraaj?
Short term is to continue to produce quality content and as frequently as possible. Our readership is growing at rapidly month on month and we want to maintain a strong reputation for our content, our approach and our commitment to the British Asian male community. But things change so quickly in this industry, we might be having a very different conversation in a few months time.

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Interview by Hamant Verma

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