How Indian Express doubled-down on key audience loyalties to grow subscriptions

2023-03-22. The Indian Express (IE) has been busy transforming its newsroom to a truly digital-first organisation while also taking a hard look at what drives its readers down the funnel and gets them to become subscribers.

by Brian Veseling | March 22, 2023

At WAN-IFRA’s recent Digital Media India conference in New Delhi, Nandagopal Rajan, Editor – New Media & Business Head for, described how they have gone about both parts of this process and how it’s now paying dividends.
See also: The Indian Express won two Gold medals in our South Asian Digital Media Awards for Best Newsletter (Your Morning Expresso) and Best Digital Subscription Initiative (IE also earned a Bronze medal in the Podcast category).
Among the oldest news brands in India, Indian Express was founded in 1932.

“It’s a trusted brand, and that’s something we take very seriously,” Rajan said. “Our only business is credibility, and it’s something we cannot lose at any cost.”

Indian Express is frequently called IE both inside and outside the company, and for many that IE stands for Investigative and Explanation, the two styles of journalism for which the brand is well known, Rajan noted.

The publisher also launched one of the earliest news websites in India, back in 1997. Interestingly, their print and digital products have two largely different audiences.

Print & online: Two very different audiences
In print, IE is not a big circulation brand, Rajan said, but it is seen as a paper of record and read by the country’s elite and intelligentsia.

Online, however, it has a far broader appeal with some 60 million visitors to its site each month, which reached nearly 100 million a month during the pandemic as people sought out explan...

Keen to read more? This content is exclusively available to our WAN-IFRA Members. If you believe your company is already a member, or you'd like to join in a personal capacity, please contact If you're a media journalist please reach out to

Share via
Copy link