Fifteen Years in a Flash!
I can't believe that this October will be Khabar's 15th year anniversary! I still remember the first time we mailed out the coupon mailers, which we had started with. We had 8-10 advertisers on colored paper with black ink. We did all the printing, collating, and sorting. We stuffed the envelopes, applied each label by hand, and did our own presorting to mail them out. We mailed 3,000 envelopes to get almost 1,000 back as undeliverable.
Hard to believe we have been able not only to sustain but to evolve and grow the publication in all its different forms through the years. The question that comes to mind is, "What now?" Are we going to do the same thing for another fifteen years? Or are we going to do something to take this to the next level? If so, what is the next level?
We can try to duplicate ourselves in other markets. We can improve our website. We can increase our distribution. We can start another publication. Or, we can try to do a little of all the above. But what would be the purpose? Why go to all the trouble? Surely there are much easier ways to make a living?
I think we must have a higher purpose for doing what we do. I believe that publications like Khabar make it possible for many things to happen within a community. We can serve to bring the many groups of diverse people together. We can help a small-business person such as a CPA, attorney, photographer, or retailer succeed in business. We can give recognition to the people in the community who are doing some good things. We can give children recognition for their accomplishments. We can help promote charitable events. We can even help bridge the gap between the South Asian community and the mainstream. And we can give a voice to a group who otherwise may not have a voice.
I have been in Atlanta for the majority of my life—more than 30 years. When I compare activity in our city to other states that I have visited with large Indian populations such as Michigan and Ohio, they don't have the opportunities to go to so many shows and venues as we do. They don't have as many choices for good Indian restaurants. The movers and shakers in their community do not get recognized as easy as they do here.
I am inclined to believe that part of the reason we have so much activity and growth is because it is easy to get the word out in the community. It is easier for a concert promoter to come to Atlanta because there are magazines like Khabar to help spread the word. It is easier for a small business catering to the Indian community to establish themselves. It is easier for a fine restaurant to open and become a success within a short time. Speaking for myself, it is easier for an insurance agent to gain new customers, providing we are doing a good job for our customers.
As we celebrate our 15th anniversary, our readership is estimated at 90,000. We have been lucky. We have a good team! Great writers and graphic designers, and great advertisers, without whom our concept of a free publication wouldn't work.
We are lucky to be able to do what we enjoy and make a difference within our community. We want to thank you for allowing us to come into your homes. We hope we have served you well. Thank you for your ongoing support. We look forward to serving you in the coming years.
President and CEO.
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