What you need to know:
- Mr Sudhir Ruparelia is the chairman and majority shareholder in the companies of the Ruparelia Group with investments banking, insurance, education, broadcasting, real estate, floriculture, hotels, and resorts.
- The businessman was Daily Monitor’s first advertiser in 1992.
- The first edition of The Monitor was published on July 31, 1992.
- On its front page was an advert of Redfox Bureau De Change, owned by businessman Sudhir Ruparelia. 30 years later, Sudhir is one of the company’s top advertisers.
You were one of the DM’s first advertisers, with an advert of Red Fox Bureau in the paper. Who approached you to place that advert?
Mr Wafula Oguttu approached me to advertise with The Monitor. I had met him while he was still at the Weekly Topic which was leftist and seen as anti-government but they would give a balanced view.
Wafula was a respected journalist. When he wrote something, it caused impact. When he approached me, he told me that they wanted to set up a newspaper.
Along him, were respected journalists; Kevin Ogen Aliro, Charles Onyango Obbo, Teddy Seezi Cheeye and I think Andrew Mwenda.
I saw potential in them and that’s why I paid them for advertising space, a year in advance in one go. l to help them set up and launch The Monitor at that time.
In my businesses, I am one of the biggest advertisers, and have been so it was nice to see the first newspaper with my advert there. I was not sure the impact it was going to have because this was a media platform. I knew it would take time for everyone to accept it and once they did, the founders would get a brand following, so it was wait-and-see.
New Vision is media owned by government of Uganda so it technically has support behind it but The Monitor had the potential for long term sustainability.
Their association with Nation Media Group helped sustain it.
We saw potential and advertising was cheap 30 years ago and the profit margins were far better.
We could advertise in the growing market. For the last few years, online has become very influential and effective.
Every other person either has a laptop nor digital phone and iPad, and a large population of under 25 means that all the educated young population has access to social media. They are a strong market force as consumers.
My relationship with Daily Monitor is that there is always a good and bad story so I take everything with a pinch of salt but by and large, we have very good working relationship with Daily Monitor and when we are advertising, our first priority is with Daily Monitor.
I have stuck with Daily Monitor as an advertiser for this long first and foremost because it’s stories are effective and balanced.
Journalists will always have a position in our society. They are the only source with balances stories with government and private people and keep the public, the wanainchi, informed.
I congratulate Daily Monitor on its 30th anniversary. Please continue with the same spirit, grow and prosper. The economy is growing so we will all reap benefits from this success.