A paper for kids’ sake
Ahmedabad-based Sajid Saiyad started Kids Age in 2006 to encourage children to start reading. Today, with a subscriber base of more than nine lakhs among 8000+ schools and individuals spread across 23 states in India and neighbouring Nepal, it is the most read, loved and also the most awarded newspaper for children.
Are you looking for a children’s newspaper designed to present relevant, age-appropriate content engagingly? Look no further. Kids Age (https://kidsage.in/), founded by Sajid Saiyad not only offers news but also provides an interactive space through games, puzzles, and stories apart from covering a range of subjects, from science to aptitude, for children from playschool to Class 8. Kids Age also publishes activity-based newspapers for very young kids, from kindergarten to Class 2.
Saiyad, who hails from the engineering field, had a keen interest in the field of education that made him start Kids Age way back in 2006. In a freewheeling chat with Team The Parentslogue, he takes us through the monthly newspaper’s eventful journey over the years, its USP, significant challenges and major takeaways of being in this business and talks everything else that you would like to know about the most read, loved and award-winning newspaper for children.
1. What was the thought behind starting this newspaper for children?
It is a known fact that children dislike reading unless it is made attractive. In 2006, we took this challenge of creating a content to encourage kids to start reading a newspaper, and from a very early age. The only available content apart from school books at that time were comics. Comic books only provided entertainment and a minimal amount of knowledge. Children often look up to their elders, imitating them. This sparked the idea of creating a newspaper for kids, which would not only entertain them but also enrich them with knowledge.
2. How easy or difficult was it to start a newspaper for children?
In the starting year, 2006, there were not many informative publications apart from the textbooks and some comics. Kids Age’s primary motto has always been to inculcate reading habits in young children. The initiation in itself was an experiment. The main challenge was to gather meaningful and engaging content – educational and yet not boring.
A lot of research was put in by the team to develop such content. The next step was to make it attractive and kid-friendly. This also made the designers keep the size of the newspaper that can be easily held by children.
In the beginning, we only had one segment catering to the different age groups. Looking at the success rate, Kids Age newspaper evolved. Putting in innovative inputs along with the feedback and suggestions from the readers, the Kids Age shaped itself to the form which is seen today.
3. What were the initial challenges? How did you overcome them?
Apart from gathering and designing the content, the main challenge was to make our young readers aware of such a newspaper. Children, being very choosy and super-critical, had to be provided with a product which would not only entertain but also enrich them with knowledge.
Hard work and attention to feedback made us overcome these challenges.
4. Please tell us more about your newspaper’s editorial team. What are your news day and nights like? How does your newsroom function?
Creative head, Ms Jayshree Oza, is always on her toes gathering, scrutinizing and approving the content to be published. Quality check is a continuous process happening at every stage of the process. I am quite particular that the content is flawless in terms of language, presentation, placement and delivery.
Kids Age contains only that information which is beneficial for children; it is an advertisement-free newspaper.
5. How do you divide time and distribute work amongst the team?
We have different departments, all working towards the same goal. Content and Graphics team work hand in hand to generate and design the content of the newspaper. The quality team plays a significant role in assuring that the content is flawless and age-appropriate. A clubbed team of printers, packers and dispatchers work day and night to cater to the never-ending demands of our young readers.
6. What have been your takeaways of being the most awarded and recognised name in this segment?
It is a proud feeling; it encourages and puts on the onerous responsibility to set new benchmarks, challenge ourselves, keep ourselves constantly alert, always look for the niche for quality, room of improvement, and bring up a new special innovation every year.
Above all, we have to match the expectations of our young readers.
7. What are the differentiators that set it apart from others in the business?
Over the years, different segments for school children came into existence.
Currently, we have three different segments to cater to different age groups:
1. Kids Age Seedling segment for children of Playschool and KG. It has pictorial content for the basic understanding of things around them.
2. Kids Age Junior for children of Class 1 and Class 2. It contains pictures, short stories, fun facts, art and craft activities and much more.
3. Kids Age for children from Class 3 to Class 8: It has latest updates on various fields catering to their ever inquisitive minds.
Innovative special editions and content have been the USP of our newspaper. These set Kids Age far apart from other children newspapers in India. These special editions are not only engaging but impart multilevel information in terms of practical as well as theoretical knowledge.
Our special editions are:
3D: This fun edition of Kids Age is not only loved by children, but also by people of all ages. Viewing the 3D images with the 3D glasses, takes the readers to a different world.
Glow in the DarkTM: This fascinating edition imparts knowledge to kids in the form of glowing images and text.
CodedTM: This fantastic edition turns our young readers into spies, as they perform the decoding the coded text and images using the provided Spy DecoderTM.
Wet & RevealTM: This super-interactive edition involves water to be applied to the waterproof newspaper to perform the activities multiple times.
Solar ActiveTM: This special edition not only gives knowledge to the kids but also helps them synthesize Vitamin D as this edition requires the activities to be carried in the presence of sunlight.
Rub & RevealTM: The latest magical edition of Kids Age required kids to rub and reveal the content with which puzzles and activities are solved. Gross motor skills get developed while enjoying this fun edition.
We have been adding a new special edition to our annual subscription every year.
We have been recognised and awarded for these innovative editions by the Limca Book of Records, the Asia Book of Records and the India Book of Records.
Kids Age has been awarded as the Best Education Sector magazine at the Indian Education Awards for its engaging and meaningful content.
8. What are its marketing, circulation and distribution channels? Do you sell it to subscribers or through schools? How can one subscribe to it? What are the readership and circulation figures?
We have representatives located in urban and rural India, covering 23 states, 8000+ schools.
Currently, we have more than nine lakh subscribers across India and Nepal.
We cater to both schools and individual subscribers in urban and rural parts of India.
Subscription can be availed ordering online from Kids age’s website, www.kidsage.in.
9. Is it available pan-India? In print and online versions, both?
It is available pan-India and Nepal. Both print and online versions are available. However, the special editions can only be enjoyed in the print versions.
As the newspaper is divided into different segments, its content and presentation styles vary accordingly.
Kids Age newspaper not only attracts kids but also engages them through various articles, stories, puzzles, DIY activities, Birthday Club, monthly contests, prizes, certificates and much more. It also provides platforms to children, parents and schools to put forth their views, highlight achievements and share innovative ideas in the field of education and childcare.