Dawn poaches Pakwheels’ content king

06 Aug 2016
Baber Kaleem Khan, Head of Online Classifieds at Dawn Group of Newspapers

Baber Kaleem Khan, head of online classifieds at Dawn Group

DawnClassified, a business unit of Pakistan’s widely circulated English daily Dawn, poached the content spin doctor of Pakwheels.com in a bid to turn its online listings business contemporary.

Baber Kaleem Khan joined the Dawn Group of Newspapers as head of online classifieds.

Khan spent almost six years at PakWheels developing online and offline content, and managing communications with the media.

Now, he is preparing strategies for his new firm to attract customers to the online channel. He belongs to the group who believes print is yesterday.

“But, the decline of print will take another ten years,” he said, talking with us about his new role. “The difference between digital and print is that digital pushes, and print pulls. We will work on new products.”

DawnClassified is not alone in this makeover bid. JangClassified, run by another media mogul, is also readying for a digital future for its classified business (we covered here). Internet platforms of both these classified businesses imitate their print sections, featuring job, real estate, auto and miscellaneous adverts.

Together, they are estimated to hold 80 percent of the classified industry’s market share. A large number of people prefer to pay for listings in print, because of its penetration in the offline community.

Online verticals and horizontals, however, have a competitive advantage as far as the provision of free additional services to listers (advertisers) go.

Whether or not the new digital direction will help Dawn attract more internet users, remains to be seen.

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Tariq Ahmed Saeedi

Tariq Ahmed Saeedi covers Pakistan. Tariq is curious to dig up stories revealing the potential of technologies in turning things around.