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B H Kothari - a tribute Where is Rajaji? The power-full Hindujas Poor representation for Kerala and TN in Cabinet The rise and rise of KCP A think tank for Chennai London, London Narayan Infrastructure funding – lessons learnt Editor's Says Gay abandon in pricing Tribute – Manikam Ramaswami Welcome GST Why land prices zoom in TN? More tributes to GR More Shakti to resource mobilisation... PC’s preference for professionals Bihar – Nitish Kumar adopts the Lalu model Valli, they are more marginalised Medical costs hit the roof... Online not in line with brick and mortar businesses... All eyes on Sankara Nethralaya The Swadeshi Trump Build close rapport with business leaders CSR and CMI: promise of another Srinivasan Ramanujan... Gas is the way forward Computation of GDP – conundrums continue The Jan Dhan bonanza Telangana in top gear… CRS, a jewel among managers, is no more. Quality silica from Neyveli Robber barons everywhere Demise of a media baron... Reliance’s TV – 18 ready to launch Tamil News Channel The Gulf aviation boom Protest masters... Convulsions in The Hindu A more liberated TN… Revive development banks... GM Technology at last! Inflation: are we emulating Argentina and Brazil? Make standards certification mandatory... Kudos to NDTV... Where a state respects its litterateurs… When small is no larger beautiful.. Lesson from Chandrababu Naidu A C Muthiah – his munificent bequeaths to science Streamlining mandatory third party cover A friendly business group Tough task taking states together When nations steal growth from one another… Welcome thrust on trade in Modi’s foreign visits... An informal presentation - analytical, forward locking... Insurance companies bleeding, yet no decision on increasing FDI limit! Paytm karo... Contrarian cousins The balancing act Measuring roof tops in terms of KW/MW Like Hinduism: many paths to reach God... Marketing expert Balagopal is no more The brown list of Venkitaramanan Air Asia India will set new benchmarks for budget travel Fortune for Indian Airlines Strengthen the base... Of course, Gujarat is vibrant Delhi returns to BJP Cutting the nose to spite the face No engine for this car Funding the un-funded Bihar elections - the Rajaji formula worked Delhi is distant… Modi storms Silicon Valley Why this malaise in medical education? The star of Spencers is no more Engineering seats go abegging A welcome initiative by the judiciary L&T: focus on infrastructure and more infrastructure… When the President was rendered homeless… When TN politicians can emulate Kerala's Return to king coal for urea... Whistle-Stop Tour of Raghuram Rajan TN – agglomerate land holdings without alienating ownership Multi-faceted Venkat More heat than light to the lack of interest on the part of these to focus on original research. This despite the much lower costs of such research in India. The industry which thrived on the protection of a closed economy and the advantage of a vast domestic market, has failed to organise its evolution on healthy lines For whom the bell tolls? Don’t seem to feel the pulse… Sweet news for TN sugar mills Eternal support for capitalisation of PS banks Sweeter prospects for sugar Varuna (rain) in 2015; Vaayu (air) in 2016. Chennai devastated Polls and promises Recognition to role of NBFCs.... TIAM turns a full cycle MHC should not return to its old indisciplined ways Odisha: spectacular win by Naveen Patnaik For whom the MIDS bell tolls? Nuclear power at the nucleus Moily’s bold thrust S V Raju – a ‘good’ true liberal Vibrant Gujarat Pharma – overdose of copying He continues the focus on social amelioration No Maha Koottani in TN... Welcome focus on core competence Revving up the manufacturing sector Editor's Notes Adharma of opposition politics Limit foreign borrowings to hi-tech, export potential projects... Intellectual of rare qualities F C Kohli - his concerns all embracing Excel Generators provide the vital back-up How Air-India loses customs... TGS- The king storyteller Discoms deserve better… Banning booze... Maximising the micro pricing … Naidu’s return augurs well for Seemandhra Which side are you, Montek? Mersal magnified Five star activism stalls development activity Making ‘my Amaravati’... Delhi Chalo... A professional at the helm of IRDA... Tribute Russi Mody – a tribute Tatas moving out of urea production... Dr C Rangarajan returns to Chennai Silver Years of Madras Musings The ‘Ayyo-yes’ is no more Kulandai was a giant The rise and fall of Annamalai University Increasing non co-operation of state leaders Shale gas and its shallow future S Ramanathan – a versatile musician, musicologist Solar thermal shines… Auto components surge… Fuel for thought The few handicaps... This scant respect for Law Solar, solar everywhere … Another Indian music maestro at the UN IPL type auction for VCs? No mega rail project for Tamil Nadu Readers' Mail Wise Presidents Modi and the lady Airlines in India: cost and space Godspeed, Chief Minister JJ China invests in India CIPET hqrs to stay at Guindy – for the present? The why of tax incentives Remembering Indira Sivasailam... SoA @ 80 TN-leverage strength of BHEL, NLC... Rs.1600 crore paper board plant of TNPL EEC at the National Media Centre Shipping woes of Chennai companies Quality education through the PPP mode Haul over the coal The ‘Jayanthi Tax.’ TELANGANA at last…BUT Noble nonagenarians... Padma Bhushan for A Ramakrishna Delhi is distant The sea- saw battle continues... There was flood of milk. Reason: no milk commissioner! Wanted: a second airport for Chennai A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… Breaththrough in malaria control A proud Madrasi Rahman at CIC Tribute – M V Murugappan Come elections, come advertisements... A rich pool of talent not utilised…. Kinetic Karnataka Put expensive assets created to use... Poor quality of university VCs The Ports’ Pasha expands into Tamil Nadu Tribute – UCAL Selvan… Parliament in paralysis... Naidu will soon build a new Hyderabad Focus on quality of power - its only around 170-180V Should we change the official year? GNS - 100: our first subscriber Building loyalty through the stomach PPP mode for upgrading Corporation Hospitals Muffled voices for merit… Diamond jubilee of Egmore Samskrt School Adapt Vajpayee dinner diplomacy Liberal imports idling indigenous capacities Lalu’s envy, India’s pride CII projects higher growth… A glass full of corruption Tihar, Puzhal not different from Parappana Agrahara Plummeting profits of PSBs Secularism and anti-Hinduism An inexplicable neglect Welcome changes that testify to Jayalalithaa’s return to health Preserving for the future Shanti and Sadhana through Music WTO Meet: resolved to meet again West Bengal: mindless malignancy TN accounts for the largest recruits by the IT sector Towards speedy justice Fall in crude prices help in oil sector reform R Sridhar steps down as CEO of Shriram Capital Not just in-laws (and outlaws); they’ve renowned academics at the helm! Sri Lanka votes for change L&T- the specialty of special purpose vehicles Scientists urged to take up farmer-oriented research Tax agriculture Align crops to agro climate endowments… Permanent secretariat for TN GIM Fortune 500 review He saved millions from starvation... Boy, can you beat these? The nuclear option Road development slows down Music happens Waning interest in public discussions… Things happen by accident and not by design... When online building permits work…. A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… EVM is tamper-proof Small units prefers to remain small... Tatas moving out of urea production... ONGC at KG Basin …and of a popular trade leader An enemy’s enemy is a friend When Ratan Tata visited SRM Mu Sigma – is no more Roaring Ro-Ro facility Cleaning Ganga – relocate tanneries and install electric crematoria Cement prices continue to rise… A yen for wastage… IPL - no surprise this scam New IT products of Ramco in the pipeline… Alexa – Talking Wikipedia IAS invades NDDB... Colour-Chem’s colourful KRVS Chennai and Kolkata miss opportunity to grow as Delhi and Mumbai More Shakthi to Das’ elbow Land reclamation from sea appears cheaper! Shaming of Tamils by Tamil farmers at Delhi
 
Convulsions in The Hindu

The Hindu family dissensions again hit the headlines. Malini Parthasarathy resigned as the Editor of the paper within days of the launch of the Mumbai edition made with a lot of fanfare. This was ahead of the change expected at the board meeting scheduled a couple of weeks later.

For over 130 years Kasturi & Sons, publishers of The Hindu had a smooth, comfortable and profitable run. Controlled by the family elders of the Kasturiranga Iyengar dynasty, the business dominated the media scene, especially in the south, with little competition. Several of the scions also excelled in accessing technology and management expertise. A generation ago with their interests limited to music, racing and travel, G Kasturi, along with his elder brother G Narasimhan were fully focussed on managing the paper. They helped the company switching rapidly to information and communication technology. In quick succession the paper introduced facsimile editions, electronic typesetting and sophisticated printing facilities, both in Chennai metro and at de-centralised printing outfits in several cities.

The near monopoly position enjoyed by the paper as the premier print medium in English in the south was challenged by other print houses, notably The Times of India. The Hindu tried to meet this by engaging in a price war and also changing many of its rigid stances in regard to advertisements and discounts. It adopted many of the profitable practices of TOI eg.cover jacket ads.

Simultaneously, the business house also experienced the fissures widely seen in the batons passing to the younger generation. In a first major coup, the leadership of G Kasturi was challenged by the combined strength of the children of Narasimhan, Parthasarathy and Rangarajan; his term was ended and N Ram assumed leadership with N Murali as the Managing Director and his other brother N Ravi as Editor with liberal positions for other cousins, 12- all directors of the board.

The next break came when Ram could not play ball and hand chairmanship to Murali and the latter moved out as the MD. Siddharth Varadarajan from outside the family was appointed Editor with a couple of senior executive positions going for recruits from outside, notably TOI. In this arrangement, all the executive positions held by the family members were stripped, entitling them only for the perks and fees as directors.

The next change came with family members demanding executive positions back. The re-grouping of the directors rendered Ram’s position weak. Varadarajan and the COO were shunted out and Malini Parthasarathy took charge as editor.   McKinsey that earlier suggested major structural reforms, including launching a Tamil edition, also provided one of its senior partners, Rajeev Lochan to take charge as Managing Director. For the first time a couple of non-executive directors from outside the family –

S Mahalingam (formerly TCS) and Vinita Bali (Britannia) joined the board.

Malini’s term was not smooth. The new editor had her own predilections and prejudices. Several journalists finding her style of leadership not agreeable quit under VRS. There was also the rumbling over a huge expenditure incurred on the Mumbai edition promoted by her. At the home base, the print publication of Sportstar stopped and the Tamil edition continues to struggle to meet competition from the well-established Daily Thanthi and Dinamalar.

    In the recent re-groupings Malini’s groupwas in the minority. Ahead of the board meeting, she tendered her resignation. There was curiosity over the deliberations at the board meeting post-Malini’s resignation. The only thing that leaked: raising the price of a meal by over 200 per cent to Rs 10 a day (it was Rs 3 earlier). For decades, The Hindu canteen was considered the most attractive spot at Kasturi Buildings. Employees in the general shift liberally dropped in late hours to avail the cheap food. In the night shift of around 40, average attendance used to be a couple of hundreds! One wonders if The Hindu would be equal to criticising  the oil pricing jerks of the NDA II government. One may expect the Readers’ Editor, the paper’s gloriously-called Ombudsman, ponder over this in his Monday column.

Rajeev Lochan is bound to have more plans to cut costs and increase revenues. TOI and other media majors offer a lot to emulate. A five day week can be the next option.

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