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