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

Mens Watches www.rtwatches.com

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