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