Posts Tagged ‘Puneet Goenka’

The media Marwari who’s a ‘proper Tam-Brahm’

8 March 2014

goenka

After a long period away from the arclights, Viveck Goenka, the scion of one of India’s most influential newspapers, The Indian Express, is slowly bouncing into the main frame.

He is now playing an increasingly hand’s-on role at his own paper, making key decisions; is seen at media events, is making his presence felt on industry bodies—and is starting to give interviews.

In his first formal powwow in 20 years, in a special issue on Marwaris in the business magazine Forbes India, the chairman of the Express group, talks fondly of his grandfather, the late Ramnath Goenka, and even poses with his son Anant Goenka in a photograph (above) in the paper’s presses.

Viveck Goenka tells Forbes India:

# “Ramnathji taught us never to compromise on editorial values and freedom… to be fearless and not to be aligned to any political party. I have had a whole lot of people threatening me.”

# “There was one thing clear about Ramnathji. ‘If I have an end-goal, I don’t care how I reach that…’ I agree with him but not everyone does.”

# “I see myself as a proper Tamilian Brahmin [Goenka grew up in Tamil Nadu], that’s my upbringing.”

***

The chairperson and editorial director of Hindustan Times, Shobhana Bhartia; Subhash Chandra and his son Punit Goenka of Zee; Gulab Kothari and his sons Nihar Kothari and Siddharth Kothari of Rajasthan Patrika, are the other media Marwaris featured.

The interviews give an inside view of the austere and conservative business and management ethic of the original media Marwaris, which later generations are eagerly dismantling.

# Shobhana Bhartia: “When we started innovative advertisements, my father [K.K. Birla] was taken aback. ‘No, we can’t do this. You can’t affect page one, can’t place something in the middle of it.’ I can understand that his generation was not used to these things. He felt colour pages would be more like a comic book.”

# Anant Goenka: “[As a Marwari, I have] an inherent drive to spend wisely and to build wealth. Whether large or small, [the 2,500 sq ft bachelor pad he bought after running up hefty hotel bills] is our own. It’s a Marwari thing. We are obsessed with appreciation.”

# Punit Goenka: “It is clear that we are in the business to make money; we are not here for charity or for building power or influence.”

# Gulab Kothari: “If you borrow money for growth, I believe you can’t reverse that decision. The question is, do I give my children 100 per cent of the business or leave them to deal with an outsider who I sold a stake to? My view is, expand less and gradually… we don’t need to jump the gun by taking debt.”

The Marwaris who own The Times of India group, Dainik Bhaskar and Dainik Jagran “did not participate in the story or were not available”.

Photograph: courtesy Forbes India

Also readWhen Samir served a thali, Vineet served a scoop

‘Zee is the only news channel making money’

Why Aditya Sinha suddenly exited from DNA

10 December 2012

Aditya Sinha, the editor-in-chief of the Bombay newspaper DNA has resigned, within weeks of former Times of India response chief Bhaskar Das joining the Zee group, which now wholly owns the paper. (Sinha’s departure had been preceded by the exit of K.U Rao, the long-serving publisher of DNA.)

Coming at a time when the Zee group is involved in a messy battle with Jindal Steel, with two of the television channel’s editors behind bars for alleged extortion and the group’s own Subhash Chandra and his son Punit Goenka being interrogated, Sinha’s exit has set tongues wagging.

On his microblog account, Sinha has tweeted that he left the paper he edited for two years to concentrate on writing novels. But in an interview with the media website MxM, he leaves little to the imagination as to why he moved on (update: an inference since denied by Sinha).

On the timing of his resignation: “It could have been done at some other time, but why should I follow other people’s timelines?”

On his replacement: “Ravi Joshi, the recently appointed Mumbai resident editor, suddenly finds himself incharge. Bhaskar Das may find an alternative if he can convince someone from his old place of employment to join.”

On DNAs upcoming redesign: “The paper is going through a slight redesign because Bhaskar Das wants to change the look-and-feel of the paper to a template that is familiar to us all. He is keen on an edit page, so I guess my departure strengthens his hands in some ways.”

On his lowpoints as editor: “The only lows were realizing that people working in the company did not even read your newspaper! It shows you that most non-journalists in the media industry have zero passion for their jobs.”

Read the full interview: Jaldi5 with Aditya Sinha

Also read: Does Swamy‘s DNA column amount to incitement?

Is UPA hitting back at TOI, India Today, DNA?

Are journalism’s best practices in your DNA?

Good morning, your paper is free of paid news

How Bombay is skewing the media worldview

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