Kalanithi Maran Biography

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Kalanithi Maran Factsheet

Kalanithi Maran
NameKalanithi Maran
Year of Birth1965
Place of BirthTamil Nadu, India
EducationMBA from University of Scranton, USA
Works forSun group
PositionChairman and Managing Director
Valued atUS $ 3.5 Billion
Married to Kaveri Maran
Children Kavya Maran

Personal Background of Kalanithi Maran

Kalanithi was born into a politically influential and active family. His father, Murasoli Maran is the former Union Minister of Commerce, and his brother Dayanidhi Maran is India's textile minister.

He is also the grand nephew of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, M. Karunanidhi. All advantages and losses faced by a person, enjoying the power of high familial connections, have been witnessed by him.

He studied at Don Bosco, Egmore, Chennai, and completed his graduation from Loyola College, Chennai. In college, he was the student's union chairman and stood up for many causes. He went on to pursue a MBA degree from University of Scranton, Pennsylvania, USA. In 1991, he married a Kannadiga, Kaveri. She is the Joint Managing Director of Sun Network. In 1992, their daughter was born whom they named Kavya.

Start of Kalanithi Maran's Career

  • Kalanithi started his journey as a circulation clerk in Sumangli publication.
  • In the late 1980’s, he worked for a weekly Tamil magazine, Kunkumam.
  • He started a monthly video news magazine (VHS), Poomalai in 1990, circulated it among the Tamils in India and abroad, but it's publication was stopped in 1992 due to piracy..
  • In 1998, India liberalized satellite broadcast industry.
  • Sun network was among the first to procure such a license, and set up benchmarks for all.

Kalanithi's Sun Group- Company Profile

  • April 14, 1993 Maran founded the Sun Network. It is a media based company, and today stands as Asia's most profitable media company, with the largest TV network.
  • It is based in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India, part of Kal Media Services, Sun group.
  • Sun TV continues to be its flagship channel, which was first, fully owned private Tamil channel in India, at the time of its emergence.
  • Initially, it had 3 hours of Tamil programs in ATN channel under Sun TV's brand name.
  • Gradually, the network expanded to 24 hours television channel in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada and Bengali languages.
  • Today, the reason attributed for Sun TV's dominant share in market is attributed to Maran's hold over the distribution channels in south.
  • Today Sun Network reaches across 95 million people in India and 27 countries abroad, including US, Singapore, Malaysia, South Africa, and Australia.
  • Sun TV was listed in the Bombay Stock Exchange on April 2004, on raising $ 133 million.

Kalanithi Marans's Career

  • Maran started Sun Network with a bank loan of $86000.
  • Initially, this project was rejected by Zee TV's junior editor.
  • His success was attributed to his strong familial connections in national and state level politics, stripping him of all due credit for the hard work he put in.
  • At every step, he has been widely criticized, he says:
  • “When I started satellite television, people laughed at me saying Tamil cannot be in satellite television, it’s too costly. When I started radio, they said television has come, radio is a dead business. When I started direct-to-home (DTH), they said there are too many big players. We are now 5.5 million subscribers strong. If I’m going to follow the herd, I’ll be one among the crowd... All my steps are calculated, I am not going blindly with intuition.”

  • The biggest threat to his company unleashed itself in 2007, when the political influence that had helped him in the past, turned against him.
  • Chief Minister Karunanidhi and his followers fumed at a newspaper report alleging competing political ambitions of the Maran family.
  • During this time, when the critics felt that his career was over, he came out as a mature businessman who handled difficulties patiently.
  • In 2010, a criminal case against Kalanithi Maran was filed by Jak Communications, an Azhagri owned Cable TV Distribution Company.

Achievments and Awards won by Kalanithi Maran

  • With a net worth of US $ 4 billion, Forbes named Maran amongst India's 20 richest people.
  • Today, as the Founder Chairman and Managing Director of Sun Networks, he owns magazines, newspapers, television channels, DTH services and FM radio stations in India.
  • In June 2010, he entered into the field of aviation and acquired low-cost airline Spice Jet.
    This move was highly acknowledged, as he entered into an unknown field before prices flared up, cutting down on the risk.
  • He is the highest paid CEO in the country.With 20 television channels and 46 FM radio stations, he owns 77% of the country's biggest national broadcaster.
  • He co-owns Sun Direct, a direct to home television service, with Malaysian billionaire Ananda Krishnan's Astro group, which has 4.5 million subscribers.
  • His film production outfit, Sun pictures, is engaged in shooting a big-budget film with a well-known cast, and is being tagged as India's most expensive film to-date.
  • He won the “Young Businessman” award from CNBC, Ernst and young.
  • Forbes magazine named him “The Television King of South India.”
  • Kalanithi Maran has developed a reputation for identifying 'The-next-big-thing' on time, and working successfully towards its implementation.
Last Updated on June 03, 2015