The Indian Express
The Indian Express
The paper's 4 August 2009 front page
Type Daily newspaper Format Broadsheet (format) Owner Indian Express Group Publisher Indian Express Group Editor-in-chief Shekhar Gupta Founded 1931 Political alignment Indian National Congress & Centrist Language English Headquarters 9,10 Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg New Delhi, Delhi 110002 OCLC number 70274541 Official website IndianExpress.com
The Indian Express is an Indian English-language daily newspaper. It is published in Mumbai by Indian Express Group. After Ramnath Goenka's death in 1991, the group was split in 1999 among his family members into two with the southern editions taking the name The New Indian Express, while the old Indian Express name was retained in the northern editions based in Mumbai with a prefix "The".
The Indian Express is owned by the Indian Express Group with Viveck Goenka as the Chairman and Managing Director. The group also owns other newspapers in India such as the Financial Express, a newspaper focused on the Indian economy, stock markets, and fiscal policies. The group has other publications such as Screen weekly focused on entertainment news, the Marathi-language daily Loksatta, and the Hindi daily Jansatta.
History of the group
Indian Express was started by an Ayurvedic doctor and Congress Party member Perumal Varadarajulu Naidu in 1931 at Chennai (then Madras) published by his “Tamil Nadu” press. But soon under financial difficulties he sold it to S. Sadanand, founder of The Free Press Journal, a national news agency.
In 1933 The Indian Express opened its second office in Madurai and launched the Tamil edition Dinamani. Sadanand introduced several innovations and reduced the price, but was later forced to sell part of the stake in form of convertible debentures to Ramanath Goenka due to financial difficulties. Later when the free press journal collapsed in 1935 Sadanand lost the ownership of Indian Express after a long controversial court battle with Goenka, where blows were exchanged between some of the parties.
Goenka’s court battle with Sadanand for ownership
Suit No. C.S. no. 288 of 1936 IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE, AT MADRAS
PARTES: The Free Press of India (Madras) Ltd. Through its Directors 1. S. Sadanand 2. Mrs. Sagaram Sadanand 3. P. Vardarajulu Naidu. –Plaintiffs Vs. 1. Publicity (Madras) Ltd., represented by R. Goenka, Managing Director. 2. R. Goenka 3. K. Santanam 4. S.V.Swamy 5. T.S. Chockkalingam – Defendants.
Para - 3 (1933) The Free Press of India (Madras) Ltd., a private limited company incorporated and registered in February 1933. The Authorized Capital of the Company is Rs. 3 Lacks divided in 6000 shares of Rs. 50 each. Paid up Capital Rs. 136550. of 2731 fully paid up shares.
Para - 4 (1934) Objects of the Company: The Company was established mainly to acquire and carry on the newspaper known as ‘Indian Express’ previously thereto conducted by the Free Press of India Ltd. Bombay, and to start and conduct such other newspaper and Magazines or Journals as circumstances might dictate . Pursuant thereto the newly formed company purchased from the Free Press of India, the whole of the business, stock in trade, and assets of the Indian Express under Articles of Agreement dated 19th April 1934 for a consideration of Rs. 86,250/- for which fully paid up shares of a like value in the new company were later allotted.
Managing agents debenture issue
First managing agent Messers Sadanand and Company with headquarters in Bombay, with Sadanand as the sole proprietor.
In or about end of 1934 the directors considered to associate a local individual in the managing agency and to raise by way of mortgage debentures a sum of Rs.50,000/- for meeting liabilities pertaining to the additional machinery and meeting certain overdue liabilities.
Accordingly another private limited company known as Publicity (Madras) Ltd. was formed with subscribed capital of Rs. 20000/- of which 51 percent was held by Ramanath Goenka and 49% by Mr. Sadanand. Ramnath Goenka should entirely fulfill the obligations devolving on the managing agents.
M/s. Sadanand & Co., should terminate the managing agency with the company Publicity (Madras) Ltd should be appointed Managing Agents & the new Managing Agents should underwrite the entire mortgage Debentures of Rs. 50,000 Rs. Fifty thousand within a specified date namely 15th January 1935.
Publicity (Madras) Ltd. were appointed managing agents from 08-01-1935. The first directors of the company were S. Sadanand, K. Santanam, and S.V. Swamy, & held office till 22.10.34. At the first Annual General Body Meeting for the year they were reelected & the three directors voluntarily retired and on 23.11.1935 S. Sadanand, Mrs. Sagaram Sadanand, and S. Bhushan were elected as directors and on 19.5.1936 they co-opted Messers. Ramnath Goenka, K. Santanam, T.S. Chokalingam and S.V. Swamy as Directors till the next general meeting.
Rs. 50,000/- was received & on the recommendation of Ramnath Goenka in current account at 6% with Messers. Chunilal Murliprasad bankers on or about 25.1.35.
Co-opted Ramnath Goenka director on 19 May 1936
The first directors of the company were S. Sadanand, K. Santanan and S.V. Swamy and they held office till 22-10-1934 when at the first AGM they were again re-elected as director for the year 1934-35. At the end of the year, the three directors voluntarily retired and on 23-11-1935 S. Sadanand, Mrs. Sagaram Sadanand, and S.N. Bushan were elected directors. S.N. Bushan never took office and resigned on about 4th February 1936. When recording Mr. Bushan’s resignation not to fill the vacancy till the third annual general meeting. And under clause 11 co-opted on 19-05-1936 till the next general meeting, Ramnath Goenka, K. Santanan, T.S. Chokkalingam.
Ramnath Goenka entry & battle in the scene
Ramnath Goenka started creating trouble and to oust S. Sadanand from his accredited position of importance and influence in the company and to make himself supreme in its administration.
The battle started with the next Annual General Meeting which was convened on 22nd August 1936 and adjourned from time to time & finally held on 20th September 1936. After start of the meeting & with some arguments, a party consisting of Ramnath Goenka, K. Bhashyam, K. Santanam, T.S. Chokalingam, and S.V. Swamy left their seats, took their chairs to another corner of the room and also took away some papers produced and filed at the meeting on the 19th and the 20th.
Altercations & blows
The suit filed in Madras High Court by S. Sadanand on 30 October C. S. No. 288 of 1936 leveling charges of various fraud committed by Ramnath Goenka and also that Ramnath Goenka at one time saying that he was a partner of Chunilal Murliprasad at another he was an agent and at other times he was totally unconnected and Ramnath Goenka also concealed from till very late stage that the office of Chunilal Murliprasad was situated at his residence.
There have been lot of altercations & blows and finally Final orders of the court passed on Monday the 3rd day of May 1937, the honorable Mr. Justice Gentle in the high court of Madras.
This suit coming on this day before this court for withdrawal in the presence of Mr. R. Rangachariar, Advocate for the Plaintiffs herein, of Mr. K. Venugopala Iyengar, Advocate for Defendants 1 herein, and of Mr. R. Soundara rajan, Advocate for Defendants 2 to 5 herein, and the said Advocates for the parties hereto represent to this court that the suit has been settled out of court, it is ordered as follows:-
1.That this suit do stand dismissed out of this court as settled.
C.S.No. 288 of 1936 IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE,AT MADRAS
Finally a year later Goenka to buy the rest of the 26% stake from Sadanand, and the paper came under Goenka's control who took the already anti-establishment tone of the paper to greater heights. Also at that time it had to face stiff competition from a well established The Hindu and the Mail besides other prominent newspapers. In late 1930s the circulation was no more than 2000.
In 1939 it also bought out Andhra Prabha, another prominent Telugu Daily. Later the gained the name Three Musketeers for the three dailies. In 1940 the whole premises were gutted by fire. The Hindu, its rival, helped considerably in re-launching the paper, by getting it printed temporarily at one of its Swadesimithran’s press and later offering its recently vacated premises at 2, Mount Road later to become the landmark Express Estates. This relocation also helped the Express obtain better high speed printing machines, while some claimed the Goenka had deliberately set fire to escape financial embarrassment.
In later years Goenka started the Mumbai edition with the landmark Express Towers as his office when the Morning Standard was bought by him in 1944. Two years later to become it became the Mumbai edition of The Indian Express. Later on editions were started in several cities like 1957 the Madurai edition, the 1965 Bangalore edition, and the 1968 Ahmedabad edition. The Financial Express was launched in 1961 from Mumbai, Kannada Prabha (Kannada Daily) from Bangalore in 1965 and a Bangalore edition of the Telugu Daily Andhra Prabha, and Gujarati dailies Lok Satta and Jansatta in 1952, from Ahmedabad and Baroda.
The Delhi edition started was when the Tej group's Indian News Chronicle was acquired in 1951, which from 1953 became the Delhi edition of Indian Express. In 1990 the group bought the Sterling group of magazines, and along with it the Gentleman magazine.
After Ramanath Goenka’s demise in 1991, two of the family members split the group into Indian Express Mumbai with all the North Indian editions, while the Southern editions were grouped as Express Madurai Ltd. with Chennai as headquarters.
The Express Group has a Mumbai-headquartered division, which should not be confused with Express Publications Madurai, which brings out a South Indian chain of newspapers, including The New Indian Express and is very much a separate corporate entity from The Express Group.
Financial difficulties and turnaround
The newspaper saw falling profits between the years 2000-2002 but did not change its policies and the nature of content it carried. The newspaper, however, appointed franchisees to run some of its loss making editions including the Jammu edition (the model was also adopted to launch the Chandigarh edition of The Financial Express - the business paper of the Express Group). Under the franchisee model, the editorial control of the edition was to be retained by the editorial staff appointed by the Express group. The franchise owner was given the control of with the business side, including circulation and generation of revenues. In return the franchise was expected to provide the operational expenses and a one-time fee to the Express group. The model looked good on paper. However, it led to dilution of the editorial standards as the franchisees sought greater say in the appointment of reporters and selection of content. The conflict between commercial interests and journalistic ethics reached a flashpoint in The Financial Express, Chandigarh edition, when the franchisee threatened to shut down the edition if he was not given the editorial control. The franchisee ultimately emerged as the winner,leading to the resignation of the Resident Editor of the edition. This was followed by fresh appointments to the Editorial team and the franchisee assuming the role of the Managing Editor.The Express Group, subsequently posted profits of Rs 45 crores in 2004. This financial turnaround has been used as a case study in India's highly regarded Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad.
- Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Awards
- Ramnath Goenka India Press Photo Awards
- Screen Awards
- FE Women in Business Awards
- Intelligent Enterprise Awards
- Security Strategist Awards
- Uptime Champion Awards
- Express TravelWorld Awards
- Pharma Excellence Awards
- Healthcare Excellence Awards
Business Publications Division
The group also runs the Business Publication Division ("BPD"). This division publishes and prints out of its headquarters at Nariman Point in Mumbai a series of B2B magazines such as Express Computer, Express TravelWorld (formerly called Travel and Tourism), Express Pharma (formerly Express Pharma Pulse), Express Hospitality (formerly Express Hotelier & Caterer), the IT-focused Network Magazine, CIO Decisions, Express Healthcare Management and the newly launched business magazine Express Channel Business.
BPD has also ventured into organising events and exhibitions such as Express World. BPD also conducts events on IT and organises exhibitions for other parties. In September 2006, BPD's Express TravelWorld organised the exhibition for Travel Agents Association of India 55th annual convention in Hyderabad.
The Screen Awards, initiated by Ananya Goenka, are focused on films in India. The awards attempt to position themselves as India's first awards that are given by the film fraternity to the film fraternity by way of a jury, as opposed to the other "popular" awards such as Filmfare and Zee Cine Awards.
BPD brings out several special features throughout the year. Noted among them are few from the Hyderabad division headed by Biju Mathews (GM-BPD), which include the following:
- Centennial Titans
- Platinum League
- Golden League
- Silver League
- [Best of Andhra Pradesh]
- Andhra Pradesh - Celebrations
- Best Schools of Hyderabad
- Gourmet guide - Hyderabad
- Heritage Capital - Hyderabad
- [Best of India]
- Indian Express Group
- Express Avenue
- List of newspapers in India by circulation
- List of newspapers in the world by circulation
- The New Indian Express
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