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SPARK OF THE CORPORATE

I don't believe in industry's perception, I believe in creating trends…..

Kalanithi, as the name implies "treasure trove" in Sanskrit, is often referred to as Chanakya in the business circles of South India. He is the man of few words and his predictions, whether in business or in personal life, tends to come true. He is an Indian media tycoon who is Chairman and Managing Director of Sun Group, which was the most profitable television network in Asia with 20 television channels and 46 FM radio stations. While his television channels and newspapers are primarily concentrated in South India, his FM Radio Stations and DTH Service are spread across the country.

Kalanithi entered into the field of aviation and acquired Spice Jet, which is one of the India’s profitable airlines in the 2010. He later transferred the Spice Jet ownership to the original owner Ajay Singh in the year 2015

Early Life & Education

Kalanithi was born in 1964 in a politically influential family. His father Mr. Murasoli Maran was the former Union Minister of Commerce and his brother Dayanidhi Maran was India’s Textile Minister. He is also the grandnephew of Muthuvel Karunanidhi, who is an Indian politician and served as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu in 5 separate tenures.

He completed his schooling from Don Bosco, Egmore, Chennai and graduation from Loyola College, Chennai. At that time he was the Student Union’s Chairman. He pursued his MBA degree from University of Scranton, Pennsylvania, USA.

So the foundations for brilliant career were well and truly laid:

Career Spark

Kalanithi is the owner and serves as Chairman of Kal Publications Pvt. Ltd. and Kal Media Services Private Limited. He served as Managing Director of Sun TV Network Ltd. (Sun Network) until Apr’12. He joined family business, a publication company of five publications (dailies and weeklies), as an Apprentice.

He proved to be successful in spite of his father's political rivals ruling the state, since he entered media business. He also emerged as No. 1 in neighboring states where his competitors include politicians and business men from those states.

Kalanithi is currently serving as Chairman of Sun Group. He served as Non-Executive Chairman of SpiceJet Limited and Non-Executive Director from Nov’10 to Jan’15.

Presently, Kalanithi is serving as Chairman of Sun TV Network Ltd. and of other Promoter Group Companies, since 1990. He serves as a Director on the Board of Sun TV Network Limited, Kal Radio Limited, South Asia FM Limited, Sun TV Network Europe Limited, Udaya FM Pvt. Ltd., Kungumam Publications Pvt. Ltd., Kungumam Nithiyagam Pvt. Ltd., Kal Investments (Madras) Pvt. Ltd., Kal Comm Pvt. Ltd., Sun Direct TV Pvt. Ltd., Kal Publications Pvt. Ltd., Kal Media Services Private Limited, Kal Holdings Private Limited and Sun Business Solutions Private Limited.

He got into business at the age of 27 and successfully launched one of the first regional video magazines 'Poomalai' in Tamil in 1991. Under his leadership Sun TV Network Ltd. launched Sun TV in 1993, one of India's first international regional language satellite television channels and Suryan FM.

He started his TV channel with an investment of US $ 86000 from bank loans and he proved to be successful inspite of his father's political rivals ruling the state for most of the period since he entered into media business. Sun TV was listed on Bombay Stock Exchange on Apr’06 with 10% of the shares widely held and 90% still owned by Maran.

On January 11, SpiceJet put 1 million tickets for sale at Rs 2,013 a piece (all-inclusive). The window of discount stayed open for 72 hours, and was meant to attract traffic during the lean season (March to June). On a normal day, airline sold upto 45,000 tickets; but on those three days, it sold 700,000 tickets. In one stroke, Kalanithi Maran, the promoter of SpiceJet, had stirred the aviation market that had gone sedate with the exit of Kingfisher Airlines. Kalanithi kept himself away from the limelight. Actually, that's how the owner of SpiceJet, the Sun Media Empire and SunRisers, the Hyderabad franchise of the Indian Premier League, chooses to be.

Business Entities

TV Channels  
Tamil  
 Sun TVChutti TV
 KTVComedy Thirai (comedy channel)
 Sun MusicAdithya TV (another channel for comedy)
 Sun News 
Malayalam  
 SuryaTVKiranTV
Telugu  
 GeminiTVNavvula Tera
 TejaTVGemini Music
 Gemini NewsGemini Cable Vision (Comedy Channel)
 Kushi TV 
Kannada  
 Udaya TVUdaya Movies
 Ushe TV (Comedy)Udaya Varthegalu
 Udaya2Chintu TV
FM Stations: SFM was rebranded as RED FM across 38 cities in INDIA on 14 August 2009  
Tamil  
 Suryan FM - Chennai - 93.5 MHzSuryan FM - Tiruchirappalli - 93.5 MHz
 Suryan FM - Coimbatore - 93.5 MHzSuryan FM - Madurai - 93.5 MHz
 Suryan FM - Tirunelveli - 93.5 MHzSuryan FM - Pondicherry - 93.5 MHz
Telugu  
 SFM (Visakha)- Vishakapatinam(Vizag)- 93.5 MHzSFM Rajahmandry - 93.5 MHz
 SFM Hyderabad - 93.5 MHzSFM Warangal - 93.5 MHz
 SFM Tirupathi - 93.5 MHzSFM Vijayawada (Bejawada) - 93.5 MHz
Kannada  
 SFM Bangalore - 93.5 *SFM-MYSORE**SFM-MANGALORE* MHz 
Hindi  
 SFM Bhubaneshwar - 93.5 MHzSFM Indore - 93.5 MHZ
 SFM Jaipur - 93.5 MHzSFM Pune - 93.5 MHz (Now Red FM)
Shareholder of  
 Red FM (India) 

Family

Kalanithi married Kaveri, a native of Coorg, (Karnataka) in 1991 and has a daughter named Kaviya (Born 1992). His wife is the Joint Managing Director of Sun network.

Awards & Achievements:

“Rajiv Gandhi Best Entrepreneur Award” in 1995
The Worldcom “Indian Young Business Achiever Award” in 1999.
Represented India at “World Young Business Achiever Awards” in Portugal in 1999
Worldcom “World Young Business Achiever Award” in 1999 for creativity
“Indian Junior Chamber Zone XVI - Outstanding Young Person Award” in 2000
The Ernst and Young “Outstanding Businessman Award” for the Entertainment and Information Sector in 2004
The Indian Today “Service Czars Tamil Nadu's New Age Titans” in 2005
“Commendation for Displaying Extraordinary Corporate Leadership and Entrepreneurial Spirit” in 2005 by CNBC Television
"Entrepreneur of the Year 2009” by the TiE Con
Among the few representatives at a roundtable with visiting U.S. President Bill Clinton
Adjudged as India's 20th richest person ranked by Forbes
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
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.
Forbes magazine named Kalanithi as “The Television King of South India.”
Developed a reputation for identifying 'The-next-big-thing' on time, and working successfully towards its implementation

Memberships:

Executive Chairman; Sun TV Network Ltd
Chairman; Kal Publications Pvt. Ltd
Chairman; Sun Group

Other Affiliations:

University of Scranton
University of Madras
SpiceJet Limited
Kal Publications Pvt. Ltd
Kal Airways Private Limited
Kal Media Services Private Limited
Sun Group
Quotes
  I have no inclination or interest in politics. I only observe politics.
  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.
  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.
  I look at the opportunity, at what's going to happen in the future.
  I strongly believe that if you have affordable pricing, you can do mass transportation in India, with infrastructure and new airports also coming up.
  I don't believe in industry's perception, I believe in creating trends.
  I am not an FII. Whatever business I do, I am an active player. If I wanted to be a financial investor, I would have stayed at 10%. I am not like that.
  I am not competing with full-fledged carriers. At least for the next five years, I am not looking at changing the low-cost model.

Hope viewers caught up the spark…

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