Book review/recommend : The ToI story (Times of India)

Just finished this pretty interesting book by Sangita Menon Malhan, a former journalist who worked in several newspapers including ToI.

The book gives a decent historical narrative of how Times of India (Toi) and the several other papers from Benett and Coleman stable came up. It is quite a story indeed.

The book mainly deals with Samir Jain whose very different (and eclectic) vision led to what ToI is today. Some may say ToI has destroyed journalism but for Samir it was just another business. His opening statement as he was introduced to TOI senior team was “Newspapers are vehicles for carrying advertisements and news is what we print to fill in the gaps between the ads.”!! The book is full of such one liners from Samir Jain and how he just stormed and changed the rules of journalism game.

Infact after reading the book one should not really be surprised by Ambanis taking over the Network-18 group. Businesses have always owned media houses just to shake legs and network with politicians. It has always been seen used as a vehicle by industrialists. Though, most let journalists be independent but mere ownership adds to certain prestige in the society and high-corridors. As a result of this independence, we usually do not know/care who owns these several media publications. They are mostly owned by big corporate houses who keep themselves away from the limelight. ToI itself was owned by Dalmia-Jain group (later Jain group), a prominent business house. As the business moved to Jain family post split from Dalmias, it became former’s main business as other ventures failed.

Though, one would have liked a deeper look both at history and explanation of logistics of newspaper selling. Nevertheless, the author has a different purpose focusing on Samir Jain. But still in the process we get insights on several aspects of business of media, strategies, marketing etc etc. A book which should be made part of teaching in India’s business schools which are just full of business cases from abroad..

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One Response to “Book review/recommend : The ToI story (Times of India)”

  1. ISB&M Pune Says:

    Thanks for this nice and informative article

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