Kalanithi Maran

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Kalanithi Maran
Native name கலாநிதி மாறன்
Born 1964[1]
Tamil Nadu, India
Alma mater University of Scranton
Occupation Chairman & MD, Sun Group
Known for Founder of Sun Group]
Net worth $ 3.5 billion (2011)[2]
Spouse(s) Kaveri
Children Kaviya

Kalanithi Maran (born 1964) is an Indian media baron who is the chairman and managing director of Sun Group.[3][4] He owns television channels, newspapers, weeklies, FM radio stations, DTH services and a movie production house. He also held a major share in the Indian airline Spice Jet from 2010 to 2015.[5][6][7]


In 1990, Maran started a monthly video (VHS) news magazine in Tamil called Poomaalai which was stopped in 1992. On 14 April 1993, he founded Sun TV with an investment of US$86,000 from a bank loan.[8][9] Sun TV was listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange on 24 April 2006 upon raising $133 million[10] for 10% of the share capital and catapulting him into the billionaire charts.[11] He was among the few representatives at a roundtable with the visiting then US President Bill Clinton.[12]

By 2010, he was the 17th richest Indian with net worth of US$4 Billion,[13] and was the highest paid business man in India.[14] Maran and his wife, Kavery Maran were ranked second in the list of Indian executive pay charts with a package of 62 crore (US$9.4 million) each for the fiscal year 2011–2012, behind Congress MP Naveen Jindal.[15]

He has won Young Businessman awards from CNBC and Ernst & Young,[16] and Forbes magazine named him the "Television king of southern India".[17] In 2010 he won the News Television Entrepreneur of the Year award.[18][19]

Business entities[edit]


Kalanithi Maran is the son of the former Union Minister of commerce Murasoli Maran and grand nephew of former Tamil Nadu chief minister M Karunanidhi. His younger brother Dayanidhi Maran was also a former minister. He married Kaveri, a native of Coorg in 1991 and has a daughter named Kaviya (Born 1992).[20]


In May 2007, followers of M Karunanidhi's son M. K. Alagiri attacked Maran's newspaper office after a survey in the newspaper claimed that M. K. Stalin was the preferred successor to M Karunanidhi.[21] Later in 2008, the dispute between Maran and Karunanidhi families was resolved.[22]

Government investigator Central Bureau of Investigation filed charges against Kalanidhi Maran and his brother Dayanidhi Maran for fraud in the takeover of Aircel by Maxis Communications.[23] In a status report to the Joint Parliamentary Committee on telecom, CBI said mala fide considerations and an "illegal gratification" of 550 crore (US$83 million) were behind the "active intervention" of Dayanidhi in curbing the business interests of Aircel's former owner C Sivasankaran. Alleging the Marans of arm-twisting former Aircel owner, Sivasankaran, into selling Aircel to Maxis, the CBI report states that an illegal gratification of Rs 5,499,601,793 was accepted as quid pro quo through his brother Kalanithi Maran in the garb of share premium invested in Sun Direct, owned by Kalanithi Maran.[24][25][26]


  1. ^ "Kalanidhi Maran" (PDF). 
  2. ^ "Kalanithi Maran". Forbes. Retrieved 21 December 2011. 
  3. ^ "From cable TV to aviation biz, Maran's march continues". The Financial Express. 13 July 2010. Retrieved 8 August 2010. 
  4. ^ "Sun, Zee remain top on profitability charts". Rediff.com. 31 December 2004. Retrieved 8 August 2010. 
  5. ^ "Strategic investor crucial for global foray". The Times of India. 6 April 2010. 
  6. ^ "New deal to take SpiceJet higher". Business Standard. 15 June 2010. Retrieved 8 August 2010. 
  7. ^ "Kalanidhi Maran buys 37.7 p.c. stake in SpiceJet". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 13 June 2010. Retrieved 8 August 2010. 
  8. ^ Karmali, Naazneen (30 November 2009). "Strong Signal". Forbes. Retrieved 8 August 2010. 
  9. ^ "Rediff India Abroad, April 28, 2006 – Kalanithi Maran: A 'Sunshine' story, by Sanjiv Shankaran and S. Bridget Leena in New Delhi". Rediff.com. Retrieved 24 January 2012. 
  10. ^ Bharatan, Shilpa (27 March 2006). "Variety.com, Monday, April 24, 2006, 6:36pm PT – Sun TV shines on Exchange". Variety. Retrieved 24 January 2012. 
  11. ^ Kalanithi Maran emerges a billionaire after maiden IPO
  12. ^ "Media Personalities – Kalanidhi Maran". Chennai Best. Retrieved 24 January 2012. 
  13. ^ "#17 Kalanithi Maran". Forbes. 29 September 2010. 
  14. ^ "Newsmaker: Kalanithi Maran". Business Standard. Retrieved 8 August 2010. 
  15. ^ "Naveen Jindal tops executive pay chart with Rs 73.4 crore package". The Economic Times. 
  16. ^ "Welcome To Sun Network". Sunnetwork.org. Retrieved 8 August 2010. 
  17. ^ "#20 Kalanithi Mar". Forbes. 18 November 2009. Retrieved 8 August 2010. 
  18. ^ "e4m INBA 2010: Industry honours the contributions of Kalanidhi Maran". 
  19. ^ "eINBA 2010: And the award goes to". 
  20. ^ "MEDIA MARAN". Tehelka. 9 June 2007. Retrieved 22 July 2013. 
  21. ^ "Warring sons shadow DMK's sun". CNN-IBN. 10 May 2011. Retrieved 21 December 2011. 
  22. ^ "Marans reconcile with Karunanidhi". 
  23. ^ "Indian police charge ex-minister, Malaysian tycoon in telecoms scandal". The Rakyat Post (Kuala Lumpur). 30 August 2014. Archived from the original on 15 September 2014. 
  24. ^ "Hello? Who will bell this cat". Tehelka Magazine 8. 4 June 2011. Archived from the original on 15 September 2014. 
  25. ^ Chauhan, Neeraj (27 July 2012). "Marans got Rs 550cr bribe in Aircel-Maxis deal: CBI". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 15 September 2014. 
  26. ^ "Probe over, CBI soon to file chargesheet against Marans". The Pioneer. 11 September 2012. [dead link]

External links[edit]