Kalanithi Maran

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

Kalanithi Maran (born 1964) is an Indian media baron who is the chairman and managing director of Sun Group, which was the most profitable television network in Asia.[3][4]

In June 2010, he acquired Spice Jet which was the most profitable[5] airlines in India. Later on 15th January 2015, he exited from Spicejet and trasferred the ownership to the original owner Ajay Singh. [6][7] While his television channels and newspapers are primarily concentrated in South India, his FM radio stations and DTH service are spread across the country.

Business expansion[edit]

In 1990, Maran started a monthly video (VHS) news magazine in Tamil called Poomaalai which was stopped in 1992 due to piracy.[citation needed] 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 he is the highest paid business man in India.[14] During his visit to Mumbai in 2010, US President Barack Obama praised Kalanithi Maran's spicejet as one of the job creators in USA[15] Maran and his wife, Kavery Maran were second in the list of Indian executive pay charts with a package of 62 crore (US$9.4 million) each for the fiscal 2011–2012, behind Congress MP Naveen Jindal.[16]

He has won Young Businessman awards from CNBC and ERNST & Young,[17] and Forbes magazine named him the "Television king of southern India".[18] In 2010 he won the News Television Entrepreneur of the Year award.[19][20]

Business entities[edit]


He is the son of the Former Union Minister of commerce Murasoli Maran and the brother of India's former textile minister Dayanidhi Maran. He married Kaveri, a native of Coorg, (Karnataka) in 1991 and has a daughter named Kaviya (Born 1992).[21] His wife is the Joint managing director of Sun network. He proved to be successful in spite of his father's political rivals ruling the state for most of the period since he entered the media business. He also emerged as No. 1 in neighbouring states where his competitors include politicians and business men from those states.

Dispute with Karunanidhi's family[edit]

In May 2007 followers of Karunanidhi's son M K Azhagiri attacked Maran's newspaper office after a survey in the newspaper claimed people prefer M.K.Stalin as a Chief minister Over Azhagiri.[22] Later in Dec 2008 it was claimed that dispute between Maran and Karunanidhi Families was resolved.[23]

Allegations in Aircel-Maxis Deal[edit]

The Central Bureau of Investigation filed charges against him and his brother, Dayanidhi Maran, former Telecom Minister in Manmohan Singh's cabinet from 26 May 2004 to 13 May 2007, for fraud in the takeover of Aircel by Maxis.[24] 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.[25][26][27]


  1. ^ http://www.ghallabhansali.com/admin/file/Kalanidhi%20Maran.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. ^ http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2010/11/06/remarks-president-meeting-with-ceos-mumbai-india
  16. ^ "Naveen Jindal tops executive pay chart with Rs 73.4 crore package". The Economic Times. 
  17. ^ "Welcome To Sun Network". Sunnetwork.org. Retrieved 8 August 2010. 
  18. ^ "#20 Kalanithi Mar". Forbes. 18 November 2009. Retrieved 8 August 2010. 
  19. ^ e4m INBA 2010: Industry honours the contributions of Kalanidhi Maran, Rajdeep Sardesai, G Krishnan, Barkha Dutt, Shazi Zaman, among others
  20. ^ eINBA 2010: And the award goes to...
  21. ^ "MEDIA MARAN". Tehelka. 9 June 2007. Retrieved 22 July 2013. 
  22. ^ "Warring sons shadow DMK's sun". CNN-IBN. 10 May 2011. Retrieved 21 December 2011. 
  23. ^ [1][dead link]
  24. ^ "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. 
  25. ^ "Hello? Who will bell this cat". Tehelka Magazine 8. 4 June 2011. Archived from the original on 15 September 2014. 
  26. ^ 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. 
  27. ^ "Probe over, CBI soon to file chargesheet against Marans". The Pioneer. 11 September 2012. [dead link]

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