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Radhika Roy

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Radhika Roy
Radhika Das

(1949-05-07) 7 May 1949 (age 75)
Alma materWelham Girls' School
Oldrey Fleming School (SLP)
Miranda House (BA)
The New School (MA)
New York University
Known forFormer Executive co-chairperson, NDTV
SpousePrannoy Roy
RelativesBrinda Karat (sister)

Radhika Roy (née Das; born 7 May 1949) is an Indian journalist who is the founder and former executive co-chairperson of NDTV. She was the managing director of the company between 1998 and 2011. The company started as a news production house and became the first independent news broadcaster in India. Roy began her career in journalism at The Indian Express and worked for a period of time at the India Today magazine before becoming the founder of NDTV.


1949–1984: Early life and career[edit]

Radhika was born in Calcutta, West Bengal on 7 May 1949,[1] at 5/1B Belvedre Road to Sooraj Lal Dass, who had migrated to the city during the partition of India. In the 1960s, Radhika was sent to study at Welham Girls' boarding school in Dehradun, Uttar Pradesh.[2] Radhika met Prannoy Roy during her teenage years. Prannoy was also from Calcutta, and attending The Doon School, a boys' boarding school in Dehradun.[3][2] Radhika and Prannoy moved to London, United Kingdom for higher education, where they got married and then returned to India, settling down in Delhi.[3] In London, she studied at the Oldrey Fleming School and became a qualified speech pathologist.[4] She also graduated with a degree in English literature from Miranda House, University of Delhi.[5][6]

Radhika Roy began her career as a journalist at The Indian Express where she worked for the editing desk. She joined the India Today magazine, where she was a new coordinator. Roy quit her job at the magazine to join The New School For Social Research for a post-graduate degree in broadcast journalism in New York, United States.[6] She also applied for and completed a course in television production at the New York University Tisch School of the Arts.[4] In 1984, Radhika Roy along with her economist husband Prannoy Roy founded New Delhi Television Ltd (NDTV).[7] Both the Roys are considered to be the founders of company, but according to Prannoy, Radhika was the original founder of the company and that he joined afterwards.[8] The company began as a production house for the public broadcaster Doordarshan,[9] and became the first independent news broadcaster in India.[3] NDTV is considered to be a legacy brand,[10] which set the template for broadcast journalism in India.[11]

1984–2022: Co-Chairperson of NDTV[edit]

Radhika Roy was the managing director of NDTV between 1998 and 2011, before which she was the chairman.[12][13] She also held the position of chief executive producer.[2] Prannoy Roy became the public face of the network, while Radhika Roy managed the editorial and backend processes.[13] She grew a reputation for demanded high standards for editorial integrity and impartiality.[14] Radhika had instituted a legally binding code of conducts for journalistic ethics in the company at a time when other broadcasters had none.[15] She has also been described as having a sense of social justice and integrity,[6] Roy had implemented measures such as arrangement of sanitary napkins in NDTV offices during a time when the debate over destigmatisation of periods in workplaces had not yet enter public discourse.[2] According to a senior executive at the company, "[I]f Prannoy Roy is the face of the organisation, Radhika Roy is its heart and soul."[6]

NDTV launched India's first 24x7 independent news channel in a 5-year partnership with Star India.[16] In the partnership, NDTV managed the editorial and production aspects in exchange for a fee with an escalation clause, while Star managed the infrastructure and retained the profits.[17] The partnership was ended in 2003 over disagreement in providing complete editorial control to NDTV.[18] Following the split, NDTV became an independent news broadcaster after launched its owns news channels NDTV 24x7 and NDTV India.[14] The company went public in May 2004 and became the leading media company in terms of market capitalisation by the end of the year.[19]

Radhika Roy along with her husband Prannoy Roy were designated as the executive co-chairpersons of NDTV after 2011.[12] Radhika continued to act as a steward for the editorial end of the company.[15] She was reportedly well liked by her employees and remained heavily involved in the company's day-to-day operations to the point that she was recognised as the de facto CEO, one former employee described her working style to be sometimes controlling as there was no effective decentralisation in the company.[6] The company began facing government pressure through litigations and intimidation of advertisers on the network after Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister, which was described as part of a process of cratering media freedom in the country.[20] The government attempted to ban the Hindi news channel NDTV India in 2016 and retracted following widespread protests.[21][22] In 2017, the offices of the company and the residence of the Roys were raided by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) after a NDTV news presenter had questioned statements made by a ruling party spokesperson.[23][24]

In June 2019, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) barred Radhika and Prannoy Roy from holding managerial or board positions in the company for a period of 2 years over alleged withholding of information in loan agreements.[25] The order was appealed against and stayed by the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT).[26] In December 2020, SEBI imposed a fine on the Roys worth 27 crore (US$3.2 million).[27] SAT directed the Roys to deposit 50% of the sum as conditional to a second hearing.[28] The company moved to the Supreme Court of India (SCI) which exempted them from the deposits.[29] Justice Dhananjaya Y. Chandrachud remarked that it was "brash" for the tribunal to have demanded it.[30]

Doubts had also begun emerging by 2015 over how much control the Roys had over their company after it had become involved in a debt agreement with the billionaire Mukesh Ambani's conglomerate Reliance Industries following a series of loan transactions necessitated by the NDTV's downturn due to the global financial crisis.[31] In late 2019, the international news organisation Reporters sans frontières released a report, according to which, Radhika Roy directly held 16.32% of the stake in the company while her husband held 15.95% of the stake. The two held an additional 29.18% stake through a 50:50 holding company called RRPR Holding Pvt Ltd.[32]

In December 2022, Radhika and Prannoy Roy sold 27.26 per cent out of their 32.26 per cent shareholding in the news network to Adani Group, who till then had over a 37% stake in NDTV, making the conglomerate, the single largest shareholder with over 64.71 per cent stake.[33]

Public image and recognition[edit]

Radhika Roy has a reputation of being a private person who stays away from fame and keeps a low profile.[6][4][34] She has been described as being "quiet and behind the scenes."[2]

Roy along with her husband were awarded the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Information, Communication and Entertainment in 2003.[35] In 2007, she was featured by the museum on broadcasting history, Paley Center for Media as one of 50 major women figures in the history of television and radio broadcasting. She was also listed in Fortune India's list of 50 most powerful woman in business in India.[32] In its 2016 list, the magazine remarked that she remains on the list due to her "sheer staying power in the face of adversity" and because NDTV remained one of the most trusted news brands in the country.[34]

In 2023, Securities Appellate Tribunal overturned a 2020 order that held Radhika Roy guilty of insider trading which barred him from engaging in the securities market for two years.[36] In addition, it also compelled him to pay money made through the alleged insider trading between 2006 and 2008.[37]


  1. ^ Kinjal (11 June 2021). "False message makes claims about NDTV and its founders Prannoy and Radhika Roy". Alt News. Retrieved 24 June 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d e Kathuria, Charvi (28 November 2020). "Who is Radhika Roy, the woman who built India's NDTV from behind-the-scenes?". SheThePeople.TV. Retrieved 24 June 2021.
  3. ^ a b c Kaushik, Krishn (1 December 2015). "The Tempest". The Caravan. p. 2. Retrieved 24 June 2021.
  4. ^ a b c "Power Women". The Financial Express. The Indian Express Group. 30 December 2007. Retrieved 24 June 2021.
  5. ^ "Department of English". Miranda House - University College for Women. Retrieved 24 June 2021.
  6. ^ a b c d e f Bansal, Shuchi (21 April 2003). "Radhika Roy: NDTV's heart and soul". Rediff.com. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
  7. ^ Rodrigues, Usha M.; Ranganathan, Maya (2014). Indian News Media: From Observer to Participant. SAGE Publications. p. 71. ISBN 978-93-5150-464-1.
  8. ^ Kaushik, Krishn. "The Tempest". The Caravan. p. 1. Retrieved 24 June 2021.
  9. ^ Shrivastava, K M (2010). Broadcast Journalism in the 21st Century. Sterling Publishing. pp. 36–37. ISBN 978-81-207-3597-2.
  10. ^ Aneez, Zeenab; Neyazi, Taberez Ahmed; Kalogeropoulos, Antonis; Kleis Nielsen, Rasmus (March 2019). "Indian Digital News Report" (PDF). Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. University of Oxford.
  11. ^ Wintour, Anna (19 October 2012). "A week inside India's media boom". Financial Times. Retrieved 24 June 2021.
  12. ^ a b "Notice" (PDF). NDTV. 27 September 2012.
  13. ^ a b Karmali, Naazneen (8 September 2006). "News Delhi TV". Forbes. Archived from the original on 11 December 2020.
  14. ^ a b Kaushik, Kshama; Dutta, Kaushik (2012). India Means Business: How the elephant earned its stripes. Oxford University Press. pp. 277–281. doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198072614.001.0001. ISBN 978-0-19-908851-5 – via Oxford Scholarship Online.
  15. ^ a b Joseph, Ammu (2013), Byerly, Carolyn M. (ed.), "India: What You See Is Not What You Get", The Palgrave International Handbook of Women and Journalism, London: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 384–403, doi:10.1057/9781137273246_28, ISBN 978-1-137-27324-6
  16. ^ Kohli-Khandekar, Vanita (25 July 2019). The Making of Star India: The Amazing Story of Rupert Murdoch's India Adventure. Penguin Random House. pp. 48–50. ISBN 978-93-5305-598-1.
  17. ^ Kohli-Khandekar, Vanita (25 July 2019). The Making of Star India: The Amazing Story of Rupert Murdoch's India Adventure. Penguin Random House. pp. 77–81. ISBN 978-93-5305-598-1.
  18. ^ Banaji, Shakuntala (2011). South Asian Media Cultures: Audiences, Representations, Contexts. Cambridge University Press. pp. 123–124. ISBN 978-0-85728-409-9.
  19. ^ Shirsat, B. G.; Krishnakumar, Aparna (13 August 2005). "Media industry valuations hit the roof". Business Standard. Retrieved 29 June 2021.
  20. ^ Goel, Vindu; Gettleman, Jeffrey; Khandelwal, Saumya (2 April 2020). "Under Modi, India's Press Is Not So Free Anymore". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 16 December 2020.
  21. ^ Krishnan, Murali (7 November 2016). "'Ridiculous and arbitrary' – Indian journalists slam NDTV ban". Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 17 December 2020.
  22. ^ Venu, M. K. (8 November 2016). "The Creeping Erosion of Free Expression". The Wire. Retrieved 18 December 2020.
  23. ^ "Falling in line: India's raucous democracy is becoming more subdued". The Economist. 24 June 2017. ISSN 0013-0613. Retrieved 16 December 2020.
  24. ^ Jaffrelot, Christophe; Kohli, Atul; Murali, Kanta (2019). Business and Politics in India. Oxford University Press. p. 186. ISBN 978-0-19-091246-8 – via Oxford Scholarship Online.
  25. ^ "SEBI bars Prannoy, Radhika Roy from NDTV board". The Hindu. 14 June 2019. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 17 December 2020.
  26. ^ Modak, Samie (18 June 2019). "SAT stays Sebi's order asking Prannoy, Radhika to step down from NDTV". Business Standard. Retrieved 25 June 2021.
  27. ^ "SEBI fines NDTV's Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy Rs 27 crore for 'violating regulatory norms'". Scroll.in. 25 December 2020. Retrieved 25 June 2021.
  28. ^ "SAT directs NDTV's Prannoy and Radhika Roy to deposit ₹8.5 crore before it hears them further". Business Line. 11 January 2021. Retrieved 25 June 2021.
  29. ^ "NDTV's Prannoy, Radhika Roy exempted from making deposit for hearing appeals against SEBI penalty". Scroll.in. 15 February 2021. Retrieved 25 June 2021.
  30. ^ "Supreme Court stays recovery of Rs 27 crore penalty imposed by SEBI on Radhika Roy, Prannoy Roy". Newslaundry. 26 May 2021. Retrieved 25 June 2021.
  31. ^ Kaushik, Krishn. "The Tempest". The Caravan. p. 4. Retrieved 24 June 2021.
  32. ^ a b "The Roy Family". Media Ownership Monitor - India. Reporters Without Borders. December 2019.
  33. ^ [1]
  34. ^ a b "Radhika Roy - Most Powerful Women in 2016 - Fortune India". Fortune India. 2016. Retrieved 24 June 2021.
  35. ^ "E&Y; picks Ratan Tata for entrepreneurship award". Business Line. The Hindu Group. 29 October 2003. Archived from the original on 26 October 2013.
  36. ^ Team, N. L. (6 October 2023). "SAT quashes SEBI's insider trading order against Prannoy and Radhika Roy". Newslaundry. Retrieved 16 January 2024.
  37. ^ Team, N. L. (6 October 2023). "SAT quashes SEBI's insider trading order against Prannoy and Radhika Roy". Newslaundry. Retrieved 16 January 2024.