The Times Group

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The Times Group (Parent company Bennett, Coleman and Company Limited (BCCL))
Industry Media & Entertainment
Founded 4 November 1838 (176 years ago) (1838-11-04)
Headquarters New Delhi, India
Key people
Indu Jain
Samir Jain
Vineet Jain
(Managing Director)
Raj Jain
(Chief Executive Officer)
Number of employees
11,000 (2014)[1]

The Times Group, with its flagship company Bennett, Coleman and Company Limited (BCCL), is India’s largest media conglomerate, according to Financial Times in March 2015.[2] The Audit Bureau of Circulations reported in May 2014 that the Times of India had the largest circulation of any English-language newspaper in the world, with 3,321,702 average qualifying sales.[2][3] The company remains a family-owned business as the descendants of Sahu Jain own a majority stake in The Times Group. The Times Group has over 11,000 employees and revenue exceeding $1.5 billion.[1]


1838: The first edition appears on 3 November 1838, known as The Bombay Times and Journal of Commerces as a semi-weekly edition by Raobahadur Narayan Dinanath Velkar, a Maharashtrian Reformist. The newspaper was published twice a week ( Saturday and Wednesday) under editor J.E. Brennan. It is basically a city paper reflecting the interest of Bombay's business community.[4]

1846-1857: The newspaper changes hands and George Buist becomes the editor of the Times from 1840 to 1857.[5]

1850: Shareholders decide to increase the share capital and the paper is converted into a daily.[6]

1859: Bombay Standard and Chronicle of Western India merges into The Bombay Times and Journal of Commerce to form Bombay Times & Standard[7]

1861: Editor Robert Knight amalgamates The Bombay Times & Standard and Bombay Telegraph & Courier to form The Times of India and gives it a national character.[4]

1880: The Times of India Weekly Edition is launched name later changed to The Times of India Illustrated Weekly and finally to The Illustrated Weekly of India in 1923.[8]

1890: Editor Henry Curwen buys The Times of India in partnership with Charles Kane.

1892: Following Curwen's death, Thomas Jewell Bennett becomes the editor and enters into a partnership with Franck Morris Coleman to form a joint stock company - Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. (BCCL).

1907: In the newspaper's first price war under editor Stanley Reed, the price is cut from 4 annas to 1 anna, and circulation rises 5 times.

1946: For the first time, the paper transfers to Indian ownership. Ram Kishan Dalmia buys out Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd for Rs. 2 crores.

1948: Sahu Jain Group become the owners of the company after Dalmia sells the firm to recover 2.5 crores he needs to pay back to an insurance company. Sahu Shanti Prasad Jain, son-in-law of Ram Kishan Dalmia, becomes the first chairman of the group.

1950: Delhi edition is launched with K. Gopalswami as the first Indian editor.

1952: Filmfare launched and started by J.C. Jain, the first Indian to be the GM of TOI.[4]

1959: Femina is launched.[4]

1960: Sahu Ramesh Chandra Jain joins BCCL

1961: The Economic Times is launched.

1962: Maharashtra Times is launched.

1982: Samir Jain join BCCL.

1984: Times of India, Bombay set up modernized newsroom (including new look classified pages)

1985: Times of India, Delhi set up modernized newsroom (including new look classified pages)

1985: Nandita Jain joins BCCL and started Saturday Times

1986: Vineet Jain joins BCCL. Is not back in Delhi because finishing his education in Switzerland. All Times of India Group marketing, advertising and promotional material is sent to him for his brand orientation.The Economic Times celebrates its Silver Jubilee.Crosses circulation of 100,000 copies for the first time in its publishing history. The paper is printed on white newsprint and becomes "pink" 5 years later

1986: "MASTERMIND", the Times of India Group consolidated and interlinked newspaper rate card is launched. Causes stir in media circles because it is the country's first ever price positioning exercise.[9] Times of India and Navbharat Times, Patna edition started.

1987: "Saturday Times" is launched in color in February at the first ever Times of India Group Management conference in Goa. "MASTERMIND" is run in color. The Times Group brand building activity starts in earnest. Printing of The Times of India from Kandivili Press.

1988: The Times of India celebrates 150 years.Celebration is continued for 2 more years due to its immense success in catalyzing art, music and fashion industries in India.Times of India organised debates rage around the country on role of media,advertising,cinema,journalism, print production and mass communication, and become the precursor of India's economic liberalization.

1989 : The Times Group wins its first ever advertising award (Best B&W Campaign in Print Category)for The Times of India sesquicentennial campaign : "Good Times, Sad Times, Changing Times"

1990: The Times School of Marketing is established as an in-house training school to also cater to the Times Group's need for young interns and personnel. Vineet Jain returns to Delhi.The Economic Times launches "Brand Equity" as "News from the Marketing Battlefront" on Wednesdays. Takes marketing fraternity by storm.Weekend "Corporate Dossier" is also launched by The Economic Times.

1991: BBC features The Times of India among the world's six great newspapers.The Economic Times is launched on "salmon pink" newsprint distinguishes it from other business papers published on white newsprint.Cover price of The Economic Times is dropped to Rs.2/- only. Circulation of The Economic Times surges exponentially under the offer line, " Why beg or borrow when you can steal? At Rs.2/- The Economic Times is a steal!"

1992: Campaign commences to urge readers to read The Times of India and The Economic times together to get a better idea of a vastly changing India. Combo subscription rate offered.

1993: BCCL starts production of television software. Prestigious but money losing magazines such as Dharmyug and Illustrated Weekly of India ceased publication.

1996: The Times of India crosses 1 million mark in circulation.

1998: BCCL enters into music market with Times Music.

1999: Indiatimes webportal launched; BCCL enters music retailing business with Planet M.

2000: The Times of India crosses the 2 million mark in circulation.

2000: Timesofmoney - JV with Citibank.

2001: Radio Mirchi - Nationwide Private FM Broadcasting.[10]

2001: 360 Degrees - Event Management Arm launched.

2002: Times Outdoor - Outdoor Advertising & Billboard Marketing.MASTERMIND becomes the longest running media price positioning / rate card "brand" acknowledged by industry as a pioneer and path breaker for over 15 years :[11]

2003: Times Classifieds - Classifieds site catering to web audiences, the group publications and also publications from other countries like Sri Lanka.


  • Launch of the Jobs portal Times Jobs.[12]
  • Television Business launched with the launch of a lifestyle and entertainment channel called z00m.[4]

2005: Launch of a Matrimonials website TimesMatri.[12] Launch of compact newspaper Mumbai Mirror.


  • Launch of a television News Channel called Times Now in collaboration with Reuters.
  • Radio Mirchi holding company ENIL (Entertainment Network India Limited) lists on the Indian stock markets. It is the first Times Group company to List on the bourses.
  • Launch of a Property services Portal Magic Bricks
  • TimesMatri is rebranded as Simply Marry[12]
  • A new holding company by the name of TBSL is created. This company controls the brands TimesJobs SimplyMarry (earlier called TimesMatri) and MagicBricks
  • TimesofMoney launches Remit2Home, to cater to Global Remittance Market
  • Acquisition of Vijay Karnataka Kannada daily newspaper in Karnataka, India
  • The Times Of India edition launched in Nagpur market.


  • Launch of
  • Launch of The Times of India, Chennai Edition[13]
  • Launch of Pune Mirror
  • Acquisition of Virgin Radio (now known as Absolute Radio) in the UK[14][15][16]
  • Launch of Times of India - Goa, along with Goa Mirror. However, the Goa edition has relatively less coverage of happenings in Goa.


  • Launch of ET Now - A business news channel


  • Launch of Vijayanext Kannada Weekly magazine


  • Launch of The Times of India, Coimbatore Edition and Madurai Edition and Trichy Edition and Puducherry Edition


  • Launch of The Times of India, Kerala, Visakhapatnam and Raipur(Chhattisgarh) Edition
  • Launch of "Alive App * Alive app " in partnership with Adstuck Consulting an Augmented Reality App
  • Launch of The Times Of India, Aurangabad (M.S)Edition.


  • Launch of The Times Of India, Kolhapur Edition.
  • Book published, "TOI Story" (276 pages)in August 2013 by Harper Collins acknowledges that Nataranjan Bohidar was the first brand manager in the history of the Times of India group (estd.1838) and introduced the concept of brand positioning to India's media "industry" working at the Times Group out of New Delhi(1986–92).[17][better source needed]


The company has sixteen publishing centres,[18] fifteen printing centres,[18] fifty-five sales offices, Over 11,000 employees, five dailies,[18] including two of the largest in the country with approx 4.3 million, copies circulated daily, two lead magazines,[18] twenty-nine niche magazines reaching 2468 cities and towns,[18] thirty-two Radio Stations.[19]

Its major brands include:

The Times of India competes with HT Media, the media conglomerate that owns of English-language newspaper Hindustan Times and the Hindi daily Hindustan. Those two alone had a daily readership of 12.7 million according to their website.[21]

  • It continues to be hotly debated whether the group should be called The Times of India Group or the Times Group, but the corporate site retains the name "The Times of India Group", and its house color "red", originally envisaged by the creators of MASTERMIND (launched in February 1987), which was historically the first ever effort (in its 175-year history)to consolidate the newspapers and their activities into a Group.


The Times Group subsidiary companies include:

TIML & ENIL[edit]

Times Innovative Media Limited & Entertainment Network India Limited that together control

Times Internet Limited[edit]

Times Internet Limited is one of the largest internet companies of India. It has interests in online news, online business news, Hindi, Marati, Kannada, and Bengali news, mobile, eCommerce, music, video, and communities. Some of the larger properties of TIL include:

Times of Money[edit]

Times of Money operates financial remittance services for Indians abroad to send money back to India. Their product, remit2India, is a standalone product, while also powering the remittance services of many banks globally.

Times Global Broadcasting Limited[edit]

Television division. It is also called Times Television Network.[22] Times Now A general interest news Channel Smart Hire A Consulting Division - Recruitments ET Now A business news channel Zoom A 24x7 Bollywood entertainment and gossip channel Movies Now A 24x7 Hollywood Movies channel in High Definition (India's first)

Times Business Solutions[edit]

World Wide Media[edit]

World Wide Media - started off as a 50:50 magazine joint venture between BCCL and BBC magazines. In August 2011, it was announced[23] that Bennett, Coleman & Co. bought out the remaining 50 per cent shares of Worldwide Media from BBC Worldwide thereby making World Wide Media a fully owned subsidiary of BCCL.

TIML Radio Limited[edit]

On 30 May 2008, SMG sold The British Virgin Radio to TIML Radio Limited for £53.2 million with £15 million set aside for rebranding.[24] On 28 September 2008, The British Virgin Radio Station rebranded as Absolute Radio, including the sister radio stations Absolute Xtreme and Absolute Classic Rock.

On 29 July 2013, The Times Group sold off Absolute Radio to Bauer Media for £22.0 million, making a loss of £31.0 million in 5 years.[25]

Times Syndication Service[edit]

The syndication division of The Times of India Group,[26] grants reprint rights for text, and other media from the group's publications.

Brand Capital[edit]

Brand Capital is the strategic investment division of the Times Group that works with the entrepreneur eco-system. The company has 5 business offerings namely Brand Capital – which provides advertising capital to investee companies in return for business stake, Brand Estate – a similar offering for the realty sector with property as asset held, Springboard – which creates joint ventures with entrepreneurs in exciting asset-light industries, Brandscope – where aspirational brands are created and nurtured that straddle multiple content and product categories and lastly Incubator Capital – which impacts start-ups growth trajectory through business and brand incubation. Brand Capital also has two marketing divisions – ScaleUp, a mentoring platform and PROPEL – an entrepreneur outreach program.

Online shopping[edit]

Satvik shop, an online shopping website dedicated to organic and ayurvedic products.[27][28]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Times Group may go for an IPO 'in the long run'". Business Standard. 6 October 2012. 
  2. ^ a b James Crabtree, Mumbai (23 March 2015). "Uber in tie-up with Times of India digital arm". Financial Times. Retrieved 24 March 2015. 
  3. ^ "Details of most circulated publications for the audit period July - December 2013". Audit Bureau of Circulations. 21 May 2014. Retrieved 24 March 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c d e About Us zOOm Archived 20 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ The Journal of the Royal Geographic Society of London, Volume 21 By Royal Geographical Society of Great Britain.
  6. ^ Australian Library Collections Libraries Australia
  7. ^ South Asian Newspapers in Australian Libraries: a Holdings List National Library of Australia
  8. ^ Australian Library Collections Libraries Australia
  9. ^ "b4-i-4get: The Vinci code of Mastermind: Uncovering the first ever price positioning exercise in the Indian Media history…". Best Media. 
  10. ^ ENIL
  11. ^
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i Our History Times Business Solutions
  13. ^ TOI’s launch all set to heat up Chennai
  14. ^ Sale of Virgin Radio to TIML for £53.2 million London Stock Exchange
  15. ^ Times Group buys UK's Virgin Radio for Rs 448 cr The Economic Times
  16. ^ Times of India company buys Virgin Radio Holdings Ltd Campaign India
  17. ^
  18. ^ a b c d e About Us Times Music
  19. ^ Virgin Radio owner sets his dial for the web Financial Times
  20. ^ World Press Trends 2008. World Association of Newspapers. 2008. p. 14. Retrieved 23 June 2009. 
  21. ^ "HT About Us page". HT Media. 
  22. ^ Barman, Arijit; Bhat Varada (2012-05-12). "Times Group, ABP may soon start formal talks for grand TV alliance". Business Standard (New Delhi: Business Standard Ltd). 
  23. ^ owned+subsidiary+of+BCCL Worldwide Media becomes wholly-owned subsidiary of BCCL
  24. ^ Virgin rebranded as Absolute Radio Financial Times
  25. ^ Bauer Media buys Absolute Radio | Media. (2013-07-29). Retrieved on 2013-12-23.
  26. ^ Times Syndication Service (TSS)
  27. ^ "Times Internet to launch as an ecommerce store of Ayurveda products". India Digital Review. Retrieved 2012-08-22. 
  28. ^ "TIL-backed organic & ayurvedic e-store Satvikshop goes live". VCCircle. Retrieved 2012-08-29. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Ken Auletta, "Citizens Jain - Why India's Newspaper Industry is Thriving", The New Yorker, 8 October 2012, pages 52–61.

External links[edit]