Rajeev Chandrasekhar, vice-chairman of the NDA in Kerala and a member of Rajya Sabha, is among the largest investors in Arnab Goswami‘s new venture, Republic.
Republic will be a part of the mother company called ARG Outlier Media Private Limited, of which Goswami became managing director on 19 November, a day after he left Times Now as the Editor-in-Chief.
Chandrasekhar has invested Rs 30 crore in ARG Outlier via various companies he owns. Other than Chandrasekhar’s Asianet News Online Private Limited, another company owned by Goswami – SARG Media Holding Private Limited – is the main investor in ARG.
Through his companies, Chandrasekhar has major investments in Asianet News Network in Kerala, Suvarna News, and Kannada Prabha in Karnataka.
According to The Indian Express on 21 September, Amit Gupta, CEO of Jupiter Capital, via which Chandrasekhar owns media investments, sent an email to editorial heads.
The email said that all hiring for the editorial team should be “right of centre in his/her editorial tonality”, “pro-India, pro-Military”, “aligned to Chairman (Chandrasekhar’s) ideology” and “well familiarised” with his thoughts on “nationalism and governance”.
The email concluded with:
Offers being rolled out shall be summarised and shared with Chairman’s office as regards the credentials (only), and hiring managers have to ensure that the above has been ticked appropriately.
Later, however, Gupta asked for the email to be “ignored”.
Incidentally, when Goswami revealed the idea behind the venture at the Under 25 Summit in Bengaluru, he said:
You and me, together, will save Indian journalism from the influence of Lutyens’ Delhi. Take journalism outside Delhi. Take it to Pune, to Guwahati, to Bengaluru, to Mumbai, but the national capital. They are so compromised, so co-opted that they have no right to represent the people.
The largest investor in SARG is Ranjan Ramdas Pai of Aarin Capital Partners, which he co-founded with Mohandas Pai, who has invested Rs 7.5 crore. Ramakanta Panda, who owns Asian Heart Institute in Mumbai, has invested Rs 5 crore while Hemendra Kothari, one of the most successful investors of India, has put in Rs 2.5 crore. Other investors include R Naresh and Shobhana Ramachandhran of TVS Tyres, and Niranjan Shah, owner of Renaissance Jewellery in Mumbai and SRF Transnational Holdings. Sameer Manchanda and two other persons related to his DEN Networks — Sanjeev Manchanda and Tapesh Virendra Singhi — have invested over Rs 2.5 crore in SARG, cumulatively. Sameer Manchanda was involved in launching Raghav Bahl’s CNN-IBN, as part of his Network18 group, along with Rajdeep Sardesai in December 2005, about a month before Goswami launched Times Now under the Times Group.
January 16, 2017 at 4:13 pm
His leanings towards the right are well known. Hence, the involvement of BJP investors in the venture is not surprising