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The Indian Express

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The Indian Express

The Indian Express
The publication's August 4, 2009 front page
Type Daily newspaper
Format Broadsheet (format)
Owner(s) Indian Express Group
Publisher Indian Express Group
Editor-in-chief Raj Kamal Jha[1]
Founded 1931
Political alignment Centre[2]
Language English
Headquarters 9-10, Bhadur Shah Zafar Marg, Express Building, ITO New Delhi -110002
OCLC number 70274541

The Indian Express is an English-language Indian daily newspaper. It is published in Mumbai by Indian Express Group. In 1999, eight years after the group's founder Ramnath Goenka's death in 1991, the group was split between the family members. The southern editions taking the name The New Indian Express, while the northern editions, based in Mumbai, retaining the original Indian Express name, with "The" prefixed to the title.

The Indian Express is published at nine locations—Delhi, Mumbai, Nagpur, Pune, Kolkata, Vadodara, Chandigarh, Lucknow and Ahmedabad.

History of the Indian Express Group

In 1931, the Indian Express was started by an Ayurvedic doctor, Perumal Varadarajulu Naidu, at Chennai (then known as Madras), being published by his “Tamil Nadupress. Soon under financial difficulties, he sold the newspaper to Swaminathan Sadanand, the founder of The Free Press Journal, a national news agency.

In 1933 The Indian Express opened its second office in Madurai, launching the Tamil edition, Dinamani. Sadanand introduced several innovations and reduced the price of the newspaper. Faced with financial difficulties, he sold a part of his stake to Ramanath Goenka as convertible debentures. In 1935, when The Free Press Journal finally collapsed, and after a long and controversial court battle with Goenka, (where blows were exchanged between some of the parties), Sadanand lost ownership of Indian Express.[3]

Managing agents

The first managing agent was Messers Sadanand and Company with headquarters in Bombay, with Sadanand as the sole proprietor.

Financial issues

Publicity (Madras) Ltd. had been appointed managing agents on 8 January 1935. The first directors of the company were S. Sadanand, K. Santanam, and S.V. Swamy, each holding office until 22 October 1934.

At or about at the end of 1934, the company's directors considered associating with an individual in the managing agency to raise, by way of mortgage debentures, Rs.50,000/-, to meet the liabilities resulting from the purchase of additional machinery and to meet certain overdue liabilities.

Accordingly, a separate private-limited company known as "Publicity (Madras) Ltd." was formed with a subscribed capital of Rs. 20000/-, of which 51 percent was held by Ramnath Goenka and the remaining 49 percent held by Mr. Sadanand. Ramnath Goenka was to entirely fulfill the obligations, thereby dissolving the existing managing agents.

M/s. Sadanand & Co., was required to terminate the managing agency agreement with Publicity (Madras) Ltd, then be appointed as the new Managing Agent, and then the new Managing Agents would underwrite the entire mortgage Debentures of Rs. 50,000 by 15 January 1935.

Rs. 50,000/- was received, and on the recommendation of Ramnath Goenka, it was placed in an account at 6% with Messers. Chunilal Murliprasad bankers on or about 25 January 1935.

At the Managing Agency's first Annual General Body Meeting for the year, the directors were reelected, followed by three directors voluntarily retiring on 23 November 1935. S. Sadanand, Mrs. Sagaram Sadanand, and S. Bhushan were elected as directors on 19 May 1936, serving with Messers. Ramnath Goenka, K. Santanam, T.S. Chokalingam and S.V. Swamy as Directors until the next general meeting.

Internal power struggles

There was a power struggle between Ramnath Goenke and S. Sadanand. The former tried to oust the latter from his position of importance and influence in the company in order to make himself supreme in its administration.

The tensions crystallized at the Annual General Meeting held on 22 August 1936. After being adjourned from time to time, the meeting was finally convened on 20 September 1936. An argument broke out soon after the meeting began, eventually ending when a party consisting of Ramnath Goenka, K. Bhashyam, K. Santanam, T.S. Chokalingam, and S.V. Swamy moved to another corner of the room. They also took with them certain documents that had been produced during the course of the meeting on 19th and 20th.

Sadanand's Lawsuit against Goenka

A lawsuit was filed in Madras High Court by S. Sadanand on 30 October 1936. Filed as C. S. No. 288 of 1936, it leveled charges of a number of frauds committed by Ramnath Goenka in that Ramnath Goenka had, at one time saying that he was a partner of Chunilal Murliprasad, at another saying that he was an agent of that company and at other times that he was totally unconnected with it. The suit also claimed that Ramnath Goenka had concealed until, at a very late stage, that the office of Chunilal Murliprasad was situated at his residence.

Goenka’s lawsuit against Sadanand

A counter-suit was filed by Goenka;

Suit No. C.S. no. 288 of 1936 in the High Court Of Judicature, at Madras Parties: The Free Press of India (Madras) Ltd., through its Directors
1. S. Sadanand 2. Mrs. Sagaram Sadanand 3. P. Vardarajulu Naidu. – Plaintiffs
Vs. 1. Publicity (Madras) Ltd., represented by R. Goenka, Managing Director.
2. R. Goenka 3. K. Santanam 4. S.V.Swamy 5. T.S. Chockkalingam – Defendants.
Para - 3
(1933) The Free Press of India (Madras) Ltd., a private limited company incorporated and registered in February 1933.
The authorized capital of the company is Rs. 3 Lacks divided in 6000 shares of Rs. 50 each. Paid up Capital Rs. 136550. of 2731 fully paid up shares.
Para - 4
(1934) Objects of the Company: The Company was established mainly to acquire and carry on the newspaper known as ‘Indian Express’ previously thereto conducted by the Free Press of India Ltd. Bombay, and to start and conduct such other newspaper and Magazines or Journals as circumstances might dictate. Pursuant thereto the newly formed company purchased from the Free Press of India the whole of the business, stock in trade, and assets of the Indian Express under Articles of Agreement dated 19 April 1934 for a consideration of Rs. 86,250/- for which fully paid up shares of a like value in the new company were later allotted.

There were many altercations and blows before the final orders of the court was passed on Monday the 3rd day of May 1937, with the honorable Mr. Justice Gentle in the high court of Madras ordering:

This suit coming on this day before this court for withdrawal in the presence of Mr. R. Rangachariar, Advocate for the Plaintiffs herein, of Mr. K. Venugopala Iyengar, Advocate for Defendants 1 herein, and of Mr. R. Soundara rajan, Advocate for Defendants 2 to 5 herein, and the said Advocates for the parties hereto represent to this court that the suit has been settled out of court, it is ordered as follows:- 1.That this suit does stand dismissed out of this court, as settled. C.S.No. 288 of 1936 IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE,AT MADRAS


A year later Goenka, bought the remaining 26% of the company held by Sadanand. The newspaper then came under Goenka's sole control, taking the already anti-establishment tone of the paper to greater heights. Also at that time, it faced stiff competition from the well established The Hindu and the Mail, as well as several other prominent newspapers. In the late 1930s the newspaper's circulation was no more than 2000.

In 1939 Goenka bought Andhra Prabha, another prominent Telugu daily newspaper. The name Three Musketeers was often used for the three dailies. In 1940 the whole premises was gutted by fire. The Hindu, a rival newspaper, helped considerably in re-launching the paper, by getting it printed temporarily at one of its Swadesimithran’s press and later offering its recently vacated premises at 2, Mount Road, which became the landmark Express Estates. This relocation also helped the Express obtain better high speed printing machines. Some claimed the Goenka had deliberately set fire to escape financial embarrassment.

In later years Goenka started the Mumbai edition with the landmark Express Towers as his office when he bought the Morning Standard in 1944. Two years later it became the Mumbai edition of The Indian Express. Later, editions were started in several cities; the Madurai edition in 1957, the Bangalore edition in 1965, and the Ahmedabad edition in 1968. The Financial Express was launched in 1961 at Mumbai, Kannada Prabha (Kannada Daily) at Bangalore in 1965 and a Bangalore edition of the Telugu Daily Andhra Prabha, and Gujarati dailies Lok Satta and Jansatta, from Ahmedabad and Baroda in 1952.

The Delhi edition started was when the Tej group's Indian News Chronicle was acquired in 1951, which in 1953 became the Delhi edition of Indian Express. In 1990 the group bought the Sterling group of magazines, along with it the Gentleman magazine.

After Ramanath Goenka’s demise in 1991, two of the family members split the group into Indian Express Mumbai with all the North Indian editions, while the Southern editions were grouped as Express Madurai Ltd. with Chennai as headquarters.


The Express Group has a Mumbai-headquartered division, which should not be confused with Express Publications Madurai, which has a South Indian chain of newspapers, including The New Indian Express a separate corporate entity from The Express Group.

Financial difficulties and turnaround

The newspaper saw falling profits between 2000 and 2002, but did not change its policies or the nature of the content it carried. The newspaper, however, appointed franchisees to run some of its loss making editions including the Jammu edition (the model was also adopted to launch the Chandigarh edition of The Financial Express - the business paper of the Express Group).

Under the franchisee model, the editorial control of the edition was to be retained by the editorial staff appointed by the Express group. The franchise owner was given the control of with the business side, including circulation and generation of revenues. In return the franchise was expected to provide the operational expenses and a one-time fee to the Express group. The model looked good on paper. However, it led to dilution of the editorial standards as the franchisees sought greater say in the appointment of reporters and selection of content.

The conflict between commercial interests and journalistic ethics reached a flashpoint in The Financial Express, Chandigarh edition, when the franchisee threatened to shut down the edition if he was not given full editorial control. The franchisee ultimately emerged as the winner,leading to the resignation of the Resident Editor of the edition. This was followed by fresh appointments to the Editorial team and the franchisee assuming the role of the Managing Editor.

The Express Group, subsequently posted profits of Rs 45 crores in 2004. This financial turnaround has been used as a case study in India's highly regarded Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad.


  • Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Awards
  • Ramnath Goenka India Press Photo Awards
  • Screen Awards
  • FE Women in Business Awards
  • Intelligent Enterprise Awards
  • Security Strategist Awards
  • Uptime Champion Awards
  • Express TravelWorld Awards
  • Pharma Excellence Awards
  • Healthcare Excellence Awards

B2B division (Formerly Business Publications Division)

The group also runs the Business Publication Division ("BPD") which is now called the B2B division. This division publishes and prints from Nariman Point at its headquarters in Mumbai along with a series of B2B magazines such as Express Computer, Express TravelWorld (formerly called Travel and Tourism), Express Pharma (formerly Express Pharma Pulse), Express Hospitality (formerly Express Hotelier & Caterer) and Express Healthcare (formerly Express Healthcare Management).

B2B division has also ventured into organizing events and exhibitions such Food Hospitality World. B2B also conducts events on IT such as Tech Sabha & Tech Senate and organizes customized events and conferences for other parties. The Screen Awards, initiated by Ananya Goenka, are focused on films in India. The awards attempt to position themselves as India's first awards that are given by the film fraternity by way of a jury, as opposed to the other "popular" awards such as Filmfare and Zee Cine Awards.

B2B division brings out several special features throughout the year. which include the following:

  • Centennial Titans
  • Platinum League
  • Golden League
  • Silver League
  • Best of Andhra Pradesh
  • Andhra Pradesh - Celebrations
  • Best Schools of Hyderabad
  • Gourmet guide - Hyderabad
  • Heritage Capital - Hyderabad
  • Best of India

See also


  1. ^ - Raj Kamal Jha made new chief editor
  2. ^ India - World Newspapers and Magazines -
  3. ^ Kaminsky, Arnold. India Today- an encyclopedia of life in the republic. p. 340. 

External links

  • The Indian Express website
  • Sinlung
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