There are only few people as impressive as Kalanithi Maran. If you have ever come across Sun TV, a popular regional South Indian television channel, then you must already be aware of this man. The Indian billionaire media mogul is the chairman and founder of the Sun Group. Also, the owner of the IPL team, SunRisers Hyderabad, Kalanithi Maran is one of the highest-paid business executives in India with a whopping net worth that will blow your mind.
It all started in 1990 when Maran started a monthly magazine in Tamil called Poomaalai. However, the magazine stopped its production in 1992 due to piracy, which is when the Sun TV was established. Maran launched the Television channel in 1993. The business was listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) in 2006 after it managed to raise USD 133 million (INR 1,100 crore approx.) for 10 per cent of the share capital. The company’s rapidly growing business landed the SunRisers Hyderabad owner into the billionaire charts.
By 2010, Kalanithi Maran became the 17th richest Indian, with a net worth of USD 4 billion (INR 330.97 crore approx.). The business tycoon along with his wife, Kavery Maran, were ranked as the highest-paid business executives in the list of Indian executive pay charts that same year. Their salary package back in 2014-2015 summed up to USD 7.8 million (INR 64 crore approx.) each. Since then, the SunRisers Hyderabad owner’s net worth has seen a considerable increase. Let’s take a look at the current net worth of Kalanithi Maran.
All about Sunrises Hyderabad owner Kalanithi Maran
Forbes magazine named Kalanithi Maran as the “Television King of Southern India”. He owns television channels, newspapers, weeklies, FM radio stations, DTH services, and a movie production house. He also held a major share in the Indian airline Spice Jet from 2010 to 2015. All these and more contribute to Maran’s net worth.
According to Forbes, Kalanithi Maran has a net worth of USD 2.3 billion (INR 1,903 crore approx.). He ranks at 1337th position in the world of business today and is the 77th richest man in India. Kalanithi Maran also topped the Tamil Nadu state list of IIFL Wealth Hurun India Rich List 2019 because of his massive net worth of USD 2 billion approx. (INR 1,910 crore).
Kalanithi Maran is the grand nephew of Former Tamil Nadu chief minister, M. Karunanidhi, and the son of the former Union Minister of India, Murasoli Maran. His younger brother, Dayanidhi Maran, was also a former minister. Kalanithi, however, decided to steer away from politics and started the Sun Group. He finished his schooling at Don Bosco School in Egmore, Chennai. Thereafter, he graduated in commerce from Loyola College, Chennai and completed his MBA from the University of Scranton. Kalanithi Maran married Kaveri, a native of Coorg and has a daughter named Kavya Maran. Kavya is the co-owner of SunRisers Hyderabad.
What comes under the Sun Group?
The Sun Group conglomerate comprises of the Sun TV Network with 33 television channels. They have a presence in 54 million homes approx. The company also owns 48 FM radio stations including Suryan FM and Red FM. They also run a few print publications and own the direct-to-home service provider, Sun Direct. The company claims to have 10 million Sun Direct subscribers. They also own a cable distribution business named Sumangali Cable Vision (SCV). The Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) also comes under this group. The group’s consolidated revenues for FY15 were about USD 483 million approx. (INR 4,000 crore).
The business tycoon’s association with Spice Jet
The Chennai-based media mogul entered the aviation business in 2010 when he acquired SpiceJet, India’s second-largest low-cost carrier. He spent over USD 120 million (INR 1,000 crore) in the business deal, only to exit it in January 2015 after the airline ran out of cash and was about to shut down its operation. However, the massive slip did not make a dent in his assets.
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Growth despite controversies
Kalanithi Maran’s wealth has not fluctuated much despite the Sun Group waging battles on many fronts. Maran was dragged in a money-laundering case by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in 2011 against his younger brother Dayanidhi Maran. The CBI accused Dayanidhi of forcing C Sivasankaran (promoter of telecom provider Aircel) to sell his company to Malaysia-based Maxis Communications Berhad, which later invested money in the Sun Group.
Sun TV was also accused of setting up an illegal telephone exchange with at least 323 high-speed lines to use the facility for data transfer, video streaming and television broadcasting. In 2015, The Ministry of Home Affairs even decided to withdraw security clearance for Sun TV. Despite this, Sun TV Network Ltd posted revenues of USD 271 million approx. (INR 2,244 crore) and a net profit of USD 89 million approx. (INR 737 crore) in 2014-15.
More about SunRisers Hyderabad
After the IPL team, Deccan Chronicle went bankrupt. It is then that SunRisers Hyderabad replaced that team as Deccan Chargers, in 2012 and debuted in 2013. Sun TV Network won the bid of USD 1.02 million approx. (INR 85.05 crore) per year for a five-year deal and as they say the rest is history.
(All USD conversions done at the time of writing)
Hero & Feature Image: Courtesy Wikimedia
This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia India
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Answer: He ranks at 1337th position in the world of business today and is the 77th richest man in India.
Answer: According to Jan Bharat Times, Kavya Maran’s net worth is USD 50 million (INR 409 crores approximately).
Answer: Sunrisers Hyderabad is co-owned by Kalanithi Maran and his daughter, Kavya Maran.
Answer: According to Forbes, Kalanithi Maran has a net worth of USD 2.3 billion (INR 1903 crores approximately).