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BW Businessworld

Moment Under The Sun

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The TV channel market in the south is crowded and extremely competitive. In such a scenario, Raj Television Network, started in 1994 by M. Raajhendhran has proved to be not just a survivor but a success story.

Originally from Sri Lanka, Raajhendhran got his first break in the media and entertainment industry when he built a studio in which serials and movies were filmed. Over the years he built up a considerable library of movie rights before going on to launch Raj TV.

With 11 channels offering a mix of  music, movies, news and general entertainment to Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam audiences, Raj TV found the going tough in its initial years. However, a combination of favourable political winds in Tamil Nadu where it is headquartered, quality content and stronger distribution has helped the company post a net profit of Rs 9.21 crore on revenues of Rs 60.63 crore in FY12.

The change of guard in Chennai in 2011, with J. Jayalalithaa coming to power, saw Raajhendhran's foresight in inking a deal with the state-run Arasu Cable Network paying off. With the dominance of SunTV-controlled Sumangali Cable Vision coming to an end, Raj TV's subscription revenues shot up.

Raajhendhran, the soft-spoken CMD of the company, indicated after the Arasu tie-up that the deal would help Raj TV's top line grow by 50 per cent. The markets have duly taken note and the company's share price has quadrupled in the last 12 months. Raj TV's moment under the Sun might have finally arrived.

(This story was published in Businessworld Issue Dated 30-07-2012)