There has been a lot of speculation on the potential investors in journalist Arnab Goswami’s new media venture after he quit Times Now as its editor-in-chief.
It has now emerged that among those who’ve invested in Republic are Rajeev Chandrasekhar, an NDA MP in Rajya Sabha and Mohandas Pai, a former executive of Infosys.
Although Chandrasekhar identifies himself as an independent MP, his association with the BJP-led NDA is not a secret anymore. Not too long ago, he had actively campaigned for the NDA in Kerala assembly elections in May last year.
His ‘independence’ had also come under intense scrutiny last year when an email sent by Amit Gupta, the Chief Operating Officer of Jupiter Capital, was leaked to media. Chandrasekhar owns his media ventures that includes Asianet in Kerala and Suvarna News and Kannada Prabha in Karnataka.
The content of Gupta’s email meant for editorial staff of media outlets owned by Chandrasekhar had said that “all editorial talent to be hired” should be “right of centre in his / her editorial tonality,” “pro-India and pro-Military,” and they must be “well familiarised with his thoughts on nationalism and governance.”
According to a report by Indian Express, Chadrasekhar, who is also the vice-chairman of the NDA in Kerala, is one of the largest investors and a director Goswami’s next media outlet, Republic.
Mohandas Pai too has been an outspoken supporter of the BJP and its Hindutva ideologies. His Twitter timeline is replete with posts supporting the ideologies of the saffron party. He was also a frequent guest on Times Now’s flagship programme, Newshour, hosted by Goswami.
Republic will be a part of the company called ARG Outlier Media Private Limited, which has reportedly received an investment of Rs 30 crore from Chandrasekhar through companies owned by him.
SARG Media Holding Private Limited, a company owned by Goswami and his wife Samyabrata Ray Goswami, too has invested Rs 26 crore in ARG Outlier. Curiously,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.
Republic will be part of a company called ARG Outlier Media Private Limited. Goswami was appointed managing director of ARG Outlier on November 19, a day after he left Times Now as its editor-in-chief. Chandrasekhar, through companies owned by him, has invested over Rs 30 crore in ARG Outlier.
Apart from Chandrasekhar’s Asianet News Online Private Limited, SARG Media Holding Private Limited — also owned by Goswami — is the main investor in ARG Outlier. SARG, in which Goswami and his wife Samyabrata Ray Goswami are directors and own most of the equity, had investments from 14 other individuals and companies towards the end of November, according to latest information available with the Registrar of Companies. SARG, as of November 24, 2016, had invested Rs 26 crore in ARG Outlier, through various investments.
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.