Times of India - How Does One of the Oldest English Language Newspaper of India Make Money?

Shalini Rath Shalini Rath
Jul 28, 2022 9 min read
Times of India - How Does One of the Oldest English Language Newspaper of India Make Money?

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Many years ago, there was no broadcast facility that happened to land directly at people's homes. All the news or information was passed down from word of mouth during that time.

It's quite interesting to imagine how people used to live without newspapers before it even was invented. Thanks to the political and economic chronology of India led to the development of newspapers. Furthermore, the consequences of globalisation and modernisation in the world are what pushed the need for printing news.

We can still see newspaper's importance and dominance in homes today with our older generation hooked on reading the newspapers. From discussing the type of advertisements on our mini tables at home to becoming a part of hot discussion till late at night, newspapers remain an integral part of our lives and society at large.

As a matter of fact, newspapers have also evolved through these years with the quality of writing, type of news and articles being published and also digitising and the platform where they publish or more commonly known as e-newspapers.

We have seen or read this newspaper since we were born, 'The Times of India', which is the second-oldest newspaper in India, and the largest English language selling daily newspaper in the world. That's quite the achievement the newspaper has maintained till now.

The Times of India also goes by the abbreviation TOI and is owned and managed by the Times Group. TOI came into existence with its first publication in 1838 making it the oldest English language newspaper in India. It is said that the TOI is given an alternative name called 'The Old Lady of Bori Bunder', for being the third-largest newspaper in India by circulation.

If newspapers and media are one of your areas of interest, here's more about the Times of India, how it started and what led to its growth, the key people involved and about its owner, 'The Times Group', business and revenue model, challenges faced, competitors, funding and investments, and much more in this article.

Times of India - Company Highlights

Startup Name Times of India
Headquarters New Delhi, India
Sector Mass media, daily newspaper
Owner The Times Group
Founded 1838
Revenue Rs76.8 crore
Total Funding Raised $17 million
Website timesofindia.indiatimes.com

About Times of India
Times of India - Industry
Times of India - Key People
Times of India - Name, Logo, and Tagline
Times of India - Startup Story
Times of India - Business and Revenue Model
Times of India - Funding and Investors
Times of India - Mergers and Acquisitions
Times of India - Competitors
Times of India - Advertisements and Social Media Campaigns
Times of India - Future Plans

About Times of India

Founded in 1838, the Times of India is an English Language daily newspaper and digital news in India. The newspaper publishes various news happening around the world, and articles on the latest issues written by prominent writers in the industry.

Times of India is owned by the 'The Times Group. The Times Group is the trade name of the company, Bennett, Coleman and Company Limited (B.C.C.L), which is owned by the Sahu Jain Family. With headquarters in Mumbai, Times Group is a multi-media company with products like publishing, broadcasting, radio, films, entertainment, and so on.

TOI claims that every day, one of its 13 editions is read by more than 13.5 million readers. As of 2019, 2,880,144 daily newspapers were circulated as per reports.

The owner of TOI, The Times Group, which includes this business along with its other subsidiaries, also publishes the following publications: Ahmedabad Mirror, Bangalore Mirror, Mumbai Mirror, and Pune Mirror; Economic Times; ET Panache (Monday through Friday in Mumbai, Delhi, and Bangalore; Saturday in Pune and Chennai); Ei Samay Sangbadpatra, a Bengali daily; Maharashtra Times, a Marathi daily; Navbharat Times (a Hindi daily)

Times of India - Industry

Belonging to the media and printing press industry, the Times of India has put itself at the highest rank for selling the English Language daily newspaper in the world.

Today, Indian print media is also dominating alongside digital and television media. According to reports, it is recorded that the Indian newspaper revenue touched Rs 220.5 billion in 2021. At this rate, it is assumed that the growth of the print media industry is only going to go upwards.

Times of India - Key People

Times of India, which is managed by the Times Group is directed by Samir Jain, who is the Vice-Chairman of the company.

Samir Jain

Samir Jain is the Vice-Chairman of the Times Group which manages 'The Times of India'. He is an Arts graduate from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi. Samir Jain's parents are Ashok Kumar and Indu Jain. His mother Indu Jain became the Chairperson of Times Group after her husband, Ashok Kumar died.

It was in 1975 when Samir decided to join the family-owned business and started working as a junior executive at the media group Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd.

It was because of his leadership skills, that the Times of India regained its potential and made it the world's largest circulating English newspaper.

Times of India - Name, Logo, and Tagline

The tagline of Times of India, "Let the Truth Prevail" rightly defines the company's idea about telling stories and giving out information to its readers.

As you can see the logo of the Times of India has two elephants facing each other with a shield in the middle of them. The shield has the petals of a lotus flower and leaves and below them are three sailing ships placed in an inverted triangular shape.

Since TOI originally began as the Bombay Times and Journal of Commerce during the British Raj, Britishers were inspired by the elephants, which are carved at the Ajanta Caves. They wanted to target the Indian audience, which is why they used elephants as they play a very important role in the Indian culture.

Times of India - Startup Story

Started as The Bombay Times and Journal of Commerce

The history of TOI begins 183 years ago as 'The Bombay Times and Journal of Commerce' under the leadership of Raobahadur Narayan Dinanath Velkar. He was a Maharashtrian social reformer, who collected news from the world, as well as the Indian Subcontinent and Britain.

TOI's first-ever editor was J. E. Brennan. After a few years, Robert Knight, who was an English editor and a critic of the British empire acquired the Indian stockholders' shares in 1860, merged his publication with his competitor Bombay Standard, and founded India's first news organisation - Bombay Times and Standard.

After a year, The Bombay Times and Standard were once more united with the Bombay Telegraph & Courier, and it was given the new name The Times of India. That's how where it began for the 'TOI' daily newspaper.

With many struggles, Robert elevated the newspaper to a position of importance across the country by fighting for the freedom of the press against government restrictions. The newspaper gained a lot of appreciation and was widely read in India and Europe. The newspaper employed approximately 800 employees and produced 3000 copies per day in 1890.

Under Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd

After gaining so much importance, TOI was acquired by Thomas Bennett and Frank Morris Coleman. They started through their joint-stock company Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. During this ownership, Sir Stanley Reed served as The Times of India's editor from 1907 to 1924, and played a significant figure in Indian media in early 20th-century Indian journalism.

Post-Independence TOI's ownership went to Dalmia

The Times of India (TOI) was acquired by Ramkrishna Dalmia of the illustrious industrial Dalmia family after India gained independence from British rule. The deal was closed at ₹20 million, which equals ₹2.4 billion or US$30 million in 2020.

Ten years later, it was found that Ramkrishna Dalmia was caught in legal complications surrounding the acquisition that led to a conviction following which he gave his son-in-law Sahu Shanti Prasad Jain administration of the company.

TOI ownership was, again and again, being transferred due to wrong leadership which happened with Sahu Jain as well.

Government of India's involvement

A new board of directors was established under the government in 1969 on the authority of the Bombay High Court as a result of numerous misdeeds and business abnormalities. The government finally returned ownership of the newspaper to Sahu Shanti Prasad Jain's son Ashok Kumar Jain in 1976, during India's Emergency.

After going through a series of misfortunes, it was finally like a new dawn for TOI in the 21st century. The Times Group expanded with new publications aimed toward a contemporary readership.

The Economic Times and Maharashtra Times began publishing in the 1960s, while The Navbharat Times was established in 1946. The Vijay Karnataka daily was founded in 2006 when Vijayanand Printers Limited was acquired.

Bangalore Mirror debuted in 2007, and Mumbai Mirror did so in 2005. The Bengali daily Ei Samay was first published in 2012, while the Gujarati-focused Nav Gujarat Samay started publishing in 2014.

Times of India - Business and Revenue Model

A newspaper's development story is inextricably linked to its advertisements. Ever since its inception, TOI earned its money through subscribers and advertisers. The business model of the Times of India is to print news and sell it to the consumers and other is by advertising. It can be safe to say, the TOI business model is Direct-to-Consumer and Business-to-Business.

Early advertisements targeted the upper class, but as time went on, TOI became to represent the average person, and advertisers began to use the company's advertising services to connect with their target demographic. With editions available throughout India, advertising in the Times of India has become one of the most successful forms of advertising for both private individuals and corporations.

Today, TOI continues to advertise on its digital platforms as well. The company earns a big chunk of revenue from advertising agencies.

In the fiscal year 2019, the company reported a revenue of Rs ₹6,986 crores. However, in 2020, the company declared a loss of net income of ₹451.63 crores for the fiscal year.

Times of India - Funding and Investors

Over the course of two rounds, The Times Of India secured $17M in fundraising. Their most recent funding came from a Venture-Series Unknown round, which was raised in 2006.

Here's the list of investors of the Times of India.

Date Funding Round Amount Investors
June 29, 2006 Venture Round $10 million Sequoia Capital
September 29, 2004 Series A $7 million Sequoia Capital India

Times of India - Mergers and Acquisitions

In their entire journey of doing business, The Times Of India has acquired two organizations.

IS Integration was their most recent acquisition, made on 20 September 2006. For $37M, they bought IS Integration. The other one is KeyLabs, which the company acquired on the 25th of April, 2005.

Times of India - Competitors

Here's the list of top competitors of Times of India:

  1. The Hindu
  2. The Hindustan Times
  3. Deccan Chronicle
  4. Verse
  5. Dainik Bhaskar Group
  6. One India
  7. The Indian Express
  8. Tribune Papers
  9. HT Media

Times of India - Social Media Presence

Having been in the media industry, TOI has not left the social media space for increasing its brand awareness and spreading information through digital mediums. To follow the company's latest updates and interesting news, you can follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Times of India - Advertisements and Social Media Campaigns

Times of India has played a crucial part when it comes to advertising and running campaigns. While there are several campaigns organised by the company, it ran a social media campaign called the #WantMyPaper campaign in 2020 that highlights the importance of newspapers in today's times.

The 'Want My Paper' campaign launched by the company aimed at Indians to make them realise the importance of the authenticity of daily newspapers. They emphasised through the campaign how crucial it is for media outlets to support the establishment of accountability through sharp reporting.

Newspapers, unlike digital media, do not restrict people's access to news categories by applying filters, but instead, they put daily information from a variety of genres directly in the hands of the readers, giving them the chance to be notified without unnatural and fake barriers.

Here's what Sanjeev Bhargava, Director of the Times of India said, “Newspapers are the guardians of democracy – they keep the public well informed about the important goings-on, and help shape public opinion on key ongoing issues of national interest. With growing scientific evidence that newspapers are safe, and that there’s really no risk of catching an infection from them, our #WantMyPaper campaign is aimed at nudging our ardent readers about what they’re missing out without their trusted newspaper in their hands.”

Times of India - Future Plans

As of now, it is hard to say what the Times of India is planning for the future. The company is the third-largest English Language selling newspaper in India in terms of circulation. After serving the nation for 180 years with the latest news, the company claims itself as still young and energetic, and not as an old and outdated company.

FAQs

When was Times of India founded?

Times of India was founded on 3 November 1838.

Who founded the Times of India?

Ramkrishna Dalmia, an industrialist founded the Times of India.

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