Who Owns Your Media: Once dethroned, how Rajasthan Patrika bounced back to pole position

A Newslaundry series that deciphers the ownership of India's major news organisations.

WrittenBy:Pooja Bhula
Date:
A magnifying glass looks at the Patrika logo on a document.

While several legacy publications in India were inspired by the freedom struggle and often conceived to give voice to it, Rajasthan Patrika was started to achieve a different freedom – a desire for independent media. 

Karpoor Chandra Kulish was born in 1926 in Soda village of Rajasthan’s Tonk taluka. He started out as a clerk in 1951 at Rashtradoot, one of the state’s oldest dailies started by Pandit Hazarilal Sharma. Soon, as per a LinkedIn post by the Patrika Foundation, he began “handling the magazine, editing, reportage and penning a weekly column under the pseudonym of ‘Ghumakkar’”.

Five years on, Kulish was disillusioned that most newspapers from Jaipur and Ajmer were aligned to one political personality or another and felt a pressing need for an independent regional newspaper, free from political influence as per Sevanti Ninan’s book Headlines from the Heartland

Thus Rajasthan Patrika was born, starting off as a tabular-sized, two-paise-a-page eveninger on March 7, 1956, as detailed in the LinkedIn post, and began with a loan of Rs 500 (approximately Rs 10,000 today) with “two chairs, one table, one typewriter and two and a half men”. It was printed at Lokavani Press in Jaipur.

The book Press in India: Annual Report of the Registrar of Newspapers for India (1958) noted that there were 199 newspapers in Rajasthan at the time. Of these, only 13 were dailies. The majority, 97, were weeklies and 52 were monthlies. Of the dailies, 11 were in Hindi; the state had no English daily. Only about 21 percent of the state’s newspapers were published from Jaipur; 38 percent from Ajmer, Bikaner and Jodhpur that had populations of over one lakh; and 41 percent from towns with a population of less than one lakh.

In the mid-1960s, as per Robin Jeffrey’s book India’s Newspaper Revolution: Capitalism, Politics and the Indian-Language Press, 1977-99, Rajasthan was judged to have “meagre resources, scanty revenues, small circulations, poor production and sub-standard editorial content”. 

That said, Press in India’s 1967 book noted that in 1966, the percentage of newspapers published from Jaipur increased to 113, or 32.9 percent. The majority (140) were still published from other big cities, defined as having a population of over a lakh, such as Ajmer, Bikaner, Jodhpur, Kota and Udaipur. Rashtradoot continued to enjoy the highest circulation (12,152) among the dailies in the state, and Rajasthan Patrika had become a six-page morning daily. From 9,000 copies a day at the time, Patrika’s circulation increased to 21,000 a day by 1972.

Two years on, the Rajasthan Patrika group also launched a Hindi weekly called Itwari Patrika. But it was really the 1980s that saw it expanding to most other big cities in Rajasthan, as seen from the Press in India books around that time. Rajasthan Patrika’s Jodhpur edition was launched in 1980, followed by an edition in Udaipur in 1981. Four years later, the group introduced an English daily in Jaipur and a Kota edition of the flagship Hindi publication in 1986. The same year also saw the launch of its fortnightly, Bal Hans.

From Robin Jeffrey’s book, we know that the 1980s was also when Kulish’s sons, Gulab and Milap Kothari, became managers of Rajasthan Patrika. If you’re wondering why their last names differ from his, it’s because Kothari is the family name whereas Kulish was merely a pen name that the father had adopted.

In 1986, at the age of 60, Kulish retired as an active contributor from Rajasthan Patrika, as per Exchange4Media. He turned to spirituality and made “contributions in the field of Vedic Sciences” through his books.

Meanwhile, the next generation was busy furthering his vision. In 1987, the group launched a Bikaner edition. By 1988, among 1,599 newspapers in the state – eight times the number of newspapers that existed three decades earlier – the newspaper boasted the largest circulation with 1,06,622 copies. Among the fortnightlies, Bal Hans too had the largest circulation with 45,646 copies. All its editions and group publications combined, the Patrika group’s total circulation was 2,37,534.

The Press in India book for 1984 only found Milap holding shares in KC Kulish and Others, the group’s joint stock company. But by 1988, not only Gulab, but also his sons Nihar and Siddharth held shares in what had become a private limited company.

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According to Robin Jeffrey’s book, by the mid-1990s, Rajasthan Patrika was “one of the largest and best-designed Hindi dailies in the country, confident enough to quarrel and break with the Audit Bureau in 1995.”

A royal dethroning 

In hindsight, 1995 was like the calm before the storm for the Patrika group.

As per Bharathi S Pradhan’s biography of Dainik Bhaskar founder Ramesh Chandra Agarwal, that was the year Agarwal decided to enter Rajasthan after facing “nai duniya in his own lair”.

The book, Ramesh Chandra Agarwal: The man who created Dainik Bhaskar, presented a variety of reasons for why Agarwal was drawn to the palace state. Not only was it once home to his ancestors, but it also had cultural similarities with his turf in neighbouring Madhya Pradesh. Moreover, Rajasthan was commercially rich, growing and had only one major competitor. So, even occupying second position, as he’d originally planned, would generate healthy ad revenues.

Most of all, Pradhan wrote, “Hindi – the language that ticked in the Agarwal heart with pride – was read and understood all over this sparkling state.” The book also noted that there was “a rumour that he was piggybacking on a powerful political entity and had been invited to breach the bastion of Patrika, which seemed to be leaning towards another ideology.”

This was confirmed by Chhattisgarh’s first chief minister and former Congress member Ajit Jogi. In Headlines from the Heartland, he recounted that the Congress had backed the Bhaskar group in entering Rajasthan to take on the Patrika group, which had affiliation with the BJP when Bhairon Singh Shekhawat was CM. When Dainik Bhaskar set foot in the state, Shekhawat was serving his third term as Rajasthan’s CM.

The biography said the Bhaskar group also found a “discreet” supporter in business tycoon SK Golcha, who once had an association with Patrika. Golcha was quoted as saying, “My father had helped set it up from our haveli in the old city in the late 1950s. It broke all records and overtook Rashtradoot, which was the reigning paper then. But later, there was a rift between Kulishji and my father, and we parted. Patrika was one-sided, they tended to only give the BJP-Jan Sangh point of view. In fact, that was the conflict between my father and Kulishji.”

And so, Bhaskar’s entry, as Pradhan wrote, “had all the elements of the colourful palace intrigue: politics, dirty tricks, big bucks and dare-devil heroics.”

The Bhaskar group left no stone unturned. Agarwal placed all his earnings from Madhya Pradesh – about Rs 5 crore – on Jaipur. As a show of strength, he agreed to purchase land at a commercial rate of Rs 84 lakh, which he knew was overpriced (four times), given the government rates were Rs 21 lakh. 

In fact, Agarwal told his son Sudhir: “Don’t create something inconsequential that will give the impression that an effete player has come to Jaipur. Make the kind of building that will make people sit up and notice, and feel that a strong and substantial contender has entered the arena.”

But the biggest move the Agarwals made was a comprehensive, pre-launch survey. Ninan quoted Agarwal’s second son Girish as saying they were inspired by The Making of McPaper: The Inside Story of USA Today.

“Sudhir...had read about it and admired how the paper had everything planned, and even a launch date announced six months before the actual launch. We followed the same strategy,” he said.

But Pradhan’s biography traces the inspiration to Daewoo’s launch of the Cielo. On seeing buyers pay an advance of Rs 50,000 to book the car, “the bulb in Ramesh Chandra’s brain flashed…‘If people are willing to pay Rs 50,000 in advance for a car they haven’t even seen, why can’t we ask for bookings for a newspaper that is still to be printed?’”

Complementing but preceding the survey, Girish launched an aggressive marketing campaign in Rajasthan, christened “A newspaper of the readers, for the readers, by the readers”. Over two lakh pamphlets were delivered to people’s homes with local newspapers. Jaipur was flooded with banners and hoardings – camels and elephants carried them too – and a teaser “Now, the sun will rise from the west in the skies of Jaipur” for intrigue. The group sponsored every local festival.

The pink city primed, the survey kicked off. Helmed by Pawan, Agarwal’s youngest son, it intended to find out what Jaipur’s people thought of existing newspapers and what they wanted.

As external agencies only conducted sample surveys, the book explained, the Agarwals decided to do it in-house. Bearing in mind that Indian cities aren’t homogenous in both educational and social backgrounds, they wanted the survey to be comprehensive. Their target audience was clear from Pawan’s quote in the book: “Papa told me go and meet every single person in the city, look for homes that have cemented brick walls, or a gas connection, check out whether their homes have been electrified. Those are the houses to be interested in.”

The first round, which covered over two lakh families, was completed in 54 days on October 16, 1996. Reports were generated daily by entering data on computers. The key takeaways, says the book, were: space in the market for an objective, unbiased and reasonably priced newspaper; readers not feeling ownership of newspapers; and women and youngsters not finding much of interest to them.

The Bhaskar group decided to fill the gaps. The findings regarding women couldn’t have emerged at a more opportune time, since female literacy in the state doubled between 1991 and 2001 from 20.44 percent to 44.34 percent.

In the second round of the survey, the book says, the surveyors went back to the same households saying, “We have heard you. Now this is what our product will look like, this is the paper we intend to bring out based on your inputs. Will you be our reader from Day 1? Give us a chance. If you don’t like it, cancel it. If you like it, continue with it.”

The result was astounding. Even before launch day, which was December 19, 1996, orders crossed 1,50,000. As per Headlines from the Heartland, the group ended up buying “a third printing machine overnight at a premium”. According to Agarwal, “this strategy gave them a print order of 1,72,000 on the day they launched.”

Dainik Bhaskar beat Rajasthan Patrika on Day 1.

Until then, Rajasthan Patrika, with a circulation of about 1.4 lakh, had no close rival. Navjyoti, which came next, merely sold about 25,000 copies, as per the biography.

Dainik Bhaskar was also the first regional newspaper in colour, it notes, that Rajasthan had seen, and the first to use regional language numerals rather than English. “It established a pattern that other publications soon followed.”

The current pan-India presence of the Patrika Group, as per the company website.

Competition, expansion, regaining ground

Sunil Arora, then secretary to the Rajasthan CM, recalls in the biography how Agarwal had been prepared to bear initial losses when he entered Rajasthan. “He knew all the tricks of the trade and had even created his own band and team of dedicated hawkers”. 

Undercutting – both in terms of newspaper price and ad charges – was an important strategy. Editorially, Arora adds, they did the “opposite of the more pliant Patrika – they took on Shekhawat.”

Three days after Dainik Bhaskar’s launch in Jaipur, it followed up with launches in Alwar and Sikar. A year later, Ninan wrote, editions were launched in Ajmer, Jodhpur and Bikaner.

From the book, we also glean that after the mid-1990s, Rajasthan – which recorded a decadal increase in literacy of 22.45 percentage points against an all-India increase of 13.17 – saw dramatic changes in readership figures.

Expansion and localisation accelerated in the Hindi press in the early 1990s. Apart from societal changes such as a rise in literacy, farm income and the service sector in rural India, there were political changes like Hindutva- and caste-based politics. The rise in both internet technology and television generated more curiosity about the news, greatly benefiting newspapers too. 

Headlines from the Heartland attributed the acceleration to the new generation taking charge in family-owned newspapers, including at The Times of India and Hindustan Times. Rajasthan witnessed this after Dainik Bhaskar’s entry; it employed this strategy after the pre-launch survey indicated that readers wanted more news from where they lived. Rajasthan Patrika was quick to copy.

By 2002, the book finds that Rajasthan Patrika had nine editions with 28 different local editions. Dainik Bhaskar had 32 different sets of local pages inserted in 10 editions. 

The greater the localisation, Ninan wrote, the greater the retail advertising for the papers. In the 2000s, both Bhaskar and Patrika began to get three levels of advertising – corporate, retail and local – compared to just a few years ago. 

All this also led to the market widening. Before Dainik Bhaskar’s entry, the Patrika group garnered yearly revenues of Rs 500 million from the entire state. By early 2005, the total Rajasthan market was worth Rs 2,000 million in advertising revenue, and each leading newspaper was selling more copies throughout the state than the Patrika did as a solitary market leader in 1996.

Bhaskar sought to compete for any gap it saw. For instance, Rajasthan Patrika had one page for Alwar. Recognising it as a big city, Dainik Bhaskar decided it could offer more, and began publishing four pages. 

Patrika “lost no time in copying its aggressor’s strategies and fighting back”, Ninan’s book notes. For one, it also began expanding to Hindi readers beyond Rajasthan. By 2002, according to an Exchange4Media report, it was already publishing out of Bengaluru and Ahmedabad. The Surat edition followed in 2003, Chennai in 2004, Delhi in 2005 and also Kolkata, which had a large Hindi-speaking business community from Rajasthan. Soon, as per Ninan’s book, it began reaching out to north Bengal with a split edition printed in Kolkata dedicated four pages to Siliguri.

That year, Exchange4Media reported that HT Media had already announced plans to launch its Hindi daily, Hindustan, in Madhya Pradesh. Rajasthan Patrika too would enter Dainik Bhaskar’s home state and also Chhattisgarh. Brijraj Singh, Rajasthan Patrika’s senior circulation manager, was quoted as saying, “There is space for a strong No. 2 player in the state [MP]. The publications available now lack the quality of Rajasthan Patrika. In Chhattisgarh, Navbharat Times is a distant second to Bhaskar. Hence the market is attractive and we want to tap this opportunity.”

At the time, the paper reportedly had 18 editions across six states and three metros.

The tide had turned for the Patrika group, and one of the keys to it was undercutting. Ninan quotes Gulab Kothari’s son Nihar: “We never imagined that a rupee would make so much difference. Hawkers became our champions...taking the paper to all sorts of readers.” 

Rajasthan Patrika’s circulation grew. Although Dainik Bhaskar remained ahead for some years, Patrika regained its number one position in Rajasthan in 2004. 

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When he died in 2006 at the age of 80, Kulish might have felt vindicated that his newspaper had regained pole position in its home ground while also making great strides in other states and cities. In 2012, the government of India issued a stamp in his honour.

As pointed out in Headlines from the Heartland, the group’s comeback strategy was aided by the fact that the third generation – Gulab Kothari’s sons Nihar and Siddharth, who had cut their teeth at the time Bhaskar stormed Patrika’s bastion.

In retrospect, Nihar said in a 2014 interview to Forbes: “Until Dainik Bhaskar came, we were moving along at our own pace, happy doing what was required...Competition did to us what Hyundai did to Maruti – its growth just catapulted. We realised our true brand value, put in the required effort to scale up, and grew substantially.”

Beyond print, beyond media, and tales of trust

Like his father, when Gulab turned 60 in 2009, he announced his retirement from the day-to-day affairs of the business. He continued as a director while Nihar replaced him as managing director and Siddharth became additional director. A company document shows that Milap Kothari’s daughters, Kusumbhi and Padmasana, were already directors, and till 2008 drew the same salaries as Nihar and Siddharth. 

When the Forbes story came out in 2014, Gulab was still editor-in-chief. Nihar was managing editorial policies while Siddharth the advertising and marketing departments.

Seeing the power sector as a “sunrise sector”, the Patrika group’s board in 2010 decided to venture into power generation – solar, wind, anything else that could be economically combined with their existing business activities and be advantageous and feasible for the company. This was its first entry into a non-media business.

The group had also ventured into other media businesses. It launched FM Tadka in Jaipur in 2006 followed by Udaipur, Kota and Raipur in subsequent years. 

Further, as noted by Forbes, Nihar and Siddharth relentlessly pursued growth by introducing the latest technology, starting an outdoor advertising division, and event management. 

It was a smart move given that in 2013, Mint reported that only the top three papers – Malayala Manorama, Eenadu and Sakshi – were witnessing growth in readership. The rest, including Rajasthan Patrika which was in the top 10, were seeing a decline. The same year, the group hired Gourav Sharma – who had experience in TV, top job portals and regional papers – as the CEO for its online division.

Over the years, Exchange4Media reported, the group had been recognised by Unesco and the Asian Media Information and Communication Centre as “one of the five successful community newspapers in Asia”. It also won the IFRA award (Asia) for best printing and the SOPA for excellence in journalism.

Headlines from the Heartland found that when Patrika regained its territorial dominance from Bhaskar, both readers and Dainik Bhaskar journalists attributed it to Rajasthan Patrika’s journalism having greater credibility.

The report by Forbes in 2014 and The New York Times in 2013 may have answers as to why that might be. 

The paper’s entry into Chhattisgarh in 2013, especially Bastar, was lauded by NYT. The launch had followed a Maoist ambush on 30 vehicles carrying Congress politicians, killing 27 including Salwa Judum’s founder who had later joined the party. At the time, few newspapers had reporters there and no national newspaper had an edition, but Gulab Kothari saw merit in it.

“Maoists are basically dissatisfied tribals,” he told NYT. “Why would they object to a local paper that reports on their grievances?”

Maintaining multiple rural editions was expensive and, given the target audience (usually the poor), didn’t easily garner advertisements, the main revenue generator for most Indian newspapers. NYT quoted Siddharth Kothari as saying: “At times, we lose money for several years on an edition, but often things turn around after a few years.”

He added, “It is important to have a newspaper edition in a place like Bastar even if it is not the most profitable venture.”

The report found that Patrika’s reportage was often converted into PILs by courts – perhaps because, according to Forbes, the paper often took up civic issues. These ranged from illegal changes in development plans to inept bureaucracy compromising citizen safety to picking battles with telecom players on tower radiation and “has often forsaken financial gain at the altar of honest and accurate reportage”.

In 2013, the group won the National Media Award. That year, it was also recognised by the Election Commission for raising voter awareness through a campaign, started in 2009, that got readers to come together, create a manifesto for local politicians, collating and handing it over to the candidates and having reporters follow it up. It reportedly had a significant impact on the polity of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. 

Its reporters, NYT found, regularly petitioned for access to government documents under the RTI Act and built stories based on the data. “In the district of Tonk, two hours from Jaipur, a Patrika reporter filed 210 petitions under the Right to Information Act in five months in 2012. The Rajasthan government answered 206 of his questions. Patrika ran these answers in 233 news stories,” the report said. The group gave such efforts 20 percent weightage while deciding pay rises and promotions for journalists. 

NYT also found that Patrika resisted the temptation of paid news. A researcher had recounted to its author, Vinay Sitapati, that when the state government once offered Patrika a coal mine in exchange for favourable coverage, the group turned it down. 

On its past proximity to the BJP, the paper’s deputy editor said this “impression was created” due to Kulish’s friendship with Bhairon Singh Shekhawat. “But in the last decade, we’ve been extra careful to be neutral,” they said. Forbes also held that the newspaper has been “working assiduously over the last decade to move away from these associations, and to change public perception”.

In 2017, when BJP CM Vasundhara Raje tabled the Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Ordinance for approval in the state assembly, Gulab Kothari reportedly called it out in an editorial. He wrote that it was “aimed at stifling publications that were undertaking efforts to expose corrupt officials and politicians”.

Gulab pledged that his newspaper would “boycott Raje and would not print anything relating to the chief minister, until she takes back the ‘black law’.” He called the consultation with a committee an eyewash and also dared journalists to test his argument by writing about any corrupt officer’s name and assured “you would find yourself in jail for at least two years”.

Three years later, Prime Minister Narendra Modi released two books by Gulab and virtually inaugurated Patrika Gate in Jaipur.

Current portfolio

In 2015, the group launched Catch News as a ‘multimedia’ digital platform with Shoma Chaudhry as editor-in-chief. It hired actor Ranveer Singh to promote it a year later. Also in 2015, it launched a news app for iPhone and Android.

Data published by Statista indicates that Rajasthan Patrika had an average issue readership of about eight million across India in 2017, although it recorded sluggish growth since 2013. 

The group launched Rajasthan Patrika TV as a YouTube channel and also a free-to-air television channel called Patrika TV in 2017. 

Looking ahead, the group seemed to be revamping.

For starters, a 2017 company report mentioned improved print quality, a different look, and more timely and informative news and content. In 2019, the group introduced a brand logo comprising different symbols to communicate different values and features. It also started a new editorial segment called Spotlight to offer “360-degree coverage of a news story”.

That year, Milap Kothari died at the age of 68.

In 2021, the group passed a resolution to diversify into consumer products and services. In 2022, it entered into a collaboration with the Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India – promoted by IDBI, IFCI, ICICI, SBI and the Gujarat government – to jointly organise programmes for emerging women entrepreneurs.

In August this year, it began live-streaming on its YouTube channel, which now has 3.63 million subscribers. As per its website, the group’s radio station is in six states and 18 cities.

Data from the Registrar of Newspapers for India shows Rajasthan Patrika in 20 small and big cities including Palitana, Jhunjhunu, Barmer, Sawai Madhopur, Sriganganagar, Bhilwara and Banswara, apart from the ones previously mentioned in this story. 

In other places – such as Bastar, Bhopal, Jaipur, Sagar, Satna, Mumbai, Raipur, Gwalior, Jabalpur, Khandwa, Durg and Bilaspur – it’s published as just Patrika. It has two Hindi dailies – News Today registered in Indore and Jaipur, and Daily News registered in Jaipur and Pali. 

Metro, also in Jaipur, is its bilingual daily. Weeklies include Parivar Parishishth, Bollywood and Itwari Patrika in Jaipur. Both Bal Hans and Chhotu Motu are Hindi fortnightlies in Jaipur. Business World shows up as a Hindi monthly in Jaipur. Patrika Year Book in Gujarati and Hindi, in Jaipur, and Find It Yellow Pages in English, in Jaipur and Jodhpur, are published annually.

The group’s portfolio includes a lesser-known annual award called the Karpoor Chandra Kulish International Journalism Awards for excellence in journalism. It started out in 2007 with a prize amount of $11,000, which was increased in 2017 to $15,000 to match the Pulitzer Prize amount.

Ownership pattern

Rajasthan Patrika is owned and managed by Rajasthan Patrika Pvt. Ltd which, as per a company document, was incorporated in 1974 as Rajasthan Patrika Paper Mills Pvt. Ltd. It changed to its current name in 1977.

A majority of its 1.3 crore shares, as mentioned in FY 2022 documents, are held by the Kothari family. Gulab Kothari’s family holds the lion’s share at 78.37 percent. While Gulab Kothari and his wife hold 4.28 and 3.73 percent respectively, their sons Nihar and Siddharth each hold 34.36 percent.

Patrika Finance Pvt. Ltd is next in line holding 11.78 percent shares. 

Milap Kothari’s family owns 9.88 percent. After he died in 2019, his share of 4.28 percent has been held by his wife Manjula and daughter Padmasana on behalf of Milap Chandra Kothari Family Pvt. Trust. Manjula’s individual holding is 4.46 percent; her holding increased from 5,20,000 shares to 5,83,000 after Milap’s demise. Daughters Padmasana and Kusumbh continue to hold 0.57 percent each.

About 0.3 percent are held by others from the Kothari family comprising the wife and children of late AC Kothari in Jaipur and of late Komal Kothari in Jodhpur.

One lakh shares amounting to 0.76 percent are held by Laxmi N and Sushila Sharma. Of the remaining, 50 shares are held by Raghunath Sharma, 100 shares each by Pramod, Subodh and Vimla Pareek, and 160 shares each by Ashok, Anil and Ajay Navlakha.

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In turn, Patrika Finance Pvt. Ltd, which is Rajasthan Patrika Pvt. Ltd’s second biggest shareholder, is fully owned by the Kothari family, as per FY 2023 shareholding documents. Gulab Kothari’s family holds 86.17 percent: Gulab holds 20.8 percent, Kalpana 12.7, Nihar and Siddharth 26.3 each.

Milap Kothari’s family holds the remaining 13.83 percent: Manjula and Padmasana (on behalf of the trust) hold 3.5 percent, Manjula individually 3.7 percent, Kusumbhi 3.7 and Padmasana 2.9.

Before his death, Milap, like his brother Gulab, was a whole-time director. 

The board and key managerial personnel, as per the last available Annual Returns document dated FY2021, include:

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As per MGT-8 filed in November 2022, Hanuman Prasad Tiwari ceased to be a whole-time director as well as director of the company effective from September 30, 2021. Raghunath Singh was appointed additional director with effect from September 6, 2021 and thereafter as director and whole-time director.

As per the latest available annual report, the company has no subsidiaries, joint ventures or associate companies. The following are mentioned as enterprises over which the KMPs and their relatives have significant influence: 

  1. Sky Media Pvt. Ltd

  2. KC Kulish (HUF)

  3. Jaimor Ltd

  4. Mass Printers

  5. Patrika Finance Pvt. Ltd

  6. Sumeru Enterprises

  7. Patrika Online Pvt. Ltd

  8. The Indian Institute of Public Opinion Pvt. Ltd

  9. Aaron Land Developers Pvt. Ltd

  10. Orient Township Developers Pvt. Ltd

  11. Alliance Land Developers Pvt. Ltd

  12. Centuria Global Trade Mart LLP

  13. Kagaj Vyapar Nigam

  14. Blue Shades Horizon Heights LLP

  15. Sukham

Moolah matters

Company documents confirm that Rajasthan Patrika Pvt. Ltd operates in the fields of print, digital, FM radio, TV channels, solar power, OOH and other business activities.

At present, financial statements from 2015 to 2021 are available with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs. A look at figures from this period reveals that while the total income and revenues from operations saw highs and lows, and correspondingly so did the profits. The company hasn’t made losses yet.

Up to FY 2018, the company saw an incremental increase in revenue from operations – Rs 797 crore in 2015, Rs 882 crore in 2016, Rs 899 crore in 2017, and Rs 925 crore in 2018. Likewise, profits too rose from Rs 52 crore in 2015 to Rs 85 crore in 2016 to Rs 91 crore in 2017. Although revenues peaked in 2019 at Rs 966 crore, profits peaked the previous year at Rs 109 crore; profits dipped to Rs 85.31 crore in 2019.

The pandemic years saw a decline in both income and profits. Operating revenue slid to Rs 833 crore in 2020 and more dramatically to Rs 568 crore in 2021. Profits saw a steep fall to Rs 47 crore in 2020 and recovered to Rs 77 crore in 2021.

For expansion and growth, the company’s authorised share capital has been increased twice in the past couple of decades. Data prior to this is not available. In 2006, the authorised capital stood at Rs 5 crore with five lakh shares of Rs 100 each. Looking at the general trend in the country, the face value of the shares was changed to Rs 10. The share capital remaining the same, the number of shares increased to 50 lakh. Furthermore, a resolution was passed to create 30 lakh new shares, increasing the authorised capital to Rs 8 crore.

Next, in 2009, the authorised capital was increased from Rs 8 crore to Rs 25 crore by creating 20 lakh equity shares of Rs 10 each. Additionally, 15 lakh preference shares of Rs 100 each were also issued. 

In 2011, the 15 lakh shares were reclassified as equity shares after redemption of the preference shares. 

Infographics by Gobindh VB.

Citations

1. Post by Patrika Foundation on Linkedin https://www.linkedin.com/posts/patrikafoundation_our-founder-shri-karpoor-chandra-kulish-ji-activity-6968438815057162241-k0MO/

2. Headlines from the Heartland by Sevanti Ninan

3. Press in India Book (1958)

4. Press in India Book (1967)

5. India's Newspaper Revolution: Capitalism, Politics and the Indian-Language Press, 1977-1999 by Robin Jeffrey

6. Press in India Books (1983-84, 1989)

7. Rajasthan Patrika founder Karpoor Chand Kulish passes away https://www.exchange4media.com/media-print-news/rajasthan-patrika-founder-karpoor-chand-kulish-passes-away-19448.html 

8. Ramesh Chandra Agarwal: The man who created the Dainik Bhaskar group by Bharathi S Pradhan

9. BJP website: https://www.bjp.org/pressreleases/biography-former-vice-president-shri-bhairon-singh-shekhawatji 

10. Rajasthan Patrika launches Kolkata edition https://www.exchange4media.com/advertising-news/rajasthan-patrika-launches-kolkata-edition-16953.html

11. After Hindustan, Rajasthan Patrika also set to join Madhya Pradesh media battle https://www.exchange4media.com/media-print-news/after-hindustanrajasthan-patrika-also-set-to-join-madhya-pradesh-media-battle-18472.html 

12. For Rajasthan Patrika, it is readers above advertisers https://www.forbesindia.com/printcontent/37385   

13. Indian Postal Dept honours memory of Patrika founder  https://www.exchange4media.com/media-others-news/indian-postal-dept-honours-memory-of-patrika-founder-47186.html 

14. Top newspapers see flat growth https://www.livemint.com/Consumer/1TJupMoLalPHBEEQqrRFrI/Top-newspapers-see-flat-growth.html 

15. Gourav Sharma joins Rajasthan Patrika as CEO of online division https://www.exchange4media.com/digital-news/gourav-sharma-joins-rajasthan-patrika-as-ceo-of-online-division-53873.html 

16. Hindi paper finds success going hyperlocal  https://archive.nytimes.com/india.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/04/hindi-paper-finds-success-going-hyperlocal/ 

17. Rajasthan Patrika to boycott Vasundhara Raje until controversial ‘media gag’ ordinance is revoked https://www.firstpost.com/india/rajasthan-patrika-to-boycott-vasundhara-raje-until-controversial-media-gag-ordinance-is-revoked-4190185.html 

18. PMO Press Release: Prime Minister's Office - PM inaugurates Patrika Gate in Jaipur; Releases Samvad Upanishad and Akshar yatra books https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1652256 

19. Catch a new multi-media digital platform of Patrika Group https://www.adgully.com/catch-a-new-multi-media-dig-platform-of-patrika-group-61423.html 

20. Rajasthan Patrika App tops big time on Apple App Store & Google Playstore https://www-adgully-com.translate.goog/rajasthan-patrika-app-tops-big-time-on-apple-app-store-google-playstore-64337.html 

21. Average issue readership for Rajasthan Patrika in India between 2013 and 2017 (in millions) https://www.statista.com/statistics/1052767/india-rajasthan-patrika-average-issue-readership/ 

22. https://www.youtube.com/@RajasthanPatrikaTV/featured 

23. Patrika group launches its news channel Patrika TV https://www.afaqs.com/news/media/49809_patrika-group-launches-its-news-channel-patrika-tv 

24. Patrika introduces a brand logo https://www.afaqs.com/news/media/patrika-introduces-a-brand-logo 

25. Patrika introduces a new editorial column, Spotlight https://www.adgully.com/patrika-introduces-a-new-editorial-column-spotlight-105615.html 

26. https://www.ediindia.org/e-newsletter/edii-report-117/ 

27. https://www.fmtadka.com/index.php/Fm_tadka/about_us 

28. RNI

29. India Gate: A journalism award that went unnoticed https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/news/column-india-gate-a-journalism-award-that-went-unnoticed-sushma-swaraj-rss-pk-mishra 

30. Media group to award print journalists  https://m.tribuneindia.com/2007/20071229/delhi.htm#17 

31. Patrika Group’s director Milap Kothari passed away https://brandequity.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/the-people-report/patrika-groups-director-milap-kothari-passed-away/69842190 

32. Financial, shareholding and other company documents of Rajasthan Patrika Pvt. Ltd from Ministry of Corporate Affairs

33. Financial, shareholding and other company documents of Patrika Finance Pvt. Ltd from Ministry of Corporate Affairs

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