Vineet and Samir Jain© HelloIndia/Getty Images

HELLO! 100 Most Influential: Samir and Vineet Jain

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Ananya Shankar

Why they matter: The brothers made headlines this year not just for drawing down shutters on various print media properties, but also for the division of one of India’s largest media empires and extensive restructuring. We bring you up close with their trajectory.

With the nation’s top newspaper, The Times of India, as its flagship, the Times Group is one of India’s largest media conglomerates. But making their own headlines this year were the newspaper’s owner-managers, Samir and Vineet Jain, as they wrapped up a very public split.

Founded in 1838, the company was absorbed into Bennett Coleman & Company Ltd and bought by Ramkrishna Dalmia in 1946. He handed over the keys to his son-in-law, Sahu Shanti Prasad Jain (the brothers’ grandfather), and it has stayed in the Jain family ever since.

Yin and Yang

Samir and Vineet have worked in perfect harmony all these years, much like the balance of Yin and Yang.

“He (Samir) is a thinker. He had his finger on the pulse of print media and was way ahead of his time. Paid editorials were his brain child almost two decades ago, when no one was doing it…” says Ruchika Mehta, former Editor-in-Chief of HELLO!, who worked closely with him.

The elder son with a spiritual bent of mind, Samir has been the Vice President and Managing Director of BCCL for almost 40 years now. Taking up the baton from his father, it’s thanks to this “workaholic” and his brilliant sense of business acumen that TOI boasts the highest circulation in India today among newspapers in print — the division Samir retained post the split.

“Vineet is the modern half of the Jain brothers. He was always more digitally inclined and launched Times Internet. He saw the digital tsunami coming way before the others,” adds Ruchika.

Samir’s strategic thinking is complemented by his younger brother’s keen eye for detail. The friendly face in the building, Vineet has always been ahead of the curve and, therefore, responsible for the digital division today after the separation. This includes TV, radio, magazines and even the Miss India pageant.

The business-savvy duo who once famously stated that they are “in the advertising business” have jointly contributed to the company’s astronomical success today. Their readers and the entire industry now wait in anticipation of how this split will reshape the very landscape of Indian media.

To see who else is on the list, grab the copy of HELLO! India’s August 2023 issue right here!