Indira Kannan has over two decades of experience in print and television journalism. After starting her career with India Today, she joined Television18 (later Network18) in 1995. She worked with the media organization until 2011 in New Delhi and New York as a reporter, producer and presenter on shows for various channels including BBC World, Star Plus, CNBC-TV18 and CNN-IBN. She is currently a freelance writer, having contributed to several publications including The Quint, the India Today group, Business Standard and the Financial Express. A native of Chennai, she lives in Toronto with her husband, the journalist and author Anirudh Bhattacharyya.
Author photograph by Anirudh Bhattacharyya
As Indians got their first taste of satellite television during the first Gulf War, Raghav Bahl saw his future in the signals flickering across the small screen. Armed with burning ambition, keen business sense and amazing audacity, he assembled a group of talented professionals and rank beginners to launch one of India's earliest start-up success stories. Starting from a small room in New Delhi's Safdarjung Enclave, Television Eighteen (TV18) grew into Network18, one of India's biggest media conglomerates spanning television, print, films, the Internet, business and general news, drama and entertainment. In less than two decades filled with excitement, adventure and frequent crises, Network18 launched pioneering properties, television and film careers, and racked up partnerships with blue-chip media brands like CNBC, CNN and Viacom. But a mix of hubris, overreaching and external factors set it up for a free fall.
This is a story of brilliant ideas, severe setbacks, naked aggression, spectacular victories and fatal flaws. It's a story of a media empire that could only have been Made in India.