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Outlook India's Pushpa Iyengar profiles Kalanidhi Maran, the Sun Group's reclusive chief.
The walls around his house--and life--are higher than the usual, designed to keep away prying eyes. But on occasion the air of secrecy around Kalanidhi Maran, the billionaire founder of the Sun Group, does drop. In 2006, he was fronting a roadshow in Mumbai for the initial public offering (IPO) of Sun TV. As an analyst who attended remembers, at some point Kalanidhi got so irritated with the barrage of disconcerting questions coming at him that he burst out in Tamil (a polite translation went like this "Get lost, invest if you feel like it, I don't really give a damn.")
As news spread through the meeting room, people got up and left. But regardless of the display of arrogance, the IPO was a success--Maran raised some Rs 600 crore from it.
All this matters now because his latest acquisition (IPL's Hyderabad franchise) might finally bring Kalanidhi into the public eye. There is no evidence that he is crazy about cricket. Kalanidhi is not the kind to do business deals on the golf course, and probably rarely uses the gym at his bungalow on the tony Boat Club road in Chennai. So it'll be a change for the many observers who view the 48-year-old media mogul via the prism of politics.
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