Atul Maheswari, Managing Director, Amar Ujala Publications Ltd, passed away in
Gurgaon on January 3, 2011and was cremated in Noida. For the last few days he was admitted in Fortis Hospital after a surgery to treat an intestinal infection. Later, he was shifted to Medicity in Gurgaon, where he passed away. Son of late Murari Lal Maheswari, who had started Amar Ujala newspaper with Doril Lal Agarwal in 1948 from Agra, Atul Maheswari had taken over as MD of the group in 2001.
Remembering the days spent with Maheswari, Shashi Shekhar, Editor-in-Chief, Hindustan, said, “I had worked with him for almost seven years and our relationship was not confined to business alone. I have learned a lot from him. He had a wonderful spiritual modesty and on many occasions, I had seen him getting emotional. He had achieved a lot at a very young age and his contribution to regional journalism is unmatchable. We will always remember him.”
Sunil Mutreja, President – Marketing, Amar Ujala, said, “His demise is a great loss to the organisation. I had worked with him for four years. Apart from a professional, he was a great human being. He just could not see anyone in pain. Even if any agency is in need, he would come out with effective solutions. He was a great visionary of the Indian media industry. He had a clear vision on how to build an organisation. He was very firm on his business and by minimising the unnecessary risks, he would go ahead on the project. He had a fantastic foresight and during the recession period he knew how the newsprint price would fluctuate. He had a great sense of all aspects of the newspaper industry.”
He further said, “I learnt a lot from him and gain editorial knowledge too from him. He had made a major contribution to the Indian print media industry. He built a newspaper completely on unbiased editorial. However, there had been incidents when politician came to him with money to publish their news during the elections. He would always deny upfront. He just used to tell them: ‘if you are doing good for the country, I will publish your news in the front page’. He was a very contented person and never been greedy. He would always stick to his highest editorial values. He had proved how by sticking to the truth one could build a newspaper brand and survive.”
After completing his post graduation in 1979, Maheswari was inducted into the newspaper business and spearheaded various departments such as Circulation, Marketing, Editorial, Production, etc., as a partner. He then graduated to the position of Managing Director after his complete exposure to every aspect of the newspaper business.
Maheswari was also Chairman of the INS regional committee for Uttar Pradesh, apart from being an active member of the IRS, MRUC and CII, and was regularly invited by the government for consultation.
He is survived by his wife and a son and daughter. Maheshwari’s loss is a big loss to the media industry as a gentle giant passes away. We hope and pray that his legacy and the institution he had built in Amar Ujala thrives with time as a tribute to him.