As we have reported elsewhere in our morning edition, the DNA was successfully launched on Saturday. It would have required immense guts and resilience to stick to its launch deadline at a time when Mumbai became the country’s ‘wetropolis’. Away from the euphoria of the launch, an unusual gesture has gone unnoticed, the kind that adds to the folklore of the print media.
On paper he is Vice-Chairman of Bennett, Coleman & Co. Limited. In essence Samir Jain is the quintessential media baron of this country – mercurial, reclusive (can anyone recall when he gave his last interview?), visionary, and the man who has virtually set every trend in the print media in this country.
And there is Pradeep Guha, his protégé, confidant and partner in arms for three decades. In many ways, it was the Jain-Guha team that has propelled The Times Group into an unassailable position over the years. Together they had masterminded and implemented the Mastermind, The Times Group’s awesome rate card.
It is a different matter that today Guha is successfully spearheading DNA. From scratch he built a team that has just delivered Mumbai’s latest print baby, a healthy 54-page product.
On Saturday evening, according to very well-informed sources, Samir Jain, along with Bhaskar Das, who has replaced his mentor Guha as the Times Group’s National Response Head, paid a visit to Guha’s office to felicitate him on the successful launch of DNA.
Present in Guha’s room was DNA Editor, the redoubtable Gautam Adhikari, another long-time confidant of Jain. Also present was Ayaz Memon, currently DNA’s editor-at-large and Sports Editor, and the former Sport Editor of The Times of India.
It requires immense mental strength and at the same time humility – especially if he happens to be the most powerful media baron of the country – to pay a personal visit to his rival and challenger to congratulate him. But then, that is Samir Jain.
I am not sure how this piece of revelation will be taken. But, as I said in the beginning, it is events such as these that finally create the larger than life environment of the print media. VC-ji, dear Pradeep, Gautam and Bhaskar, sorry if I spilled the beans.