Even today, newspapers are the most credible: Vijay Darda, Lokmat

The exchange4media group last week started a series called ‘Leading from the front’ that looks at how pioneers, industry leaders and founders are creating legacies and institutions in the Indian Media & Entertainment industry. Today we will tell you how Vineet has created a pioneering multimedia conglomerate that is diversified, futuristic and based on multi-media.

Vineet Jain, who first joined The Times Group in 1988, has an enviable legacy, not only as a far-sighted strategist who diversified the group into all other media  beyond Print, but also as the chief content architect for newspapers, TV, radio and online platforms, whose initiatives have subsequently become templates for rest of the industry. He was appointed Deputy Managing director in 1993, and then Managing Director, five years later. Since then, he has handled the daily operations of the group, including marketing, cost functions HR, brand management, etc.

Vineet JAIN was involved when he first joined the Times Group in the implementation of the content strategy. This included the pagination, design and editorial innovation of the three main newspapers: The Times of India (The Times of India), The Economic Times, and Navbharat Times. He was responsible for introducing a template that is now used by all national newspapers to localise news. This was achieved by TOI’s city-specific edition coverage being expanded and refocused. It was the first national newspaper to do this on such a large scale. Vineet Jain was also instrumental in the fine-tuning and structuring of other sections which have endured the test. He also saw, many decades ago that shorter news stories that were more varied and packed in more information would be critical to grabbing readers’ interest at a time the Internet was just beginning to take off. As part of this, he introduced a brief, Times Views- one paragraph boxed edits in the news pages of TOI & ET- so that readers could be drawn into analysis of the news item even as the boundary between news and views was maintained. 

Jain modernised the architecture of the newspaper and its content strategy, as he had become the group’s chief architect in the late 1990s. The TOI was able to surpass Hindustan Times by late 1990s in Delhi thanks to these building blocks of the modern newspaper, which were a result of the seminal changes made in the content strategy and architecture.

Vineet is credited for pioneering lifestyle journalism and entertainment in India. His meticulous and detailed approach met the needs of readers who wanted more useful news. He introduced reader-friendly sections like stock listings, crosswords, reader engagement, film reviews and more in the TOI main newspaper. He created and implemented the TOI editions-based supplements, such as Delhi Times, Bombay Times etc., which attracted thousands of new readers, especially younger ones, and introduced them to new audiences with their all-colour, visually appealing focus on films, health, fashion, and fitness. They were an instant hit with advertisers, and have been replicated across the entire newspaper industry, as well as on other platforms such TV and Digital. They have been adopted by other platforms, including TV and Digital, to reach out to new aspirational audiences.

Vineet jain is considered by industry experts to be the only media owner that truly understands youth culture and urban life. The creation of lifestyle journalism in all media has spawned a new industry for events with completely new audiences and advertisers. Times Group again has been at the forefront. Initially, Times Group’s lifestyle supplements drove advertisers to sponsor live events. However, as the Times group matured and professionalised the industry, it became clear that events of any genre were a major revenue source. This model was then adopted across all media.

Vineet Jain, in addition to his legacy of publishing, has expanded the group into all other media spaces. He recognized early the importance of the Internet and the TOI became one of the very first newspapers in India to launch a website. 

Vineet jain, perhaps the only Indian media owner to have recognized the power of radio in the 1990s was Vineet. Times FM, the first private broadcaster on AIR was Radio Mirchi. After the government allowed private FM radio stations to be established, Radio Mirchi became Mirchi. Mirchi continues to be the market leader, cementing his position as the godfather of Indian FM Radio. 

Vineet Jain, too, made an early entry into television but wisely avoided the spotlight until the dust settled from scores of other newcomers. Indian news TV will never be the way it was before the introduction of Times Now, and Times Network’s wide range of innovative channels. Vineet jain is responsible for the transformation of Times Group, from a magazine and newspaper publisher, into Asia’s biggest media conglomerate. Vineet Jain has achieved this by placing the reader, listener and viewer first, anticipating changes and shifts, using technology, and adopting industry-wide practices, and building an international team that matches his rigorous work ethic. It will be fascinating to see what the next chapter of his career holds for the Indian media industry. He has left a legacy of enviable success for Print, and other media sectors, by rewriting the rules, transforming strategy, content and profits.

Vineet JAIN was awarded the Impact Person Of The Year 2013 title by the exchange4media group for his pioneering role and these reasons.

Vineet has been credited with building new businesses in Times Group such as TV, Digital and Radio. However, Vineet joined TOI at age 21 in 1988 and contributed to the print business for the next 30 years. Vineet Jain’s father Ashok Jain was joined by his older brother Samir Jain in the newspaper and print business.

Samir Jain has been credited for leading, guiding, and strategizing the Response, Monetisation and Invitation Pricing over the past three decades and now Brand Capital during the last fifteen years. However, the younger Jain also contributed greatly to the print and newspaper businesses, working with his older sibling Samir Jain.

Senior executives remember Vineet as a driver and leader who was fully involved with the newspaper and printing organisations. He was also involved in the hiring of new employees, as well as mentoring and supervising leaders. Jain also worked on the marketing and product side of the newspaper business. Vineet was also involved with the editorial architecture and print products of the newspaper, from the conception of the new entertainment supplement which the entire industry adopted following initial criticism.

Vineet contributed to the city supplement and hyper localisation within the newspaper. He made sure these supplements became a force for editorial and revenue.

Vineet was active in the Times Group’s administration, print and management for the past 36 years.

Vineet Jain also helped in taking these newspapers to the internet more than two and a half  decades back; the newspapers sites were launched under his leadership.

Vineet jain has been credited for building the Times Group’s TV, radio, digital, and internet businesses, as well as the Education business. However, during the first 18-20 year period of his leadership, Jain contributed in many other areas to the newspaper, print, and publishing business. He spearheaded numerous editorial, marketing, and product initiatives that are still visible on the Times Group business.

Vineet jain has left a huge imprint on Times Group. He started with print but has since pioneered the way to build a futuristic group.

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