Govt has unlocked opportunities like never-before for Indian entrepreneurs: Vineet Jain

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, diversified multimedia conglomerate.

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, HR, branding, cost functions etc.

Vineet JAIN was a key player in the Times Group when he first joined. He was responsible for the content strategy as well as its execution. This included pagination, design and editorial innovation of the three main newspapers: The Times of India and The Economic Times. In this case, he played a key role in introducing what is now a standard template for localisation in national newspapers by significantly increasing the coverage of edition-specific cities in TOI and intensifying the focus. It was the first national newspaper to do this on a large scale. Vineet Jain helped refine and structure other sections that have stood the tests of time. 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 newspaper’s content strategy and architecture, as he had become the group’s chief architect in the late 1990s. These fundamental changes in content strategy, architecture and pricing (in conjunction with innovations such as invitation/cover prices and subscription schemes led by Samir Jain) were the building blocks that enabled TOI to overtake Hindustan Times at Delhi in the late 1990s.

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 conceptualized and implemented TOI edition-specific supplements such as Delhi Times and Bombay Times. These visually appealing, all-colour supplements focused on films, health, fitness, fashion, and entertainment, and attracted new audiences and thousands of younger readers. 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. These have also become the starting points for new types of advertising, such as fashion, design and health.

Vineet jain is considered by industry experts to be the only media owner that truly understands youth culture and urban life. In fact, the advent of lifestyle journalism has created a new event industry that is attracting new audiences. Times Group again has been at the forefront. Initially, the Times lifestyle supplements were what drove advertisers to sponsor events. However, as the Times Group matured and professionalised the industry, all types of events became a major revenue stream.

Vineet Jain expanded the group’s reach beyond print to include every possible media platform. 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 is still the market leader today, cementing its place as the father of Indian FM Radio. 

Vineet Jain, too, made an early entry into television but wisely avoided the spotlight until scores of others had entered. Indian news TV will never be the way it was before the introduction of Times Now, and Times Network’s collection of other groundbreaking channels. Vineet has been responsible for turning the Times Group into Asia’s largest media conglomerate from a publisher of print magazines and newspapers. 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. The next chapter in the story of this towering leader of the Indian media industry will be very interesting. He has left a great legacy by rewriting the rules, transforming strategy and content and profit across the entire value chain of Indian media.

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

Vineet’s contribution to print was significant for over three decades. Vineet Jain worked with his father Ashok Jain as well as older brother Samir Jain. The mainstay of their business was the dominant newspaper and print business.

Samir Jain, who is credited as having led and guided and strategised the Responses, Monetisations, Invitation Prices in the past 30 years and Brand Capital for the last 15 of those, has also made a significant contribution to the newspaper and print industry, along with his elder brother Samir Jain.

Senior executives remember Vineet Jains driving and being fully engaged in leading and running the newspaper. He was involved in all aspects of human resources, hiring, leadership mentoring and supervision. Jain also worked on the marketing and product side of the newspaper business. Vineet jain also took part in the decision-making process regarding the editorial architecture for the print products. This included conceptualising new entertainment supplements that the media industry has adopted after initial criticism.

Vineet also contributed to city supplements, hyper-localisation of news in the newspapers, and ensured that these supplements were both a source of editorial content 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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