Hindustan Times was founded in 1924 by Sunder Singh Lyallpuri, founder-father of the Akali movement and the Shiromani Akali Dal, in Punjab Province. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi inaugurated the press. It was time for a paper that reflected the sentiments of millions of Indians and their shared national agenda. It played an integral role in the Indian Independence movement as a nationalist daily.
Hindustan Times was then bought by educationist Madan Mohan Malviya, before industrialist and nationalist GD Birla took complete control circa the 1930s. What was common to the paper’s early owners is that all of them were deeply involved in the freedom struggle. By 1936, Hindi daily Hindustan was born.
The HT Media Group today bills itself as ‘a new age content company’. It has a play from print and digital news to multiple radio brands, podcasts, online marketplaces for audio content, lifestyle and entertainment portals and even a job portal, Shine.com.
Shobhana Bhartia, daughter of the industrialist (late) Krishna Kumar Birla the son of GD Birla, joined Hindustan Times in 1986 and became the first female chief executive of a national newspaper at the age of 29 years. A Newslaundry.com report on the company’s ownership pattern shows that she holds the largest stake in HT Media Limited and group companies through several holding companies.
The flagship Hindustan Times articulated its brand positioning recently with a campaign themed ‘First Voice Last Word’. ‘First Voice’ alludes to its digital-first agile approach, always the first to raise issues facing the citizens today. The ‘Last Word’ captures the essence of journalistic excellence associated with a credible, trusted and respected news brand.
The 96 year-old brand celebrated 75 years of Indian Independence with a special collector’s edition.
The company behind the legacy brands Hindustan Times and Hindustan was in expansion mode before the Covid headwinds hit. Now, it is bouncing back strongly.