Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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#492 Kalanithi Maran $4.03B

Random fact: The couple were India's top-paid managers in the 2016 fiscal year.


Maran controls 75 percent of Sun TV Network, a broadcaster in the southern Indian city of Chennai. Sun has 33 television channels that reach 95 million homes and reported revenue of 26.5 billion rupees ($395 million) in the year to March 31, 2017. He created Sun in 1993 and also has investments in newspapers.

As of Sept. 22, 2017:
Last change -$74.0M (-1.8%)
YTD change +$1.64B (+68.3%)
Industry Media & Telecom
Biggest asset SUNTV IN Equity
Citizenship India
Wealth Self-made
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Kalanithi Maran's net worth of $4.03B can buy ...

troy ounces of gold
barrels of crude oil

... and is equivalent to ...

of the GDP of the United States
of the total wealth of the 500 richest people in the world
of the top 100 U.S. college endowments
of the top 200 U.S. executives’ total awarded compensation
of U.S. existing home sales
times the median U.S. household income

Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

The bulk of Maran's wealth is derived from his 75 percent stake in Sun TV Network, a broadcaster he founded in 1993 in the southern Indian city of Chennai. He owns the shares directly, according to the company's 2016 annual report. Sun TV Network has 33 channels that reach 95 million households, according to its website.

Sun TV Chief Financial Officer V.C. Unnikrishnan confirmed the billionaire's holdings in a March 2017 e-mail and said he also has about $170 million of investments in direct-to-home satellite television service and newspapers in India.

The value of his cash investments is based on an analysis of dividends and insider transactions, as well as taxes and market performance.


Family: Married, 1 child
Education: University of Madras, Commerce, Bachelor's Degree University of Scranton, MBA

Maran is a scion of a family with deep roots in politics. His late father, Murasoli Maran, was a trade minister and his brother, Dayanidhi Maran, was a telecommunications and textiles minister. His granduncle, Muthuvel Karunanidhi, was the chief minister of the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, where Maran and his family live.

Maran worked for a Tamil-language magazine owned by his family after obtaining his MBA from the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania in 1987. He founded Sun TV in 1993 with an investment of $86,000 from a bank loan. Five years later, when India liberalized the satellite broadcast industry, he was among the first to get a license. Sun TV Network owns 33 television channels and radio stations in several Indian languages.

In 2010, Maran bought shares of discount carrier SpiceJet from its founders and investor Wilbur Ross as travel demand surged in the world's second-most populous nation. He transferred his entire stake to the company's co-founder, Ajay Singh, in 2015.

Maran and his brother, former India telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran, were cleared of criminal conspiracy charges by a special court in New Delhi in February 2017. Shares of Sun TV surged as much as 26 percent the day after.

  • 1964 Maran is born in India.
  • 1993 Starts Sun TV in Tamil with an investment of $86,000.
  • 2000 Sun TV starts fully digital transmission of all its television channels.
  • 2003 Begins his first radio station in Tamil.
  • 2003 Father, Murasoli Maran, dies at age 69.
  • 2006 Sun TV Network sells shares in India for the first time.
  • 2008 Sets up Kalanithi Maran & Kaveri Kalanithi Foundation
  • 2010 Starts operations in the U.K. to broadcast there and in Europe.
  • 2010 Acquires SpiceJet shares from its founders and investor Wilbur Ross.
  • 2015 Transfers all SpiceJet shares to co-founder Ajay Singh