Ramoji Rao: A versatile genius who left an indelible mark on media, entertainment industries

01:46 PM Jun 08, 2024 | PTI |

Hyderabad: Veteran media personality and business tycoon Ch Ramoji Rao, who passed away here on Saturday, is a versatile genius whose work is unparalleled across various fields like media, hospitality, NBFC, food and retail store chain.


Ramoji Rao’s rise to become the founder of Eenadu, the largest circulated Telugu daily, and a tycoon, from humble beginnings is legendary.

The firms founded by him — Eenadu newspaper, ETV bouquet of channels, the world’s largest film city Ramoji Film City, Dolphin group of hotels, Margadarsi Chit Fund, film production company Ushakiran movies, Priya Foods and others provided jobs to thousands and continue to impact the lives of millions in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and elsewhere.

Ramoji Rao had also served as chairman of Editors Guild of India.

Born on November 16, 1936 in Krishna district of coastal Andhra Pradesh, he started the Margadarsi Chit Fund in 1962 which serves customers in AP and Telangana and other states.


Hailing from a middle-class family of farmers, Ramoji Rao ventured into the media sector with the launch of ‘Annadata’, a magazine for the peasants, in 1969.

The Eenadu founded by him in the port city of Visakhapatnam in 1974 revolutionized the newspaper industry in undivided Andhra Pradesh and continues to be the largest circulated Telugu daily with multiple editions.

Eenadu became a pioneer in several ways as Ramoji Rao, who is known for his punctuality, had ensured that the newspaper reached readers before sunrise as against a delayed delivery to them.

Use of simple Telugu, increased coverage of local news and special editions for each district made the newspaper extremely popular with the readers.

Eenadu’s campaign ‘to restore democracy’ when TDP founder N T Rama Rao was dislodged from power in 1984 in a bloodless coup which ultimately led to NTR returning to power is a milestone in Ramoji Rao’s life.

Permanent houses and schools have been built in several states with the funds collected through Eenadu relief fund following natural calamities.

Many Telugu words coined by Eenadu with the advent of internet have become part of the Telugu lexicon.

ETV was among the first satellite entertainment channels in Telugu after the monopoly of Doordarshan came to an end. ETV became a household name within no time.

The ETV’s bouquet of channels soon expanded, including ETV news in Telugu and also in Kannada, Bengali, Hindi and others.

Padutha Teeyaga, a music show anchored by late S P Balasubrahmanyam for almost two decades on ETV, introduced thousands of budding singers.

The Ramoji Film City has been recognized by Guinness World Records as the world’s largest film city.

Thousands of films, including SS Rajamouli’s famous ‘Bahubali’, in almost all Indian languages and some of the Hindi blockbusters have been shot at the Ramoji Film City on the outskirts of Hyderabad.

The Priya brand of pickles manufactured by Priya Foods is a household name in several parts of the country and also popular in foreign countries like the US.

Ramoji Rao’s unique style of film making on a low budget and often on social themes earned him laurels.

Popular film personalities, including Oscar-winning Musician M M Keeravani and junior NTR have either been introduced or became successful with the films made by Ramoji Rao.

Ramoji Rao was honoured with the second highest civilian award, Padma Vibhushan in 2016. He was also a recipient of several other awards and honorary doctorates from various universities.


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