Subhash Chandra

Subhash Chandra (born Subhash Chandra Goenka on 30 November 1950) is an Indian billionaire media baron. He is the chairman of the Essel Group, an Indian media conglomerate, and has created an empire valued of over US$10 billion. With the launch of Zee TV in 1992, Subhash Chandra forayed into the private sector media and entertainment industry and is often known as "the father of Indian television'. He was also the chairman of Zee Media, but resigned as Director and Non-Executive Chairman of the company on 24 May 2016.[4][5][6] He was elected to the Upper House of the Indian parliament for the Haryana state in the 2016 Rajya Sabha election, as an Independent candidate.

Subhash Chandra
Subhash Chandra in 2018
Member of Parliament of Rajya Sabha from Haryana [1]
Assumed office
2 August 2016 [2]
Preceded bySuresh Prabhu, BJP
ConstituencyHaryana State
Personal details
Born (1950-11-30) 30 November 1950
Adampur, Haryana, India
Political partyIndependent
Spouse(s)Sushila Devi
Children(2) Punit Goenka, Amit Goenka
MotherTara Devi Goenka
FatherNandkishore Goenka
ResidenceMumbai, Maharashtra, India
OccupationChairman of Essel Group
Net worth US$2.5 billion (May 2019)[3]
PropertiesZee Tv

Early years

Chandra was born in Adampur, on Hisar district, Haryana in an Agarwal Bania family.[7][8] His family had a debt of 3.5 lakh Indian rupees, which he had to repay. His family could not afford his higher education, and in 1965 he dropped out of school to join the family business of commission agents and traders who procured and supplied rice to the Food Corporation of India.[7]

In the 1980s he started manufacturing flexible packaging (mainly plastic tubes) for fast moving consumer goods such as toothpaste under the brand name Essel Packaging. He followed it up with a leisure park (EsselWorld) in north Mumbai.

In 1992, he launched Zee TV, the second private commercial television channel in the country in association with Star TV in Hong Kong, and in 2003, Dish TV, the first satellite television provider in India.[9][10]


Chandra launched India's first satellite TV channel, Zee TV, in 1992.[11] The channel competes with, among others, Sony Entertainment Television and STAR Plus. Currently, the Zee TV network, consisting up to 90 channels, reach 1.3 Billion people spread over 174 countries.[3]

In 2005, in collaboration with Dainik Bhaskar group, Chandra launched an English-language daily newspaper, DNA, in Mumbai to challenge the well-settled The Times of India. The competition was one of the biggest newspaper battles of Mumbai. Sustaining earlier losses, the newspaper eventually turned around.[12]

On November 25, 2019, Chandra had to resign as chairman of his company Zee Entertainment Enterprises, as per the SEBI Listing Regulations.[13] However, he still continues as a non-executive director of the company.[14]



  1. "Subhash Chandra wins RS seat as 12 Cong votes were rejected due to 'wrong pen'". Hindustan Times. 12 June 2016. Retrieved 13 June 2016.
  2. "Dr Subhash Chandra takes oath as Rajya Sabha member". 4 August 2016.
  3. "Forbes – Subhash Chandra". 11 May 2019. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  4. "Subhash Chandra steps down as Zee Media chairman".
  5. "Zee group: Each brother to own 70–80% of business". Times of India. Retrieved 2 August 2015.
  6. "Dish TV posts Q1 net profit of Rs 54.21 crore". Economic Times. India Times. Retrieved 2 August 2015.
  7. "Subhash Chandraiography- About family, children, education, wife, age, and more". Retrieved 29 March 2016.
  8. "How Some Gather Silver In The Fog". Retrieved 27 February 2019.
  9. Khandekar, Vanitha Kohli (25 March 2015). "40 Years Ago... And now: Subhash Chandra's chutzpah shaped his media business". Business Standard. Retrieved 4 August 2015.
  10. "At The Zee Group, Son Punit Has Taken the Baton From Subhash Chandra". Forbes India.
  11. Adhikari, Anand (25 May 2014). "Passing the Baton". business Retrieved 4 August 2015.
  12. Ajwani, Deepak (14 March 2014). "At the Zee Group, Son Punit has taken the baton from Subhash Chandra". Forbes India Magazine. Retrieved 4 August 2015.
  13. "Subhash Chandra Resigns as Chairman of Zee Entertainment Enterprises". News 18. 25 November 2019.
  14. Jagannath, J. (25 November 2019). "Zee Entertainment board accepts Subhash Chandra's resignation as chairman". Livemint.
  15. "Zee TV's Subhash Chandra to Receive Emmy Honor". The Hollywood Reporter. 6 January 2011. Retrieved 14 September 2013.
  16. "Dr Subhash Chandra to receive Canada India Foundation (CIF) Chanchlani Global Indian Award". Zee News. 3 February 2016. Retrieved 13 June 2016.
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