A Conversation With : Raghav Bahl, Founder of Quintillion and Ritu Kapur, Founder and CEO, The Quint
Updated on: 30 Jun 2016
The word 'start-up' brings 20-somethings to mind. And Raghav Bahl, 55, violates the assumption. Following the Rs. 4,000 crore-worth takeover of Network18 - a television empire he established in 1993 - by Reliance a couple of years back, Raghav's path may well have taken him to mentor-cum-venture capitalist-ville. But he, and Ritu Kapur, his wife and present day business partner, were unable to simply walk into the sunset.
"It's not in our DNA to sit back relax and stare into the blue; we like the 18 hour rigour," says Ritu, founder and CEO, The Quint. It was this very restlessness that led to the launch Quintillion Media, a digital-first media venture.
Quintillion Media started with two offerings - a consumer facing online news publication The Quint.com and a tech-assistance company Quintype, which provides data-driven publishing solutions to media publishers and content marketers. No stranger to the woes of a media entrepreneur, Raghav, founder, Quintillion, admits that his second innings is a desperation-free, "well capitalised" one. Recently, the duo took the path that completes the proverbial full circle and forayed into television yet again. Quintillion Media has tied up with Germany-headquartered kids content broadcaster Da Vinci Media. The clincher, of course, is the firm's tie up with global business news broadcaster Bloomberg - Quintillion has 76 per cent share in the JV.
On the cards is a business news website BloombergQuint.com and a business news TV channel Bloomberg Quint, which will be distributed in SD and HD, and will compete with the likes of ET Now, CNBC TV18 and NDTV Profit-NDTV Prime. The Bloomberg-Quint JV is a ten year-deal; the firm will also foray into the realm of events.
Senior Network18 hands Anil Uniyal, Menaka Doshi and most recently Sanjay Pugalia have joined Raghav in his new venture.
Edited Excerpts. Q. How did you arrive at the idea of The Quint?
Raghav: After exiting from Network 18, we evaluated our options. We still had some fire left in us and we still love being in the media business... also, there was a point to prove to the world - that if we did not have the constraints we did when starting Network 18, we would have done a far better job. All this, combined with the excitement of creating something all over again, was my reason for jumping right back in.
Q. Did you consider doing something other than media?