Prannoy Roy – Journalist behind NDTV – Co-Founder of NDTV

Prannoy Roy
Prannoy Roy - co-founder of NDTV

Prannoy Roy is an Indian economist, chartered accountant, media personality & journalist.

Roy is an executive co-chairperson and co-founder of NDTV (New Delhi Television Limited) with his wife Radhika Roy.

For his consistent and pioneering contribution to news television and his service to journalism, he won the RedInk award in 2015.

Roy was born on 15th October 1949 in Calcutta to an Irish mother and Bengali Hindu father. His father P L Roy was a collector during the British Raj in India. P L Roy worked for Genelec also.

Prannoy Roy attended La Martiniere Calcutta and The Doon School Dehradun. Later he got a scholarship to Haileybury and Imperial Service College in the UK for his A-levels and qualified as a British Chartered Accountant, a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants (England and Wales).

He completed his PhD in Economics from the Delhi School of Economics. From Queen Mary University of London, he graduated with First Class Honours.

His paternal grandfather Paresh Lal Roy was known as ‘father of Indian Boxing’. Paresh Lal Roy’s younger brother was the first Indian pilot of Royal Flying Corp during World War I.

Prannoy Roy married to his school time friend Radhika Roy. They have a daughter named Tara. They are adoptive parents of Shonali Bose-a filmmaker.

Professioanl Career

For a few years, he was a consultant at Price Waterhouse in India. Roy is a digital journalist in India.

He is an author and a professional British Chartered Accountant and Economist. For election analysis and budget specials on India’s national television network Doordarshan and for BBC World News’ Question Time India he has been a lead anchor.

In 1988, Roy & his wife Radhika launched a TV production house named NDTV New Delhi Television).

He started his career for Doordarshan with televised coverage of India’s general elections, as a host of news programs “The News Tonight” and “The World This Week”.

Both programs were nominated as one of India’s 5 best television programs since independence.

He started India’s first 24-hour English news channel NDTV 24×7. In the Indian government’s Ministry of Finance, he has been an Economic Advisor & is also an Associate Professor at the Delhi School of Economics.

There he developed a macro-econometric forecasting model for the Indian economy. For the India division of international accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers he has been a consultant.

Roy was one of two Indians serving on the International Advisory Board of Council on Foreign Relations in Washington in 2009.

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He is a co-author of A Compendium of Indian Elections and India Decides: Elections 1952–1991 with David Butler.

In 1998, the CBI head filed a criminal conspiracy case against NDTV managing director Roy for alleging fraud in Doordarshan upgrade.

Roy and NDTV were cleared by the courts and found not guilty of all charges involving cases filed against Roy by the CBI in July 2013.

The Sunday Guardian ran a story to expose the NDTV’s financial misdemeanours and malpractices in connivance with ICICI Bank.

They provides detail, how NDTV’s major stakeholders raised funds by misdeclaration of the value of shares in NDTV. After denying that, NDTV’s CEO replied to Sunday Guardian along with the threat of “criminal defamation”.

As a result, Prannoy Roy’s house was raided by NIA & CBI on 5th June 2017. ED served 2,030 crore notice to NDTV for alleged violations under the FEMA act on 19th November 2015.

However, the company said that the allegations are not “legally tenable”. Income tax department found that promoters of NDTV used their own shell companies to round-trip investments of 642 crore during 2009-10, making them liable for recovery of tax and penalty.

Roy and his wife Radhika were issued show cause notice by SEBI for violation of insider trading regulations though their company NDTV in September 2018.

They were fined Rs 3 lac each by SEBI for disclosure lapses in March of that year.
The Central Bureau of Investigation filed a fresh case against Prannoy Roy, his wife Radhika Roy and former NDTV CEO Vikram Chandra for violating FDI rules and routing of tainted money of unknown public servants through shell firms in August 2019.

Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy were barred from accessing the securities market for 2 years, by Securities and Exchange Board of India.

After an investigation, it was proven that they concealed material info from shareholders regarding loan agreements and hence they cannot hold management positions in NDTV board.

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