It is an open secret that the Coronavirus pandemic has crippled several industries in the country pushing many of them into the state of bankruptcy.
Even the big industries are struggling to come out of the crisis. Let alone losing profits, these industries are running into huge losses due to lack of production and demand from the market. They are not able to assess when the demand will pick up as the purchasing power of the people has also come down.
The media industry has virtually collapsed and several big media houses have wound up their editions at several places and resorted to retrenchment of employees in tens of hundreds, apart from cutting down their production.
And Telugu media moghul Ramoji Rao is no exception. According to the talk going on in the media circles, Ramoji is facing the biggest crisis of his life and the chances of his media empire crumbling are very high, if the situation continues to like this.
That has a cascading effect on his other business ventures like Ramoji Film City, Margadarshi Chit Fund, hospitality units like Dolphin Hotels and Tara and Sitara hotels.
“The signs of his empire collapsing are very glaring for the employees to see. One wonders whether Ramoji Rao would be able to see the recovery of his empire in his lifetime again,” an employee commented.
While his print media venture Eenadu is still considered to be No. 1 in the Telugu media world, its circulation and readership are drastically on the downside.
The advertisement revenue is said to have fallen from Rs 200 crore a month to Rs 25 crore, which is not sufficient even for overhead expenses.
As a result, he, too, was forced to resort to large scale cost-cutting exercise including retrenchment of staff and slashing salaries of existing staff.
It is learnt he is planning to wind up district editions one after the other and dispose of its printing machinery and buildings and lands.
The television channels are also said to be facing an unprecedented crisis. His new venture ETV Bharat turned out to be the biggest disaster and many of its employees had either been sacked or forced to quit.
His other business ventures like Kalanjali and Priya Foods are also facing huge losses. Only Margadarshi Chit Funds is doing business to some extent, but it cannot cover up the losses of the other ventures.
Sources say it may not take a long time for Ramoji Rao to concede his defeat and withdraw into a shell to spend his fag end of his life peacefully.