Born on 15th of October 1949, Prannoy Roy is one of the most famous and oldest Indian Journalist and the co-founder of India’s first private news channel, New Delhi Television (NDTV). Prannoy is also the Executive Chairperson of NDTV channel which he established with his wife, Radhika Roy. As his name goes, Roy is Kolkata born and educated abroad mostly.
Since his childhood, Roy was a promising kid academically which led him to go to places like Doon School (Dehradun) for his schooling, Haileybury and Imperial Service College, UK where he obtained his CA degree. He is no ordinary person and left no stone unturned while excelling in what he studied. He was awarded Ph.D. from Delhi School of Economics for his remarkable knowledge and hold in the same field.
Roy has received several scholarships in his academic years, that of Leverhulme Trust (UK) Fellowship, Queen Mary College Prize and his very first OPOS Scholarship to study in the UK after his schooling at Doon. Ph.D. is just the topping on his already embellished track record. Talent runs in the genes in Roy’s family as his grandfather Paresh Lal Roy was called The Father of Indian Boxing. Roy’s father worked as the Chief Executive for a British Company and handled the Indian operations. It is said that Roy is cousins with the famous and controversial author
. Roy’s mother was Irish, and she was a school teacher. Coming from a mixed lineage, Roy married Radhika Roy, and they have a daughter named Tara Roy.
Being a British Chartered Accountant and a respected Economist, Roy started his career in media with Doordarshan and BBC. He was the news anchor for Doordarshan and hosted shows like The News Tonight and The World This Week. In the 1980s, shows like The World This Week were considered path breaking and Prannoy Roy is famously credited for it. The times when only news from our country was aired, working with DD and BBC, Roy made sure the audience was informed about what was happening around the world. Roy with his journalist wife Radhika founded the first ever private news channel/network New Delhi Television aka NDTV in 1988.
The channel’s prime focus was to cover the election in India and to analyze the data and predict the wins and losses. The channel was famous for the same thing and went on to grow exponentially over the years. Investing more than 25 years in NDTV, Roy and his wife have struggled hard for its success. To make NDTV network as one of the top networks in India, Roy says that many years of planning, honest journalism and trust have gone into it. NDTV was the first ever 24*7 news channel in Indian news media. Portraying elections on television and analyzing it on national television was Roy’s forte.
Adding to the many firsts, it was also Roy’s creative approach toward elections in India and his way of campaigning along with the political leaders that was seen as something unique and innovative. Roy’s journey in the media industry runs more for than 30 years. when his dream turned into reality to launch a channel like NDTV and see it complete silver jubilee successfully is admirable on his behalf. In his speech at the 25th anniversary of NDTV network which was attended by 25 prominent personalities, Roy expresses gratitude. He explains that his wife Radhika and he are thankful for the trust that people put in them that fled the channel to reach this feat.
He also takes pride in not being bogged down by the political pressure since the beginning. He talked about the scenarios when he had to take threats from politicians for publishing sensitive news. He admits to having never reacted upon them and suggests journalists not to pay any heed to it. Roy has also authored books like A Compendium of Indian Elections, and also another significant work being India Decides Elections from 1952-1991, along with David Butler. It is said that Roy was booked for a corruption case during his time with DD channel in 1988. However, it was cleared in 2013, and Roy, was given a free chit by the court against all the cases (against Roy) filed by the CBI. This was condemned by Roy, as he felt that there was political force behind it, and he called it an act of McCarthyism against him.
Roy is known for his keen eye and ability to read people’s pulse. He is also famous for his carefully crafted elections predictions and his interviews with the who’s who in the country. Roy stands as a model for many journalists and his honesty and trust in the network and everyone involved in it has made his brand of NDTV one of the most trusted News channels.