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Build on a legacy, and break new ground

INHERITING A BUSINESS is a blessing and a challenge, as Karan Johar would tell you. You have a legacy to live up to, and you also set yourself the task of growing what you have received. Sometimes you set out to break new ground, just to prove to yourself that you have it in you to build something from the bottom up.


In this week’s cover story, Lifestyle Editor Namrata Zakaria writes that Johar has done both—build on a legacy, and break new ground. “Karan Johar turned his father Yash Johar’s medium-sized business into a mega empire,” she writes. “Johar’s Dharma produced 50 films in half the years; launched Dharma 2.0, an ad film arm in 2016; Dharmatic Entertainment in 2018 for OTT content; and Dharma Cornerstone Agency or DCA, a talent management agency that manages most young stars, in 2020.” And that is why he is on the cover of this issue.


To round off the cover story, actor Alia Bhatt spoke to us about the experience of being a Dharma debutante and how the production house’s professionalism set the tone for her in Bollywood.


As always, the issue is a bouquet with something for everyone. On the political front, we have covered the muddied waters between India and an island neighbour, the Maldives. French President Emmanuel Macron will be in New Delhi for the Republic Day parade and it is significant as Paris is positioning itself to be the most important supplier of military equipment to India. French Ambassador Thierry Mathou spoke to Senior Special Correspondent Sanjib Kr Baruah about what the visit means to India-France ties.


Another impressive article this time is about the Sri Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and Research, Bengaluru, which has Dr C.N. Manjunath at the helm. Senior Special Correspondent Prathima Nandakumar writes that this government hospital is southeast Asia’s largest cardiac care facility with around 2,000 beds across three campuses. Infosys chairman emeritus N.R. Narayana Murthy was so impressed by the hospital that he shared his appreciation with his wife, Sudha Murty. The result: The Infosys Foundation added a 350-bed building to the hospital’s Bengaluru campus.


Dr Manjunath delivered the keynote address at THE WEEK’s Best Hospitals Awards 2023. Chief Associate Editor and Director Riyad Mathew, who met him there, tells me that both the speech and the speaker’s humility touched him.


In @leisure, Deputy Chief of Bureau Mandira Nayar writes about diplomat Lakshmi Puri’s debut novel which has taken her “a lifetime to complete”. She started writing it when she was ambassador in Budapest from 1999 to 2002. As with many of us, Puri, too, unearthed this dormant dream during the Covid years.


Coming back to Johar, I am reminded of the time I asked my father for time off to start something on my own before I joined the Malayala Manorama. I started off with one unit, and it has grown to three now. It will not put me on ‘rich lists’, but it will always be my baby. So, I do get what Johar is saying about the need for validation.