"It's a joy to see him take decisions. He is very fast," says the relative. He is observant too. A senior city journalist, who has interviewed Kalanithi twice in the last three decades, recalls that "for a small mistake, which no reader would notice, Kalanithi called him, screamed for 20 minutes and then hung up abruptly. After two days, when we met at a private function, he came and said don't take it to heart. He even helped us get an interview with Karunanidhi."
He is helped in business by a loyal band of friend-employees. Kalanithi had started Sun TV in 1993 with a team of 25, many of whom were his friends from college. Most of them are still there. And he can be charming. A senior officer of a TV channel remembers that when he had gone to meet Kalanithi, his host came out to greet him and even opened the door of his car. "In his position, he didn't have to do that," says he.
Kalanithi, which means treasure trove or art and skill in Sanskrit, is called Kala or Pugazh (fame in Tamil) by friends. After Don Bosco, a premium school in Chennai, he studied commerce in Loyola College. He became the president of the students' union and led an agitation on the Sri Lankan Tamil issue. This was the first and last agitation-turned-strike in the college.