The T-Series Story



Themes: Ethics in Business
Period : 1970-2001
Organization : T-Series, Super Cassettes, HMV, Venus
Pub Date : 2002
Countries : India
Industry : Media, Entertainment & Information

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Case Code : BECG010
Case Length : 08 Pages
Price: Rs. 200;

The T-Series Story | Case Study

"Piracy? Ji, hamare business mein to yeh sab chalta hai." (Piracy? In our business, all this is acceptable.)"

- Gulshan Kumar in a July 1997 article on

The T-Series Story: A Murder

In July 1997, some of the leading personalities from the Indian music industry gathered for a meeting at a five-star hotel in Chennai. Among those attending were representatives from music companies like Venus and Tips Industries (Tips) and the owner of Super Cassettes Industries, Gulshan Kumar (Gulshan). The meeting had been called to persuade Gulshan to co-operate with the other music companies.

One of the representatives pleaded with Gulshan, "You've ruined the market. No matter how hard we try to sell, you undercut us. We owe huge amounts to lenders. For God's sake, ease up on your business so that we can carry on with ours." To this, Gulshan calmly replied, "I won't do it any more." Though the others did not really believe him, the meeting ended on a peaceful note.

But Gulshan could not continue run his music empire for much longer. A few days after this meeting, he was shot dead, allegedly by the Mumbai underworld.

Two of Indian film industry's prominent names - music director Nadeem Saifi (Nadeem) and a promoter of Tips, Ramesh Taurani (Taurani) - were arrested for conspiring to kill Gulshan.1 The case, covered extensively in the national media, was still being fought in the courts in November 2001, with Nadeem hiding in UK and Taurani out on bail.

Gulshan's death brought to the attention of the nation the story of a man who had allegedly built an empire on music piracy and plagiarism. Super Cassettes' 'T-Series' had completely changed the way the Indian music industry functioned, allegedly by successfully exploiting the loopholes in India's anti-piracy regulations.

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1] Nadeem claimed that Gulshan was deliberately not promoting an album, which featured Nadeem as a singer. Taurani on the other hand, was reported to have been offended by the success of T-Series at the cost of his Tips label.