Who Was Media Mogul, Ramoji Rao? Born In An Agricultural Family, Founded World's Largest Film City

Meet Ramoji Rao, the man who transformed the Indian media with his vision and is hailed for creating the world's largest film city.

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By Monisha G Kumar Last Updated:

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Who Was Media Mogul, Ramoji Rao? Born In An Agricultural Family, Founded World's Largest Film City

Cherukuri Ramoji Rao's innovative vision transformed the Indian media landscape. The media baron left an indelible mark on the entertainment sector through his entrepreneurial journey. From owning various TV channels to the world’s largest film production facility, Ramoji Rao was a leading businessman who contributed immensely to the growth of media and films.

Ramoji Rao bid adieu to the world on June 8, 2024, at the age of 87. The media mogul was receiving medical treatment in Hyderabad. He was hospitalised on June 5 due to high blood pressure and respiratory issues. A few years back, Ramoji had battled and recovered from colon cancer. He was suffering from chronic illness and a few other age-related health complications. As soon as news of Ramoji Rao’s death surfaced, various celebs, politicians and business tycoons penned their condolences.

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Ramoji was a game changer, and despite his humble beginnings, he achieved success that nobody could even imagine. Let us delve into some lesser-known facts about him and his vast business empire.

Ramoji Rao is not his real name

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Ramoji was born on November 16, 1936, in Pedaparupudi, Andhra Pradesh, into an agricultural family. Since childhood, he had a strong connection with farming. His grandfather, Ramayya, had migrated from Perishepalli to Pedaparupudi with his family. Since Ramoji was born 13 days after his grandfather’s death, his parents named him Ramayya.

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However, Ramoji didn’t like his name, Ramayya, and when he entered primary school, he changed it to Ramoji Rao. The name he chose for himself became popular worldwide in a short span.

Ramoji Rao’s humble beginning in the media world

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After completing his education, Ramoji began his career as a journalist and worked in various newspapers in Andhra Pradesh. In 1973, he founded a Telugu-language newspaper, which became one of the most circulated newspapers. After many years, Ramoji expanded his business in media and founded ETV Network in 1995. ETV airs shows in eight languages, Telugu, Bangla, Marathi, Kannada, Oriya, Gujarati, Urdu, and Hindi.

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Apart from this, Ramoji Rao’s other business ventures include Margadarsi Chit Fund, a film production company, Usha Kiran Movies, the Dolphin group of hotels, Kalanjali saree showrooms, Priya Foods, and Mayuri Film Distributors. He also owned ETV Bharat, a news platform offering digital service through its app or web portal in 24 states. Ramoji’s film production company has produced over 80 films in several languages.

Ramoji Rao is the man behind the world’s largest film city

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Ramoji Rao’s name is also synonymous with the world’s largest film studio. Yes, you read it right. He is the man behind the world's largest film city, Ramoji Film City. Established in 1996, it is spread across 1,666 acres near Hyderabad and boasts humongous sets. It holds the Guinness World Record as the world’s largest film studio.

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Iconic films like Baahubali Part I and II, RRR, Chennai Express, Ponniyin Selvan Part I and II, Pushpa: The Rise, Ghajini, Robot, and many others are shot at Ramoji Film City. Apart from shooting, the studio is also a famous tourist hotspot, with huge gardens, hotels, and other classy facilities.

Ramoji Rao’s accolades and net worth

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Ramoji Rao had received various accolades for his contributions to media, education, and films. He was awarded the Padma Vibhushan in 2016 and a National Film Award for producing the Best Feature Film in Telugu, Nuvve Kavali, in 2000. He also won four Filmfare Awards and five Nandi Awards. In 2021, Ramoji Rao’s net worth was reported to be 4.5 billion dollars, which is approximately Rs. 37,583 crores.

Ramoji Rao’s family

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Ramoji Rao married Rama Devi in 1961, and the couple welcomed two sons, Cherukuri Kiran and Chrukuri Suman. His younger son, Suman, died of leukaemia in 2012. Ramoji’s elder son, Cherukuri Kiran, is currently heading the Eenadu group and ETV channels.

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Ramoji Rao transformed Indian cinema and media with his relentless pursuit of excellence. He is a true pioneer in the entertainment world, and his legacy continues to inspire millions.

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