Why Mint Founding Editor Raju Narisetti Left India Earlier Than Planned

The answer (from this NYT story): due to a “troubling nexus” of business, politics and publishing that proved to be “draining on body and soul”.

Raju Narisetti came to India in 2006 to set up a business newspaper for HT Media, leaving The Wall Street Journal, where he worked for 13 years and rose to become deputy managing editor. Mint was launched in February 2007 and won acclaim for the quality of its journalism. The latest round of the Indian Readership Survey said Mint was the country’s second-largest business paper after The Economic Times. (Disclosure: I worked at Mint for two years.)

Suddenly in December 2008, HT Media announced Narisetti was stepping down as editor of Mint. Narisetti did not send a newsroom-wide email prior or since explaining his decision to leave. Subsequently, he joined The Washington Post as managing editor.

In a June 2009 interview with Forbes India, Narisetti said this about his departure: “The succession planning process was always carefully thought through from the time Mint’s Editorial Leadership Team was put together. In the fall of 2008, it became very clear to me that key members of the team were ready and raring to take on larger roles … Rather than hold off smart successors because I had nothing else to do, I decided to look for jobs outside Mint. That I didn’t have anything specific lined up when I stepped down didn’t bother me as I could have actually used the break after nearly three all-consuming years in India.”

The New York Times, in a story on Indians trained in the West who find it difficult to come back and work in India, features Narisetti’s case.