The first time Peter Mukerjea met Indrani Bora, in the Library Bar at the Taj President, Cuffe Parade, in 2002 he left his then girlfriend in another’s care and left with the woman who would, within months, become his wife.
According to advertising guru Suhel Seth, who has known the Mukerjeas for years and was at the Library Bar that night, Peter told him two days later that he was considering marrying Indrani. He said, “I came back to Delhi two days later and called Indrani and asked her where she was. Bachelors can be very wicked. No sooner had I put the phone down, I got a call from Peter saying he was very serious about her and was considering marrying her, so I should perhaps see her in a different light. From that moment on, I did.”
Peter and Indrani married in a low-key ceremony in 2002, attended by Peter’s family and a few of his close friends. The whirlwind wedding marked new chapters in Peter’s and Indrani’s personal and professional lives. Peter bought the flat at Marlow building, Worli, that he had been living in on rent since 2000.
It was also a new beginning for Indrani, with her newly adopted surname of Mukerjea. INX Services Private Limited, a head hunting firm that she had shifted from Kolkata to Mumbai in 2001, was to receive a boost. It went on to have a tie-up with Reliance Industries Limited, which Indrani considered among her most valuable clients.
As Indrani steadily rose through the ranks, 2005 saw the return of the hugely popular Kaun Banega Crorepati, one of Peter’s biggest successes as CEO of Star TV, which had been on hiatus for four years. But when Amitabh Bachchan fell ill in 2006 the show was shelved once again.
This marked a change in the leadership at Star TV, and Peter put in his papers soon after, in 2007.
Within months, Peter and Indrani launched the ill-fated INX Media and INX News. Peter, bound by a non-compete clause from his previous employer, became chairman of the human resources company INX Services Private Limited in January 2007.
In August 2007, he joined INX Media as chairman and chief strategy officer. In November 2007 Indrani became the CEO of INX Media.
INX Media first launched the Hindi entertainment channel 9X and the Hindi youth music channel 9XM in November 2007. NewsX, an English news channel, was launched in March 2008. In its first year of operations, the INX Group spent almost the entire corpus it had raised from foreign investors. In January 2009, the Mukerjeas sold INX Media NewsX to Indi Media Network.
Following this downturn in fortunes, in 2012, there were rumours that the couple’s relationship had begun to sour. Three year later, after the body of Indrani’s daughter Sheena Bora was discovered, it came to light the she had been murdered – allegedly by Indrani – in April 2012.