Indian Express was started by an Ayurvedic doctor and Congress Party member P. Varadarajulu Naidu in 1931 at Chennai (then Madras) published by his “Tamil Nadu” press. But soon under financial difficulties he sold it to S.Sadanand, founder of The Free Press Journal, a national news agency.In 1933 The Indian Express opened its second office in Madurai and launched the Tamil edition Dinamani. Sadanand introduced several innovations and reduced the price, but was later forced to sell part of the stake in form of convertible debentures to Ramanath Goenka due to financial difficulties. Later when the free press journal collapsed in 1935 Sadanand lost the ownership of Indian Express after a long controversial Court battle with Goenka, where blows were exchanged between some of the parties. Finally a year later Goenka to buy the rest of the 26% stake from Sadanand, and the paper came under Goenka's control who took the already anti-establishment tone of the paper to greater heights. Also at that time it had to face stiff competition from a well established The Hindu and the Mail besides other prominent newspapers. In late 1930s the circulation was no more than 2000.