Born and brought up in Chennai, he is a graduate in economics from Loyola College and completed his schooling from Don Bosco, Egmore, Chennai. He also attended the Harvard Business School at Harvard University, USA for various post graduation programmes.
Maran is the son of late Murasoli Maran, who by profession was a journalist , scriptwriter and a politician and once served the Union Cabinet.
A avid book lover with quest for knowledge, his interests vary from current affairs, global trade, finance, information technology to commerce. Maran is also a well known Amateur Radio Operator. His official website boasts that he likes to play tennis, golf and cricket.
Maran was the Communication and Information Technology Minister in 2004, before becoming the Minister for Textiles in the Union Cabinet in 2009.
After Maran took over as the Minister for Communication and Information Technology, there was a tremendous decrease in the the call rates of land line and telephone, thus increasing the number of mobile subscribers in the country than before.
His brother, Kalanidhi Maran and the owner of SUN TV Network was listed as one of the richest Indians in the Forbes magazine.
Surrounded by several controversies Maran was alleged to have knowingly delayed the granting of licenses to Shivashankaran, the owner of Aircel. The charges against him include that Maran's brother Kalanidhi's SUN TV received a benefit of Rs 750 crore because of Maran.
Media reports claimed that Maran forced C Sivasankaran, the owner of Aircel to sell the telecom company to his Malaysia based friend Ananda Krishnan in 2006. All this was published in Tehelka, a weekly magazine. In a fit of fury, Maran sent a legal notice to the magazine, which exposed him.
Under the scanner from the CBI, Maran was charged by the agency for misusing 323 telephone lines, while he was the Telecom Minister, which in turn caused the country a huge loss.
Maran has also been accused of asking 33.33% share from Tata Sky for his brother's Sun TV Network. Maran asked the newspapers which published the report to apologise to him and demanded a compensation of Rs 1 crore from Jaya TV, Thina Mani and Indian Express in an attempt to defame him.
Maran was removed from his post as the Union Minister after a Tamil daily newspaper, Dinakaran owned by his brother Kalanidhi Maran published a survey which favoured, MK Stalin, Karunanidhi's son as his heir when compared to his brother Muthuvel Karunanidhi Azhagiri. The outraged supporters of Azhagiri burnt the office of Dinakaran and the conflict left at least 3 people dead with many injured.
As evidences against him have become stronger after his name appeared in the the 2G spectrum scam, Maran quit the office on Jul 7.