Technology

Vishal Gondal quits Disney UTV Digital; Sameer Ganapathy to replace

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MUMBAI: UTV Disney managing director - digital Vishal Gondal has decided it is time he should be gone from India‘s premier gaming company. Gondal took over as digital MD of the company in August 2012, almost a year after Indiagames.com a company he founded was acquired by Disney in 2011, following the buyout of media company UTV by Disney. He is serving his notice period and his last working day will be 30 June.

The Digital team of Disney UTV combines all mobile, video, audio, broadband, ITV, games and virtual world‘s initiatives. All digital content across all brands namely Disney, Marvel, UTV, Indiagames, bindass including original content for web, mobile and games will be developed and managed by this team.

The gaming pioneer set up Indiagames when he was just 13 in 1999 and ran it for years before a majority stake in it was acquired by Chinese gaming company Tom Online. Tom Online later sold its holdings in Indiagames to UTV. Gondal was appointed as MD of Disney UTV Digital in August 2012 after The Walt Disney Company India restructured its digital assets under a new division, Disney UTV Digital. He took over the role to drive better growth in games, video and audio services for mobile, online and interactive TV.

Gondal is believed to be quitting the company to concentrate on his investments in startups and also to pursue entrepreneurship. He has been part of the Nokia Advisory Council for Games and actively advices Nokia on wireless and gaming technologies.

Disney UTV executive director movie channels and channel distribution Sameer Ganapathy will now take on the business function for the digital arm of Disney UTV.

Disney UTV MD Ronnie Screwvala said, "Vishal has been a great founder and CEO for Indiagames. As we consolidate the digital, mobile and web play for Disney UTV in India, we plan to build on our creative prowess and transform the digital business to be a direct to consumer, yet working closely with all our partners, telecom operators, OEM‘s and others. This is similar to our approach in our other verticals of movies, broadcasting and consumer products. Sameer Ganapathy brings an astute business sense and high resourcefulness to this position, which is key to meet the ever growing trajectory of the digital business in India."

"Indiagames had small beginnings but a big dream. I cannot help but look back with a tremendous sense of fulfillment and pride, upon the long, eventful and exciting journey. I am really proud of what the team has accomplished. Excellent support from our early investors Infinity, IL&FS, TOM Online, Adobe, Cisco and UTV and the subsequent acquisition by Walt Disney provided us the opportunity to work towards our vision of making gaming big in India. Over the last 18 months, we have spent time integrating the teams and set a platform for continued growth. Consequently, I‘ve decided to move on to pursue my dreams and passion of being an entrepreneur," said Gondal.

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