NEW DELHI: Star India has roped in Sanjay Gupta as COO. He will replace Jagdish Kumar, who will head south to look after Star Jupiter, the joint venture between Star and Rajeev Chandrasekhar‘s Jupiter Entertainment Ventures. Gupta, who is currently chief marketing officer- mobile services at Airtel, will be joining Star early next month.
Says Star India CEO Uday Shankar, “Gupta is joining us as COO. He will play an operational role and be responsible for the national channels."
Star India‘s channel heads will report to Gupta. Earlier, they were reporting to Shankar.
So why have somebody as COO who does not come from a media background? "It is not necessary that you should do the same job again and again. Gupta will bring in a fresh pair of eyes. He is rock solid and an operational person who has a desire to grow and work in different circumstances. Though he was in marketing and sales, he had a close relationship with the role of media," explains Shankar, who was a successful journalist before wearing the hat of a CEO in Rupert Murdoch‘s company.
But isn‘t Kumar‘s role becoming narrower? "Not exactly," says Shankar. "Kumar was driving the joint venture with Jupiter Entertainment Ventures. While K Madhavan will continue to have independence in running this business, we feel there is a need to integrate the different cultures and have a strategic development agenda. Kumar is, thus, moving south to head our growing business there."
Star floated a joint venture with Jupiter Entertainment Ventures to take a majority stake in Asianet Communications Ltd, which broadcasts channels in Malayalam (Asianet, Asianet Plus), Kannada (Suvarna) and Telugu (Sitara).