MUMABI: Almost three years ago in June 2011, Zee Entertainment Enterprises had brought back one of its most cherished employees – Ajay Bhalwankar as the programming head after his short eight-month stint with Multi Screen Media. The news now is that Bhalwankar, who was working as ZEEL’s Content Head (Hindi GECs), has decided to explore opportunities outside the group on his own accord.
Namit Sharma will be coming on board to join the Zee TV programming function as Programming Head.
In the official announcement made by the channel, it is mentioned that Bhalwankar was instrumental in creating path breaking content on Zee TV and also spearheaded the launch of new free-to-air (FTA) channel, Zee Anmol. He has been with the organisation since 1994. Barring a stint with Multi Screen Media, he has been at ZEEL for over 17 years.
“Ajay’s support for ideas, creativity and innovation has been the real strength of his time as content head of Zee TV,” said ZEEL Chief Creative and Content Officer Bharat Ranga. “He gave the team strong creative leadership with the freedom to experiment and he’ll be hard to replace. With regret, we accept his decision and thank Ajay for his valued contribution to the organization. During his stint with the group, Ajay has achieved various milestones and strengthened the position of channel and built a great and dedicated team for the channel. Given his credentials, we are also sure that he will continue to achieve his aspirations and further strengthen his credential in his domain.”
Confirming the news, Bhalwankar said, "It’s been a memorable journey. There is never a perfect time for this type of transition, but now is the right time. It’s a tough decision. The trust reposed in me by ZEEL MD & CEO, Punit Goenka will never be forgotten. I leave ZEEL with renewed respect for television broadcasting and the talented producers of our programs, and with great pride to have worked with an exceptional team who will continue to see success.”
Bhalwankar will handhold Namit during the transition process - in settling down in the organisation and continue to take all programming related decisions as is currently being done. Sharma, with almost 15 years industry experience, was earlier with Wizcraft International as Business Head and Chief Creative Director – Wizcraft Television & Films. Prior to that he has worked as an executive producer with Yash Raj Films; as a creative director with Cinevistaas Ltd; and as a senior executive producer with Sony Entertainment Television.