MUMBAI: Speculation was that if B. Sai Kumar goes, there was very little chance that Ajay Chacko - his deputy and COO of the Network 18 group would stay on. And the prediction has proved to be true. Chacko apparently has put in his papers too, leaving the Network18 group without any leadership, apart from founding/controlling shareholder and managing director Raghav Bahl.
The 40 year old Chacko’s role was to ensure operating efficiencies and margins across businesses of the Network18 group, according to the company’s website. Ajay also served as the president of A+E Networks TV18, a joint venture between TV18 and A+E Networks, where he was responsible for the operational, strategic and financial management of the joint venture and its suite of channels and services.
Both Sai Kumar and Chacko formed a formidable team at Network18 and were instrumental in supporting Bahl and former CEO Haresh Chawla in their aggressive growth at the Network18 group. Sai Kumar had stepped into Chawla’s shoes in 2011 and he and Bahl relied heavily on Chacko. Hence, he was empowered with responsibility and growth opportunities at the group.
He had earlier led many of the group’s businesses such as CNBC-TV18, CNBC Awaaz and Forbes India and was instrumental in their ascendency as market leading media brands in the country. Ajay has also led the group’s efforts in the business media domain as well as the successful launches of key digital properties of Network18.