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Vivek Bhutyani quits Star; to start own OTT biz

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MUMBAI: Close on the heels of Star India business head Nikhil Madhok's exit, another high-profile resignation has taken place at the channel. Star India vice-president and head - content sales and syndication Vivek Bhutyani has put in his papers.

Sources confirmed that Bhutyani, also an alumnus of IIMB like Madhok, who was with the channel since April 2014, has called it a day. Bhutyani plans to start his new venture in the over-the-top (OTT) space, sources revealed.

The person who will stand in for Bhutyani is the AVP Leena Salins, who was earlier with Star Gold programming. Gurjeev Kapoor has taken over global syndication from Sandeep Jain. However, Star is yet to find a replacement for Madhok.

During his tenure at Star, Bhutyai was instrumental in taking the channel's international syndication business to new heights. With the success of 'Saraswati Chandra', he opened the doors of Turkey and Latin America for Indian content. And, with the successful run of "Is pyar ko kya naam do" in Turkey, all Indian broadcasters are now eyeing a share of the Turkish content market.

Bhutyani was also responsible for moving Star's focus from domestic to international syndication and has taken its reach to more than 75 countries and entry into premium markets such as Latin America. He also grew the topline business more than 100 per cent in two years and international business by three times as stated on his Linkedin public profile.

Under Bhutyani's leadership, Star signed a fiction formats deal with Eccho Rights, the first time that Indian content will be pitched alongside international content from Hollywood studios and other majors which might mark a new major revenue stream for Star India. No other Indian broadcaster has been successful in selling fiction formats and remakes globally, sources claimed.

Before joining Star India, Vivek was the B2B head (west) at Nokia from December 2011 to April 2014. Earlier, he was managing global accounts for India and APAC as the senior account director at BT Global Sales.

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