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ESS announces executive appointments; Vijay Rajput made COO

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MUMBAI: ESPN Software India, today announced the appointment of Vijay Rajput as COO, Sricharan Iyengar as vice president and business head of the consumer business group and emerging technologies and Rajesh Kaul as vice president, affiliate sales.

Commenting on the the executive changes, ESPN managing director RC Venkateish said, "These senior management appointments will help us focus our efforts on key growth areas, both for the present and the future and positions us to effectively evolve our organization to maximize new opportunities."

Vijay Rajput joined ESS as director finance in 1997. In his new role Rajput will be responsible for handling the finance, administration, HR and legal divisions at ESPN in addition to playing a pivotal role in the strategic management of the company. Rajput has considerable management expertise as he has an industry experience of nearly two decades.

Iyengar, associated with ESS since 2000, was earlier overseeing the marketing & distribution functions of ESPN & STAR Sports across South Asia. While continuing to handle consumer marketing and direct to consumer services of DTH/Broadband and IPTV, Iyengar will lead the company's thrust into the emerging technologies of mobile, wireless and internet.

"We realise there is a big business opportunity on the emerging technologies. As a leading sports broadcaster, we will have to be omnipresent on all the delivery platforms. We will also have to plan for content on new media. This will require proper focus," Iyengar says.

Rajesh Kaul, who was earlier reporting to Iyengar, is given independent charge of affiliate sales. Matters relating to multi-system operators (MSOs) and cable TV operators will, thus, be handled by him.

ESS recently tied up with mobile phone operator Airtel to offer voice-based update system during the Fifa World Cup. "Wireless can become a big platform. We tied up with Airtel during the football World Cup. We will see how this service evolves. CDMA mobile operators like Reliance Infocomm can offer video clips. We will have to create products for these new media vehicles," Iyengar says.

Value-added services on mobile phones is still evolving. "Sports and news will drive the mobile business. When we sort out the bandwidth issue, video-based applications will become popular," he adds.

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