Network18 is shifting gears: Can it become India’s first media-tech conglomerate?

Network18 is shifting gears: Can it become India’s first media-tech conglomerate?

Network18 seeks to utilise the opportunity to transform into a media-tech conglomerate.


Mumbai: As the media landscape across the globe stares at uncertainties that come with disruptive technologies such as generative AI and ChatGPT, India’s Network18 group, that runs a clutch of news channels, digital platforms among others, is seeking to utilise the opportunity to transform itself into a media-tech conglomerate. 

The group is now turning over a new leaf. Some of its tech focused digital first products such as Moneycontrol and Firstpost are already breaking the mould. 

Network18 now wants to replicate the same for its other platforms such as CNBCTV18 and News18 channels. 

In the last few months, the group has made significant progress in unifying its digital and broadcast teams across editorial, business and operations. 

As part of this process, the group’s broadcast and digital news operations are being converged, keeping technology at the core of it. From story planning to content consumption on any and every device, the company’s goal is to deliver a top-class experience and conceptualise solutions that will enrich the story-telling experience, paint a picture of audiences in granular detail and help customers to attain maximum value.

Hiring Diverse Talent 

With some recent appointments, Network18 has marked a departure from regular practices of recruiting talent from the same Industry. The company is building its tech strength by roping in resources from diverse sectors such as big tech, startups etc.

A few months ago, it hired 5paisa Capital’s Ankit Fitkariwala to add new dimensions to Moneycontrol, one of the leading finance platforms globally both in terms of subscribers and users. 

Last week, Network18 announced the appointment of Sunil Sharma as chief product & technology officer.

In this new role, Sharma will lead the group’s digital technology initiatives, including tech architecture, content, data and monetisation management tools, software and product engineering for all general and business news brands under the group’s umbrella.  

He will focus on disruptive technologies such as generative AI to improve processes, develop audiences, localise stories and distribute content efficiently.

Sharma brings with him over two decades of ‘Big Tech’ experience in software product development across sectors such as telecom, retail, media streaming and EdTech businesses. Prior to joining Network18, Sharma was vice president of Engineering at Byju's, where he spearheaded customer experience and customer support technology initiatives. Before that, he served at Amazon for over seven years, making notable contributions in retail, logistics, and Prime Video.

“Everything we do, every step we take should push the company towards a tech and product-driven play. We don’t have to leapfrog just the competition but also extend and enhance the news category with digital led technology and product play. Hiring of diverse talent is a step in this direction. We have a much more diversified talent pool than any other media company and we’ll continue to invest and build on this,” said a top executive at Network18.