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Viacom18 restructures leadership team

Company creates positions of COO, rural business head, and regional entertainment head

Urvi Malvania  |  Mumbai 

Viacom 18

Media and entertainment network announced an organisational rejig with the aim to maximise synergies across the multiplatform network that houses brands like Colors, MTV and VOOT. The new positions and responsibilities are effective immediately.

Led by the elevation of Raj Nayak to chief operating officer, Viacom18, the restructuring exercise is aimed at making the organisation future ready as it enters its next growth phase. With this move has consolidated its national brands aimed at youth and adult audiences viz. Hindi, Youth, Music and English Entertainment offerings under Nayak.

Sudhanshu Vats, Group CEO, said, "Raj is one of those rare leaders in our industry who possess a sharp business acumen coupled with a nuanced understanding of what makes brands iconic. I am confident that he will be able to take this portfolio of brands to even greater heights as he leverages deeper synergies in his new role."

Ferzad Palia, Head - Youth, Music & English Entertainment will also look after two new businesses as the network ramps up its content and music offerings. 'Brand Studio' will create branded content and white label solutions for partners, along with original commissioned content. 'MTV Music Project', will nurture an ecosystem of new and established artistes and create original music content. This is in addition to Palia's existing portfolio that includes MTV, MTV Beats, COLORS Infinity, Comedy Central & Vh1.

Sharpening its focus on strengthening presence in rural markets, has also elevated Anuj Poddar from his current role at COLORS Marathi & COLORS Gujarati to lead the rural expansion as Head - Rural Business, including the network's free-to-air Hindi movie channel Rishtey Cineplex.

Saugato Bhowmik, Head - Consumer Products & Integrated Network Solutions will continue to drive the efforts towards building homegrown experiential IPs and a robust consumer products business. Ferzad, Anuj and Saugato will report to Raj Nayak.

Having just announced its foray into Tamil general entertainment, the network has reiterated its belief in the growth potential of regional broadcast entertainment. has entrusted the responsibility of its existing regional channels (COLORS Kannada, COLORS Super, COLORS Marathi, COLORS Bangla, COLORS Odia, COLORS Gujarati) and the soon to be launched COLORS Tamil with Ravish Kumar, Head - Regional Entertainment, Viacom18, thereby combining all its regional offerings under one roof to ensure greater focus.

Nina Elavia Jaipuria, Head - Kids Cluster, will continue in her current role as the network intends to its presence in the 'kids ecosystem' by enhancing its repertoire of homegrown content and drive up its consumer connect with live events, experiential touchpoints and learning initiatives. Digital Ventures, with Gaurav Gandhi at its helm as COO, will be leading the network's digital foray with its flagship VoD service, VOOT. The network's film studio, Motion Pictures, led by its COO, Ajit Andhare, will continue to create content-driven cinema, while ramping up its regional play, in line with the network's enhanced focus on regional entertainment. Nayak, Kumar, Jaipuria, Gandhi and Andhare will continue to report to Sudhanshu Vats, Group CEO,

"Viacom18's DNA has enabled it to pre-empt market shifts and adopt unconventional approaches to address conventional business challenges. Since inception, our topline has grown 40x and channel count has grown over 12x while being PAT profitable. Today, has 5 diverse lines of business - in addition to a core broadcast offering it now has a strong presence in digital, filmed and live entertainment along with a fast-growing licensing and merchandising operation. None of this would have been possible without our most valuable asset - our team. Our endevaour has always been to build a future ready organisation with distinct capabilities and a distinctive culture with an emphasis on developing internal talent. This new structure will power us as we enter our next growth phase," Vats added.

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