You are here: Home » Companies » News
Business Standard

Former Star India CEO Uday Shankar, James Murdoch team up for new venture

Entity to focus on digital media, say industry sources

Uday Shankar | digital media

Viveat Susan Pinto  |  Mumbai 

Uday Shankar, Chairman and CEO of Star India
File Photo: Former Star India CEO Uday Shankar

James Murdoch, son of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, and Uday Shankar, the former chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of Star India and president of Walt Disney Asia Pacific, on Thursday announced a new venture.

The venture, they said, would focus on technology and media opportunities in emerging markets. Ind­ustry sources said the focus would be on digital media, with India being the big driver.

Murdoch is the CEO of Lupa Systems, a private holding company, launched after the acquisition of 21st Century Fox by Walt Disney, in 2019. The venture between Shankar and Murdoch will be part of Lupa Systems.

The partnership, however, will bring Murdoch and Shankar, both former colleagues at Star, together. Shankar had taken over as CEO of Star India in 2007 after the exit of Peter Mukherjea and Sameer Nair, both high-profile Star India executives back then. This phase was a tough one for Star and Shankar, since the broadcaster was facing tough competition from Zee and Sony and had to contend with new entrant Colors from Viacom18 in 2008.

James Murdoch

James Murdoch

A former journalist, Shankar slowly built Star’s reputation back and was also close to Murdoch, who was overseeing Star’s overall operations, first as chairman of Corporation and then as CEO of 21st Century Fox.

After executing the merger of Star and Disney in India, Shankar had announced in October that he was stepping down from Walt Disney to pursue his own interests. He had indicated at that time that he would look at closely, given his involvement in growing Hotstar, the over-the-top platform of Star.


Shankar is also credited for investing in sporting properties while at Star, picking up the television and digital rights of the Indian Premier League for over Rs 16,000 crore in 2017, besides betting on football and kabaddi. He was appointed president of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry last month, marking a first for a media executive.

Murdoch, on the other hand, has been investing in firms in India for the past two years through Lupa Systems, betting on start-ups such as Dailyhunt and Harappa Education.

“After two decades of working in India, it is great to be entering into a renewed partnership with Uday. Our collaboration over the years had been immensely rewarding. As connectivity continues to accelerate and expand across South Asia and the whole region, new opportunities for innovation, across consumer sectors, will multiply,” said Murdoch.

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Thu, January 14 2021. 16:15 IST