Disney Company (India) has announced the appointment of Mahesh Samat as managing director of its India operations. In this capacity, Samat will be responsible for driving the company's strategy, coordinating all Disney's business efforts in India, including overseeing its global franchises in the market, expanding existing businesses and seeking out new business opportunities. Samat will be based in Mumbai and will report to Andy Bird, president, Walt Disney International
Samat will manage all of the existing Disney businesses in India, except the ESS joint venture, with all local business segments reporting to him.
"The strong equity and heritage of Disney globally against the backdrop of India's rich cultural and media environment make for endless possibilities and significant growth opportunities," says Samat.
Samat has more than 20 years of experience across India, Asia-Pacific and Europe. He joins Disney from Johnson & Johnson, where he was most recently managing director, Southern Europe, J&J Vision Care, based in London. Samat joined Johnson & Johnson in 2000, and has held various positions in management and marketing while there. His responsibilities included the creation and execution of an emerging markets business plan, identifying key growth drivers, and creating stronger organisational development.
Prior to Johnson & Johnson, Samat worked for Kellogg's where he was responsible for marketing, nutrition marketing and research for the company in India. He developed a blueprint for the company for future growth, which included a consumer marketing strategy, product portfolio definition and distribution plan.
In the past, Samat has worked for Warner Lambert/Parke-Davis as director of consumer health products, where he was responsible for marketing products such as Benadryl and Listerine, as well as for Boots India Ltd, managing the marketing for several brands in the Boots portfolio.
Samat holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Sydenham College and a Master's in business administration from the Indian Institute of Management.