Putting an end to five months of intense speculation about his next move, Deepak Shourie, ex-CEO, Zee Telefilms, has confirmed that he will take charge of Discovery Communications India (DCI) as managing director. He will assume office on May 7. Shourie will replace Kiran Karnik, who is leaving the company in May.
In his new role at DCI, Shourie will oversee all aspects of Discovery's business in India including affiliate and advertising sales, programming, on- and off-air marketing and communications. He will be responsible for business strategy, development and communication across Discovery's five brands (two channel brands - Discovery and Animal Planet - and three sub-brands that are part of Discovery Channel currently - Discovery Kids, Discovery Travel & Adventure, and Discovery Health) in India. Talking to agencyfaqs!, Shourie said, "This is obviously a very exciting option for me, as Discovery is positioned in a very different genre. Of course, I don't see any problems there - and the opportunity is immense."
The most admired marketing man in India today, Shourie hardly needs an introduction. He joins DCI from Zee Telefilms / Zee Publishing where he was director & CEO as well as operating partner (at Zee Publishing) since 1999. At DCI, Shourie will bring with him 31 years of varied experience - spanning media, corporate affairs and consumer goods marketing. Shourie, who started his career at Metal Box, did a longish stint at two food companies Kothari General Foods and Cadbury India, before jumping into the world of media in 1988. He entered the print medium through India Today and was responsible for starting Music Today and also for the tie-up with Time magazine.
Shourie then moved to Hindustan Times after being the president and publisher of Outlook magazine, which he founded in 1995. Considered as one of the most successful product launches in recent years, Shourie's stint at Outlook won him the "Marketing Person of the Year" award conferred by A&M magazine. In 1999, he joined Zee when the satellite television network was preparing for an entry into print. Zee Telefilms formed a new company with Deepak Shourie as operating partner and publisher and launched a television industry guide TV World. The existing Zee publications like Zee Premiere and Cable Guide were to be transferred to this company as well.
Probably, this last move is one, which Shourie would like to forget. Cash flow problems and some costly mistakes at the programming front forced the Zee group to scrap its publishing plans. Shourie had to step down in the middle of a restructuring drive initiated by the company, as per a report prepared by A T Kearney that warned the tottering company from making any foray into new businesses and concentrate on its core competencies.
Obviously, Shourie isn't one to be put down easily. Upbeat as ever, he said, "The challenge now is to build on the strong foundation that Discovery has established for itself over the last five years. I will figure out the specifics of task ahead only after I join the place."
© 2001 agencyfaqs!