Viacom18 appoints Gaurav Gandhi as chief commercial officer and head - international business

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | February 26, 2010
Gandhi joins Viacom18 Group from NDTV Imagine

The media conglomerate, Viacom18 has roped in Gaurav Gandhi as chief commercial officer. In addition, on a newly created position, Gandhi will head the group's international business.

He will assume his new role on March 08 and will be based out of Mumbai. Gandhi will report to Rajesh Kamat, group COO, Viacom18 and CEO, Colors.

& #BANNER1 & #Gandhi's last assignment was with NDTV Imagine as executive vice-president - business operations and content sales. At NDTV Imagine, he was part of the founding team and was closely associated with Sameer Nair.

Talking to afaqs! about the assignment, Gandhi says, "I'm very excited to join Viacom18 Group, as at this point of time, it is the fastest growing media network. Also, the role of spearheading the newly created international business is great. Given my experience in the media industry, joining Viacom18 was a logical fit."

His key responsibilities at Viacom18 would include creating the roadmap for the international business of the group and taking the company to the next level. "There is a diaspora of Indians around the world; and the next challenge for Viacom18, and Colors in particular, will be to reach out to countries and audiences. It's time for the world to taste what India is relishing now. We will have a sizeable international operation in the next 12 months," Gandhi explains.

He adds that the company will also be active on content syndication deals with other media companies abroad, "including the ones that are not Indian."

Armed with 12 years of experience, Gandhi started his career in media planning at Madison Media in 1998. He was associated with the company for two years, and he left the company as group head, planning on Coca Cola India's media business.

Later, he joined Turner International, where his role was to oversee the research and planning for Cartoon Network, HBO and CNN International. In 2003, he moved on to join STAR India, where he worked with Rajesh Kamat. During his stint with the company, he was vice-president, commercial and strategic planning, and handled various assignments including content acquisition, business planning and syndication.

According to Gandhi, his biggest and most interesting assignment has been with NDTV Imagine. "We were responsible for building the channel from scratch, and of course, a large credit for this goes to Sameer (Nair). It was at Imagine that I learned the most. I would rate it the highest in terms of learning and understanding the fundamentals of the media business," he adds.

In an official communiqué, Kamat says, "Given our exponential growth as a group in the last 18 months and our future growth plans, it is now critical that we centralize our cost and commercial functions, thus ensuring synergies between various group businesses. Given Gaurav's relevant experience and proven track record, I am confident in his ability to add value across the group."