Hindustan Times has shuffled its top-level management. The senior management team - Venky Venkatesh, Rajan Bhalla and Rajeev Beotra - have been assigned new roles.
Venky Venkatesh, head, circulation-sales, has been promoted to handle a more diverse role, a critical part of which will be to lead the ramp-up strategy of the group's hyper-local offering, Shopper. Besides this, he will be responsible for the North and East operations.
Referring to Venkatesh's contribution in the company, Rajeev Verma, chief executive officer, HT Media, writes in an internal mail, "Venkatesh, who took over the leadership of circulation sales function four years ago, has been instrumental in increasing product sales and distribution across brands and locations. This helped us immensely in gaining readership, stature and strength in the key markets of Delhi and Mumbai."
Venkatesh had joined HT Media in March 2007. Earlier, he was general manager, Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL), heading the sales and customer management functions for the northern region of the group. He has more than 26 years of experience in HUL.
He has completed a post-graduate programme in general management from IIM Ahmedabad.
In a related development, Rajeev Beotra, national head, media marketing will now head the circulation sales function. Venkatesh handled the role until now. Beotra will also be responsible for classifieds sales at the national level.
Beotra has been associated with HT Media since 2005. He has worked with Asian Paints, Coca-Cola, Whirlpool and Avon Beauty Products, heading the sales and marketing functions in the organisations. At Coca-Cola, he also headed the events and promotions division of Delhi and Mumbai.
Prior to joining HT Media, he was national director, sales and business operations, Avon. He is an engineering graduate with a post-graduate diploma in business management from the Punjab University.
Rajan Bhalla, who was responsible for all the brands of HT Media across media and education platforms as marketing head (except Hindustan Times), will now also head the magazines business of the group, which was hived off last year.
As business head, Bhalla led the launch of Mint, after which he left the company for a year. In late 2008, he rejoined the group as head, marketing - strategic businesses leader marketing for Hindustan, Fever, Mint, Shine and the education businesses of the group. He has more than 18 years of experience in the industry and has worked with several blue chip companies across categories in senior leadership roles, including Contract Advertising, Whirlpool, and PepsiCo Beverages.