afaqs!

STAR India makes senior level appointments

By Anindita Sarkar , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Media Publishing | August 23, 2011
Sony's ex-business head, Ajit Thakur has been roped in to head STAR One, while for flagship channel Star Plus, the company has got Sameer Gupta as head marketing.

STAR Network India has made some senior level appointments. Ajit Thakur, ex-business head at Multi Screen Media's flagship channel Sony, who shifted to Singapore as head of the English movie channel in March this year, is back to join India as head of STAR One, STAR India's second GEC. Thakur's immediate mandate will be to help the channel craft a more engaging channel-viewer relationship through a completely fresh overhaul in content. He will report to Sanjay Gupta, chief operating officer, at STAR India.

Meanwhile, the company has also roped in Sameer Gupta as senior vice-president, marketing, for its flagship Hindi general entertainment channel, Star Plus. Gupta will report to Gayatri Yadav, executive vice-president, marketing and communications, STAR India. Gupta joins STAR from SABMiller, where he was vice-president, sales and distribution.

Senior sources in the industry has confirmed the developments to afaqs!, though officially there was no comment on the same.

Thakur joined the media fraternity as chief operating officer, UTV Pictures and later he took up the role of chief executive officer at Balaji Motion Pictures. Post Balaji he moved to Sony as business head. An IIM alumni, Thakur has also worked with Coca Cola India and Unilever. At Coca Cola India, he handled Sprite and Fanta while at Unilever UK, he was global brand director, Snuggle.

Gupta's cumulative experience spans an approximate 13 years across India and Africa with a mix of roles including portfolio and brand management, innovations, trade marketing and sales and distribution development. He started his career with Hindustan Lever as a management trainee and went on to manage brands such as Lakme and Fair & Lovely. He obtained his Bachelor's degree in Technology (Electronics), from The Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University, and MBA from the Faculty of Management Studies, Delhi.

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