Ronnie Screwvala, B Saikumar to launch a digital media company

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Digital | January 21, 2015
Ajay Chacko will head the venture as its CEO.

Ronnie Screwvala (former Walt Disney India managing director) and B Saikumar (former group CEO, Network18) have come together to found a new age digital media company.

Ronnie Screwvala

B Sai Kumar

Ajay Chacko

Ajay Chacko, former COO, Network18 and president, A+E Networks | TV18 has been roped in as the chief executive officer of the new venture.

Based out of Mumbai, in its first phase, the venture aims at launching a digital brand which will offer multi-genre, multi-lingual content across video, audio, text and other traditional and new age art forms.

According to a press statement issued, the investment envisaged is an outlay of up to Rs 150 crore across two phases. While the first phase will be largely domestic-focused, the platform will evaluate new geographies and verticals in its second and subsequent phases.

The venture - with Saikumar as managing director and Chacko as CEO - has begun a global search for talent in creative, product and technology functions across entertainment, current affairs and infotainment. The press note stated the intent of media honchos to foray into the digital space. "Digital media across the world has surpassed traditional broadcast television, radio and print as the primary choice of consumers and marketers. With over 300 million Internet users (around 200 million of these use a mobile for access), India is slated to become the world's third largest digital media market. This is expected to get a further boost with the government's digital India plan and the launch of pan-India broadband services by existing operators and well-capitalised new players," said the release.

It may be recalled that Screwvala had quit Walt Disney India to 2013 to pursue his entrepreneurial goals in some of the impact sectors in India and devote more time with his foundation, SWADES. Chacko and Saikumar were part of the mass exodus at Network18 last year, when Reliance Industries acquired controlling stake of Network18.