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HT Media rejigs management to get 'digital ready'

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital | February 11, 2015
Amit Garg has been elevated as executive director (Digital Initiatives), Shantanu Bhanja has been appointed the company's first chief digital officer and Rajan Bhalla as chief marketing officer.

HT Media has made some key changes in its management structure in its endeavour to be a 'digital ready' enterprise. The organisation claims to have embarked on a 'Digital Now' journey and under its 'Project Butterfly'.

Amit Garg

Shantanu Bhanja

Ashu Phakey

Rajan Bhalla

Rajiv Verma

The new structure has Amit Garg being elevated as executive director (Digital Initiatives), Shantanu Bhanja as the company's first chief digital officer and Rajan Bhalla as chief marketing officer. Ashu Phakey will now be responsible for the complete P&L for HT Delhi as business head and Vivek Khanna will be leading the Jaipur expansion strategy.

The changes were announced internally (within HT Media) around three weeks ago.

Garg will report to Rajiv Verma, CEO, HT Media, and provide strategic direction to various ongoing and future digital initiatives. He was previously business head, internet and mobile, head, Firefly e-ventures (HT Media's digital arm). Garg will now be leading the strategy team that will guide the enterprise change from "digital first" to "digital all", making it the company's mission to close the knowledge gap and bring everyone on board. He has been with the organisation since 2005.

Bhanja, in his new role, will keep HT Media's various content sites consumer and customer focussed and monetise them suitably. He will lead the digital content efforts of the company to meet the challenges of a mobile world and that of new and emerging forms of competition. Bhanja will work with marketing, IT, editorial, finance and media marketing teams. He will be responsible to build innovative revenue models for the projects that the editors of HT, Hindustan and Mint build.

He will also report to Verma. In addition to his responsibilities as CDO, Bhanja will continue to be responsible for the marketing of some large-format events such as the Leadership Summit and HT Delhi Product and Brand Management, supporting the Delhi business head and editorial team. Bhanja has been with HT Media for over seven years.

Currently VP-Marketing (HT), he is responsible for two roles: marketing for the HT brand and business head for HT Delhi. His latter role, along with additional responsibility of local revenue and brand activation for HT Delhi, will now move to Phakey, HT Media's current national circulation head.

With these developments, Phakey will now take over as business head of HT Delhi. In his new role, Phakey will directly supervise the local-to-local revenues for HTD (excluding large real estate clients), circulation for HTD, brand activation and local area marketing. He will work with various functions and departments to maximise profitability for the flagship edition.

Bhalla who was group marketing head and business head, magazine, HT Media, has been responsible for creating brands like Mint, StudyMate, Bridge, Fever and Shine. He will be working towards developing the events business for HT Media with advice from international players. All events that are currently managed under different businesses will be consolidated under a separate P&L, under him. He has been with the organisation for over eight years now.

HT Media was launched in 1924. It publishes Hindustan Times (English newspaper) and Hindustan (Hindi newspaper through a subsidiary Hindustan Media Ventures Limited), and a national business newspaper, Mint. The company, in a consulting partnership with Virgin Radio, runs FM radio channel - Fever 104. Internet businesses of HT Media, incorporated under Firefly e-ventures, operate portals such as,,, and