Sumita Vaid

Ashish Bagga to head India Today brand

In a parallel development, Sanjay Malik, associate publisher of the India Today group, has put in his papers

There have been two important developments at the India Today group. And while the two happenings are not directly connected with one another, as individual developments, both are pretty significant. Here goes…

In addition to his current responsibility as the executive director and publisher (Business Group, which comprises magazines such as Business Today, Smart Inc, Fortune and Golf Digest) of the India Today Group, Ashish Bagga has been appointed as the executive director of the India Today Group. In his new role, Bagga would shoulder the additional responsibility of overseeing the business of the entire set of magazines under the India Today banner, which comprises India Today English, India Today Hindi, India Today Tamil, India Today Telugu, India Today Malayalam as well as the India Today International edition. While Bagga was not available for comment, reliable sources close to agencyfaqs! have confirmed the news.

The second significant happening at the India Today Group concerns Sanjay Malik, the associate publisher of the India Today Group. agencyfaqs! has learnt that Malik has put in his papers, and is, in all likelihood, heading back to the US to join his family.

For the 41-year old Bagga, it is a home coming of sorts. Bagga started his career with the India Today Group way back in 1983. During his first stint at India Today (he quit in 1991), he was responsible for launching Music Today, the video magazine on current affairs, Newstrack, and the four vernaculars editions - Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam - of India Today. Another interesting initiative Bagga had taken up was the marketing of Newsweek first, and later (after dropping Newsweek from the India Today portfolio, that is) - Time magazine. Bagga was the all-India marketing head of the India Today brands (which included India Today English, Computers Today, Target, Music Today, Newstrack, the four language editions and the International edition) when he left.

Once out of India Today, Bagga explored the other face of media - television. For four years, he worked with IV Communications, a cable-and-satellite venture promoted by the NIIT group. He left the organisation as the senior vice-president to join the Hindustan Times Group as vice-president, marketing. Five years on (in 2000), Bagga - who had since become director, marketing (in charge of brand, circulation and advertising sales), at the Hindustan Times Group - was ready to move on. Before re-joining the India Today Group in 2001, Bagga briefly served as president & CEO with Business Standard's e-initiative, in association with Financial Times, London.

In 2001, Bagga joined as executive director and publisher (Business Group) of the India Today Group. And resuming talks with Time magazine, for similar distribution arrangements in India, was high on his agenda. That's how Fortune was brought into India. Since returning to the India Today fold, the brands that Bagga has been involved with are business magazine Business Today, the launch of Smart Inc, Fortune, a journal for charted accountants and the impending launch of golfing magazine - Golf Digest. Industry sources also indicate that the recently acquired (by India Today) brand, Readers' Digest, would come under Bagga's purview. © 2003 agencyfaqs!

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