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Vikram Malhotra ends his short stint at Balaji; moves to Studio18 as COO

Malhotra joins Studio18 from Balaji Telefilms; he will report to Haresh Chawla, chief executive officer

Vikram Malhotra, COO, Balaji Telefilms has called its quits after 10 months of joining the organisation. He has now moved to Studio18, the film production and distribution arm of Viacom18 as COO where he will report to Haresh Chawla, chief executive officer, Network 18. In this new role, Malhotra's main responsibility will be driving growth and profitability at Studio18.

Vikram Malhotra ends his short stint at Balaji; moves to Studio18 as COO
At Balaji Telefilms, Malhotra was responsible for the business strategy and profitable growth of the motion pictures business. Malhotra says that he enjoyed his time at Balaji, where he was able to steer successes such as LSD (Love, Sex aur Dhokha) and Once Upon a Time in Mumbai. He is now looking forward to creating a blueprint for the growth of Studio18.

"I believe that movies in India are not just a business but also a religion; this makes the domain that much more exciting and challenging," says Malhotra.

Prior to Balaji, Malhotra was head of worldwide marketing at Kingfisher Airlines, one of India's premier consumer brands. He, along with his team, is credited with creating India's largest airline brand in just a little over four years of operations. At Kingfisher, Malhotra facilitated the growth of the domestic airline, was instrumental in the launch of Kingfisher Airlines International and was also responsible for the Formula One team, Force India.

Hailing from Jaipur and a Rajasthan University graduate, Malhotra completed management studies from the University of Mumbai in 1999. He began his career as a management trainee at Draft FCB Ulka (then FCB Ulka) and worked closely on the Castrol account. He then moved on to SC Johnson (erstwhile Lever Johnson), where he worked on the sales and distribution team for household products.

Subsequently, in 2003, Malhotra joined Tata Communications (formerly Tata VSNL) as brand manager before joining the sales team of Triumph Distillers and Vintners at the UB (United Breweries) Group, where he went on to become group marketing manager.

Commenting on the appointment, Chawla says, "The Indian film market is experiencing a transformation in the kind of movies that are being created, especially with its focus on new age cinema. We believe that Malhotra, with his experience ranging from mainstream to new age cinema, will be best suited to take Studio18 into a new phase."

Since its launch, Studio18 has met a fair amount success owing to films such as Jab We Met, Welcome, Singh Is Kinng and Ghajini.

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