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What's-On-India appoints new COO; plans for international expansion

The electronic programme guide provider has got on-board Sugato Banerji, erstwhile CMO, Airtel DTH. The company plans to expand in five major markets in the Far East region in the next year.

At a time when the industry is moving from a heterogeneous environment (analogue and digital) to a completely digital one, TV search and EPG (electronic programme guide) technology company What's-On-India has set on a path to build its senior management team

What's-On-India appoints new COO; plans for international expansion
What's-On-India appoints new COO; plans for international expansion
Sugato Banerji, chief marketing officer, Airtel DTH and Media, has recently joined What's-On-India as chief operating officer. What's-On-India provides programme guides to a majority of digital operators (85-90 per cent).

At Airtel DTH, Banerji was responsible for running the bouquet of direct channels, revenue growth and product development (both hardware and software). He joined Airtel DTH in 2007. In his new role, he will report to Atul Phadnis, CEO and founder, What's-On-India.

At What's-On-India, Banerji will take care of the company's growth strategy in the EPG and TV search space and consolidate key partner and client relationships. He will also undertake the expansions into the international markets in the future.

Phadnis explains that 39 other countries will also share India's experience in digitisation and the company plans to soon expand into five major markets in the Far East. He believes that the new appointment will give a push to the international expansion.

What's-On-India appoints new COO; plans for international expansion

In 2012, the company expanded to West Asia, launching What's-On-Arabia.

Domestic digitisation also provides more options for new devices, new software and new content, which will ultimately drive the need for EPGs.

What's-On-India provides EPG and TV search options to the DTH players, digital cable operators, MSOs, mobile TV, IPTV and other TV search apps for other devices (tablet or mobiles).

Banerji says that he finds it interesting to shift into a more expanded space of the digital television distribution industry. DTH still has limited reach, he says, but with "What's-On-India I have the opportunity to participate in all walks of the digital world. Also, the products of the company are ahead of time and hence, the potential is high."

He believes that the business and the products are scalable for global delivery and that is what excites him even more.

An MBA in marketing from IIM Bangalore, Banerji started his career with Xerox India as district sales manager, indirect channels, in 1989. Subsequently, he moved on to the advertising industry with Ogilvy in 1992. He had a short stint with Ogilvy & Mather in Kolkata as senior account executive. Later, he moved to JWT India Kolkata as account director.

Banrji joined Lowe and Partners Worldwide as associate vice-president in Mumbai in 1998. Two years later, he shifted into a marketing profile as head, portal marketing at Aptech Internet. He spent about eight months in the company and then joined Standard Chartered Bank India as head, marketing and alliances, in 2001.

Subsequently, he joined Visa as director, business development in 2006. At Visa, he was responsible for business development with banks and finance companies, with a view to increase issuance and revenue from debit cards, prepaid cards and money transfer products.

He then moved on to join Bharti Telemedia as chief marketing officer of its DTH business in Gurgaon in 2007.

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