Sumita Vaid

Ex-STAR India hand Niraj Dutt joins NDTV Media

After a hiatus of 12 months, ex-STAR hand Niraj Dutt is set to join NDTV Media, the subsidiary of NDTV, as executive vice-president

After a hiatus of 12 months, ex-STAR hand Niraj Dutt is set to join NDTV Media, the subsidiary of NDTV, as executive vice-president. Incidentally, Dutt had quit around the same time Raj Nayak (then executive vice-president, sales and marketing, STAR) called it day at India's No 1 television network. Dutt was senior vice-president at STAR then, but his plans were different. When he quit STAR, he wanted to set up his own business. A year and a half on, he is ready to make a comeback to the corporate world.

Confirming the appointment to agencyfaqs!, Raj Nayak, CEO, NDTV Media, said, "Even though various channels, both in India and abroad, have been chasing Niraj to join them, he has finally decided to join NDTV Media. Niraj used to handle advertising sales for all STAR TV channels and used to report to me. Besides being a great team leader, he is extremely good in operations and has a good understating of the television business. He is also well known in the advertising industry having been around for over 15 years."

The news of Dutt's appointment comes at a time when NDTV Media is planning to diversify its area of operation. In the coming months, NDTV Media is looking forward to offering sales, marketing, research and strategic consultancy services to other broadcasters/TV stations that are not in direct competition with NDTV. "We will actively peruse other streams of revenue, like, programme syndication, international channel representation, on-ground events for television etc. The plans are still at the drawing board stage and should crystallise by end June," explains Nayak.

Dutt is expected to play a critical role in furthering the business plans of NDTV Media. "With NDTV Media having ambitious plans for the coming fiscal, Niraj will add weight to the management team and will play an important role in the expansion plans," adds Nayak. For the record, Rajnath Kamath, who has driven the sales for the company, will continue in his role as head of sales. So does Avinash Kaul, head, research, strategic planning and marketing at NDTV Media.

On his part, Dutt launched his career at Bennett Coleman & Co, post which he joined Sunday Mail as regional sales and marketing head (north) for the launch of first multi-edition Sunday newspaper. He devoted his energies next to his entrepreneurial venture Good Television, which imported programmes and international events for the national broadcaster and satellite channels across Asia.

Dutt's next stop was STAR, where he was responsible for sales revenue and support functions to all the eight channels of the network. In three years, Dutt launched and marketed four new brands, with exponential revenue growth for STAR News and the National Geographic Channel. Dutt was nominated for promoter share holding of Newscorp International for two consecutive years. © 2004 agencyfaqs!

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