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UNIVERSAL Music Group announces strategic appointments within India and South Asia

Pranav Thakker named General Manager, New Business Development, Universal Music Group Brands (UMGB).

Universal Music India (UMI), a division of Universal Music Group (UMG) announced a strategic expansion of its leadership team within India and South Asia. A press release mentions that the intent of the hiring is to accelerate growth across the original artist, non-film music and hip-hop genres in India and South Asia.

Devraj Sanyal
Devraj Sanyal

Devraj Sanyal, MD & CEO Universal Music India and South Asia, said, “We are truly in a sea change moment for music in India, with an audience that is consuming more music, video and content than ever before. Because of this we have worked hard alongside our partners over the past two years, to build and launch new sub-labels that put artistic creativity and collaboration at the heart of every release, and where artist’s voices and talent can be seen and heard, starting with VYRL Originals and Mass Appeal India and with further exciting initiatives to follow in the coming months.”

Vinit Thakkar
Vinit Thakkar

Vinit Thakkar has been promoted from SVP to the newly created position of COO, India and South Asia, effective immediately. In his new role, he will work closely with Devraj Sanyal, MD & CEO Universal Music India and South Asia, to continue to strengthen UMI’s position as a true home for artists in the region. Thakkar will be responsible for driving India’s overall content strategy, strategic initiatives and operational efficiency, to ensure that UMI continues to lead and innovate in this rapidly evolving market. Having joined UMI in 2012, Thakkar has held several senior positions within UMI and was instrumental in the launch of VYRL Originals, alongside acclaimed Bollywood Director Mohit Suri. Prior to joining UMG, Thakkar held positions at Sony Music, Citibank and Titan. Based in Mumbai, he will continue to report to Sanyal.

In addition, Gaurav Chaturvedi has been appointed as VP, Domestic Labels, Universal Music Group India, responsible for leading label activity, strategy and releases for all domestic UMI labels effective immediately. The role will focus on the expansion and development of VYRL Originals alongside several other key label initiatives to be announced in the coming months. Chaturvedi will be based in Mumbai and will report to Thakkar. He joins UMI from Indian Media conglomerate Star India Pvt Ltd where he held the position of Assistant Vice-president Marketing and was responsible for leading marketing strategy and activation for their Star Sports network across all major sports verticals; Cricket, Kabaddi & Football to the channel’s global audience. Prior to joining Star India in 2013, he held senior marketing positions at Sony Music Entertainment India and Zee Entertainment.

To further enhance UMI’s capabilities across brand partnerships and artist campaigns, Pranav Thakker has been appointed as General Manager, New Business Development at Universal Music Group Brands (UMGB) for India and South Asia. An experienced branding executive within the region, Pranav previously worked at TVF (The Viral Fever), Big FM and DNA (Zee Media Ltd) and will report to Preeti Nayyar, Vice President, New Business Development, India & South Asia. In recent years, UMI has achieved great success in this field, successfully launching The Sterling Reserve Music Project in partnership with Allied Blenders & Distillers to incubate unique local Indian talent, that has helped unearth and release several breakthrough artists through its channels, as well as award winning campaigns with Aloft Hotels, OK Cupid, HDFC Life Insurance & Levis.

Sanyal and the UMI management team will continue to work closely alongside Adam Granite to identify further opportunities for UMI artists to reach new audiences and fans around the world, utilizing UMG’s unrivalled global network of industry leading businesses spanning more than 60 countries worldwide.

Vinit Thakkar said, “This is an exciting time for Indian artists and music, and we are looking forward to further expanding the horizons of what is possible to achieve with VYRL Originals and our other domestic labels. I am very excited about my new role whereby alongside Devraj, I will be responsible for driving UMG’s strategic expansion in the region.”