Currently associated with Zee Media Corporation Limited as Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr. Alok Agrawal has been the head of the entity since October 2012. A B.Tech from IIT, Kanpur, MBA from IIM-Bangalore he has also completed an Executive Program on Social Media Marketing from Wharton Business School, Mr. Agrawal comes with career experience across various capacities in Advertising, Marketing & Media.
Mr. Agrawal has been associated with various leadership roles during his 23 years of career, having worked with some of the leading Corporates. He was associated with companies like BlowPlast Ltd., Grey Advertising, Euro RSCG Advertising and Bates 141 and marked his presence with unmatched leadership qualities.
Prior to joining Zee Media Corporation he was associated with Cheil Worldwide, as Chief Operating Officer (COO) for four years, known for his leadership Mr. Agarwal took the company to the pinnacle of success.
At Zee Media Corporation Limited, Mr. Agrawal has been entrusted with the role to take the news channels to new height of success through his able leadership qualities.
Chief Executive Officer
Zee Media Corporation Limited
Arnab Goswami is currently Editor in Chief and News anchor of the Times Now news channel.He began his career in TV news broadcast with NDTV 24x7 in 2005, where he anchored daily newscasts, and reporting for ‘News Tonight’ a programme telecast on DD Metro. Later as the News Editor, he was part of NDTV’s core team during the transition from programme producer to the 24-hour mode in 1998. He hosted the ‘Newshour’ show every weeknight. ‘Newshour’ was the longest running news analysis shown on any channel, from 1998 to 2003. As a Senior Editor with NDTV 24x7, he was responsible for the overall editorial content of the channel. He hosted one of the channel’s top rated news analysis show ‘Newsnight’, which won an award for the Best News Anchor of Asia 2004 in the 2004 Asian Television Awards.
Editor-in-Chief and News anchor, Times Now
Ashish Bagga is the Group CEO of India’s most diverse, respected and leading media conglomerate, the INDIA TODAY GROUP.
He has been associated with the Indian Media business for over 30 years, with earlier stints with the INDIA TODAY GROUP and THE HINDUSTAN TIMES GROUP as Director (Marketing). Immediately before re-joining the INDIA TODAY GROUP in 2001, Mr. Bagga put in a short stint as President & CEO with BUSINESS STANDARD for their e-initiative in association with FINANCIAL TIMES, London. He has forged strong partnerships with leading international media brands such as TIME, NEWSWEEK, WALT DISNEY, READER’S DIGEST, FORTUNE, MEN’S HEALTH, GOLF DIGEST, SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW, DAILY MAIL, AXEL SPRINGER, DISCOVERY, etc. He is a past President of the Indian Newspaper Society (INS) and is also the past President of the Association of Indian Magazines (AIM). He is also an executive member of the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI).
As Group CEO of the INDIA TODAY GROUP, he currently oversees the entire Group’s business across Magazines, Newspapers, Broadcast TV, FM Radio, Digital, Education, E-Com, Distribution and Retailing. Under his leadership, Aaj Tak’s dominant leadership in the news genre continued for the 13 consecutive years and was awarded the most popular Hindi News channel at the Indian Television Academy (ITA) Awards. He was also awarded the best news media event for ‘Agenda Aajtak’. India’s ‘Sabse Filmi’ radio station – OYE! 104.8 FM showed stellar growth by toppling the older established players in Delhi and emerging as the most popular radio station of the capital.
India Today Group was ranked 3rd in the News & Information category, as per comScore. There were other 'Bests of 2013' such as the top grossing apps of India Today, Reader’s Digest India, Men’s Health India and Business Today demonstrating the Group’s commitment to quality and innovation in the digital space as well.
On the print side too, iconic brands such as India Today and Business Today have continued to be market leaders, with Mail Today Newspaper. Recently, the Group also embarked on a group wide integration initiative over multimedia platforms. This was successfully commissioned in the state of the art India Today Mediaplex facility in Noida.
He is betting big on the digital opportunity and believes that the best is still to come!
CEO, India Today Group
Chintamani Rao is an independent Strategic Marketing and Media Advisor.
He worked for 38 years with major global advertising agency networks including Lintas, Ogilvy & Mather and McCann, and in news broadcasting.
He was President, Integrated Communications at McCann Worldgroup, responsible for managing and overseeing the agency’s business in media (Universal McCann), CRM (MRM Partners) activation (Momentum), public relations (Shandwick) and healthcare (McCann Healthcare). A specialist in brand and market strategy, he has advised clients on diverse categories, including automotive, financial services, foods, healthcare, personal products, personal wear and corporate brands.
As a broadcaster he managed and built three of India's leading news channels, and played a significant role in policy and regulatory issues. At India TV he oversaw the channel's growth from a fledgling to becoming a challenger to the market leader. At Times Global Broadcasting he managed the growth of Times NOW to clear market leadership, and launched a business news channel, ET NOW, which has since grown to market leadership. He was a Director of the Indian Broadcasting Foundation(IBF); a founder and Director of the News Broadcasters Association (NBA); and Chairman of the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC).
He retired from The Times Group as Vice Chairman of Times Global Broadcasting and Advisor to Times Private Treaties (now Brand Capital), and returned to advertising as President at R K Swamy Media Group, comprising media planning and buying; digital; and out-of-home advertising businesses.
Now an independent consultant, he is also engaged as Vice Chairman in a non- executive capacity with Penn Schoen & Berland Associates.
A noted commentator in the trade press, he writes a blog, ‘Take it from me...,' (www.chintarao.blogspot.com) on issues in marketing and media.
Strategic Marketing and Media Advisor
(Hony) Brig. Dr. Arvind Lal
CMD, LAL Pathlabs
Deepak Chaurasia is a well known face of Indian media. Currently he is Editor-in-Chief of India News Group. He drove India News National to top 4 within 8 months, a record never witnessed in the history of television journalism. Earlier he was associated with ABP News as Editor, National Affairs, with Aaj Tak as Political Editor and with DD News as Consulting Editor.
For the last two decades he has covered almost all the important events across the world and in every corner of our country. Whether it was Gulf war or post 9/11 coverage or kargil war, he was there to present the ground report for indian viewers. He has covered all of the recent conflicts, political crisis including terrorist attack on Mumbai.
One of the smartest political minds in Indian television who would offer the most provocative take on the day's news from the campaign trail and beyond. A Deepak Chaurasia-report validates a story's importance. He's often given entree where other reporters are neither welcomed nor allowed. Feisty, outspoken. That's Deepak for you. The first and last word on Indian politics.
Deepak knows the issues better than anyone. And he analyzes with a deep sense of history and razor-sharp political instincts. Deepak just knows, and we know to believe him. Not because his pronouncement makes anything believable, but because he fully understands political realities better than anyone else.
Dilshad has worked in the media and entertainment space for over 22 years now. January 2009 saw her shift focus to the digital space, since she strongly believes that people are going to consume entertainment very differently in the future. She is the Co-Founder of a crowd-sourced collaborative e-magazine called FarInto Traveller that connects travelers with like-minded people and with trusted travel operators for the perfect travel experience.
Prior to 2009, Dilshad worked in the broadcasting space and has several television channel launches to her credit. Her last held broadcasting responsibility was as COO of UTV Entertainment and prior to that as the Senior Vice President of National Geographic Channel and The History Channel, heading marketing and programming. As Senior Vice President of STAR TV, she was responsible for the launch of the STAR brand in UK. Her stints in senior positions at STAR TV, National Geographic Channel, and UTV Entertainment saw her gain deep insight into branding and positioning products in the entertainment space. She continues to keep in touch with her prior world by holding training programs and workshops for television professionals across South-East Asia.
Dilshad is an avid traveler, having travelled across more than 20 countries. Trekking and white-water rafting are her passions and she strongly feels that Kashmir should be on everyone’s bucket list! She loves writing about her travels and uses social media tools to urge friends to get off their behinds and see the world! She has a Masters in Telecommunications Management from Michigan State University, USA.
Jagat Dave has over a decade's experience in Investment Banking across transactions involving fund-raising, sell-side auctions, Joint-Ventures and strategic road-map including 'India-entry', for various multinationals across varied sectors like Banking & Financial Services, Healthcare Services, Consumer, Technology etc.
Jagat currently heads Ambit's Media & Entertainment advisory, having advised on leading global and Indian strategic and financial investors including Star, Viacom, Sony, Disney, NBCU, Comcast, Balaji Telefilms, Sun TV, Living Media, UTV, Hathway, Providence Equity Partners, Ashmore, India Value Fund, CA Media etc
Prior to joining Ambit, Jagat was with Credit Analysis & Research Ltd ('CARE'), one of India's leading Credit Rating Agencies. Jagat has a Masters in Management Studies from Mumbai University and is a Fellow of the Institute of Cost & Works Accountants of India.
Ambit Corporate Finance Pte Ltd.
Kartikeya Sharma, is the Managing Director, ITV Network, India’s fastest growing news network, which owns NewsX, India News and five regional news channels in the Hindi heartland. The Network also has in its portfolio ‘Aaj Samaj’, North India’s fastest-growing Hindi daily and ‘The Sunday Guardian’- India’s finest Sunday newspaper.
Kartikeya is an Oxford graduate with Masters in Business Administration. He is young, dynamic and a talented entrepreneur whose management style has created new benchmarks in the Indian news Broadcasting Industry. Under his leadership, the two national news channels of ITV Network – NewsX and India News have attained leadership position in a short span of time. His strategic approach towards business and commitment to constantly innovate has been the secret behind the success of ITV network.
Rahul Kanwal is the Editor-At-Large Aajtak & Headlines Today. In 2007, he became the youngest person to head a news channel in India when he replaced outgoing director S. Srinivasan. He began his career with Zee News, and was the youngest correspondent for that channel. Rahul Kanwal has keen interest in political and strategic affairs.
Rahul began his career with Zee News in 1999. He was the youngest news anchor and reporter for the network. Apart from business, Rahul also reported on the Kargil war and its aftermath. Rahul also covered elections in several states including Kashmir and conducted investigations into corruption in the purchase of military hardware from Russia. . He has won ITA awards this year for best anchor for Center stage episode on Sri Lanka. He is the youngest ever Chevening scholar and has done a course in Broadcast Journalism from Cardiff University in the UK. He is also a recipient of the Rory Peck award for a course in hostile environment journalism. Before taking over as editor of Headlines Today, Rahul was a prime time news anchor and the defence and external affairs correspondent for Aaj Tak. He is among the handful of truly bilingual anchors in the country.
Under Rahul's leadership, Headlines Today has been repositioned as a news channel that targets the young Indian. Apart from managing news operations for Headlines Today, Rahul also fronts a daily prime time news show 'Centre Stage', which is the flagship news broadcast of Headlines Today.
Editor-At-Large Aajtak & Headlines Today
TV Today Network Ltd.
Ravi M. Khanna
Ravi M. Khanna has just two feathers in his cap. He is a veteran TV/Radio journalist who, because of spending most of his life in the United States, has the insider’s knowledge and an outsider’s perspective on South Asia and this is clearly reflected in his articles and blogs on South Asia. And then he is an award winning actor and Voiceover artist who has acted on stage and television and also in films in India and the United States.
As a TV Producer/Analyst he has written and produced a number of TV packages in English for Voice of America, mostly on South Asia and the Middle East. These analytical pieces provided in depth background and perspective to the “News of the day” and were often used by all 38 services of VOA.
He interviewed a large number of South Asian leaders such as Manmohan Singh, Narasimha Rao, Atal Behari Vajpayee, Rajiv Gandhi, Benazir Bhutto, Asif Ali Zardari, Pervez Musharraf, Zia ul Haq, Zia ur Rahman, Hossian Mohammad Ershad, Khaleda Zia, Sheikh Hasina, Junius Jayewardene and Morarji Desai to name a few. He also spoke to and interviewed US experts on South Asia in Washington, from think-tanks such as the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Carnegie Foundation, SAIS, The New America Foundation, The Atlantic Council, The Heritage Foundation, Brookings Institute, the Council for Foreign Relations, the World Affairs Council etc.
Now he is back in New Delhi–lock, stock and barrel–to be close to his roots and to do what he loves – News, TV and films in India. He began his return to India with a book in English and Hindi titled “TV News Writing Made Easy for Newcomers”
Former South Asia Bureau Chief
Voice of America
Very few people have conducted the variety of high-profile interviews across such a diverse range of issues as Riz Khan. From world leaders and business icons to film and music celebrities, Khan has led the field of international one-on-one interviews while hosting flagship news and current affairs shows at the world’s three major global news networks. Trust and credibility built up over 25 years have given Khan access to key newsmakers on every continent. Becoming the BBC’s first person of South Asian origin in mainstream news—and co-anchoring the very first show on BBC World Service TV News in November 1991—gave Khan an acclaimed public visibility that grew even more when CNN International hired him in 1993 as its leading news figure. In 1996, he launched his groundbreaking flagship interview show, Q&A with Riz Khan—featuring heads of state, celebrities and other leading figures taking calls from viewers around the world on live TV. In 1998, Khan made history once again with unprecedented, award-winning live coverage of the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca. Khan was also a prime face for CNNI’s coverage of breaking news, high-profile stories and global events. In 2005, he moved to Al Jazeera becoming a founding director of the now globally acclaimed network Al Jazeera English, hosting the flagship shows Riz Khan and Riz Khan’s One on One. In 2013, he launched a weekly topical show Riz Khan’s Q&A on Bloomberg TV Africa, a new television network airing in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Khan also received praise for his candid, best-selling biography of Prince Alwaleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia—one of the world’s richest men and the biggest individual foreign investor in the USA—Alwaleed: Businessman, Billionaire, Prince (2005) intimately follows the Prince’s bailout of Citibank as well as his investment strategy into the world’s leading brands. In 2012, Khan e-published his first fiction novel titled We Interrupt Our Programming…, a spoof on the international news industry with proceeds supporting a charity that builds children’s libraries in underprivileged communities around the world. His work as an accomplished speaker and moderator over the years has him in high demand at leading global events such as the World Economic Forum, United Nations conferences, top corporate events for multinationals such as Cisco and Standard Chartered Bank, as well as a host of other gatherings. Khan’s career at the very cutting edge of the international news industry, combined with a dynamic and highly engaging delivery, makes Khan one of the most recognized and respected people on the global events circuit.
International Journalist Television Host
Rohit Bansal is currently working as CEO, India Strategy Group, Hammurabi & Solomon consulting; LLP. He is also a Member of Steering Committee 2012, Institute of Competitiveness which has been constituted to serve the launch of Porter Prize.
He is a Trustee/Media Advisor of St Stephen's Alumni Executive form past 3 years. He also shares an honorary position by being a Visiting Fellow to Institute of Competitiveness, institution which is the India knot of Prof Michael Porter's work at Harvard Business School. He is an Independent Columnist and writes on Politics and the Economy. His column appears in The Pioneer on Wednesday morning and in the print and web editions of Governance Now, the policy fortnightly.
He is an expert on political economy and markets worked for 11 years with All India Radio News Intermittently on Market Mantra and shows of the Talks
He was a COO of Independent News Service Pvt Ltd for 5 years which is owned by India TV, indiatvnews.com and a business news license. The company today has 500+ employees. Enterprise value crossed Rs 500 crore in January 2008, the best in class.
Rohit while working as a Editor Business & Channel Brand Manager, Zee Telefilms and Essel Group; Created a new team for Zee Business , Created Suncity Projects Ltd and Essel Housing for Essel Group as the second employee of the company.
India Strategy Group,
Hammurabi & Solomon Consulting, LLP
With nearly 30 years of experience in leadership as well as operational positions in all forms of media --from print to internet to electronic ( radio & TV), in some of the best known and respected Indian as well as international organizations, Sanjeev can quite safely be described as one of the most respected and well known media professional in the country. He is currently associated with Focus Television Group as the Group Editor In Chief.
As a former India Editor of the BBC Hindi radio & India Correspondent of the BBC's English outlets, he has had the rare distinction to rub shoulders both with the masses and the classes not just in India but across the world. As the BBC's India correspondent, (he was the first Indian to be appointed on the post which was earlier held by Sir Mark Tully) he has had the occasion and privilege to meet with, interact and interview global leaders as well as national figures. The only one TV interview which Rahul Gandhi has done in his 9-year old political career has been with Sanjeev for the BBC.
His longest stint in the media was with the BBC, where he ended his 16-year tenure as the India Affairs Editor of the BBC World Service and the founder director of the BBC's Indian subsidiary, BBC World Service India Pvt Ltd.
His brief in the BBC was a mix of editorial, business development and strategic planning for the BBC World Service and global operations in India. His long association with the BBC has given him a rare insight into the working, ethos and value system of public service broadcasting. For more than a decade, he was the BBC's face across all its world service output on TV, radio and news website. He used to anchor and contribute regularly on the BBC TV's flagship news & current affairs programme, Asia Today and was also a regular contributor on other prestigious BBC programmes like World Today and the Today programme. He formulated the editorial content of BBC Hindi output across all platforms. He also anchored an award winning show called BBC ‘ek mulaqat’ which featured one-hour long interviews with famous personalities from all walks of life. He is perhaps the only multilingual (English, Hindi & Urdu) and tri-media (TV, radio & print) journalist in the country, with experience, depth and understanding which can match the best in the business. Sanjeev also worked as the CEO & Editor in chief of Sahara Media (all newspapers & channels) from January-May 2010.
From January 2013, Sanjeev was the Prime Time Editor of DD News, India's national broadcaster and re-launched the Prime Time which had become one of the most talked about shows in the media circuit and the English slot had consistently been the number one show in that time band for the past 6 months. He also hosted daily news & current affairs programme on DD News called Focus. He has also been contracted by news channels like Aajtak, Headlines Today, Times Now, CNN IBN as a guest commentator and political analyst.
Editor in Chief,
Focus Television Network
Simon Spanswick is a founder director of the AIB. His career spans both public and commercial sectors and for many years he has been closely involved in digital broadcasting.
Having contributed as a freelance journalist to BBC World Service English output since 1981, Simon joined the BBC in 1986. He spent time with BBC Monitoring, and was part of the specialist team that formed part of the UK delegation to WARC 92, safeguarding the BBC’s interests in terms of short wave and satellite broadcasting frequencies. In 1993, Simon moved to World Service Corporate Affairs, working on press and public relations initiatives, while at the same time continuing to present the World Service English media programme, Waveguide. He was the Project Manager for the Digital Radio Worldwide consortium that brought together international broadcasters with an interest in satellite-delivered digital radio services. In 1996, Simon left the BBC to join World Radio Network as Director of Corporate Affairs. He worked on a variety of projects to raise awareness of WRN in the global broadcasting industry. He also led the project, part funded by Britain’s Department of Trade and Industry, to develop the world’s first portable DAB receiver. Simon has managed the establishment and launch of major DAB Digital Radio services in the UK and has worked as a consultant to Digital One, the UK’s national DAB multiplex operator.
As Chief Executive of the AIB, Simon leads the organization’s work on a day to day basis. He keeps his journalistic skills up-to-date as managing editor of the AIB’s publications, frequently interviewing leading personalities for the pages of The Channel and reporting from major media and telecoms events around the world. Simon regularly speaks or chairs sessions at industry and consumer conferences about varied aspects of broadcasting.
Association of International Broadcasting, AIB
'A media professional, who has dabbled with Radio, television, print and events, both locally and internationally for 13 years. Some company associations include Radio City India, Radio Netherlands Worldwide, RBC New York, MMA APAC, APNS Pakistan and UTV. Her ON AIR stint as 'Simply Suparnaa' had her interviewing top corporate honchos, movie personalities and conscientious citizens alike. She pioneered providing content of human development stories from India to Radio Netherlands Worldwide. An independent documentary, 'When Atlas shrugged again’, made on the victims of the 2005 Kashmir earthquake, was critically acclaimed and released by, the now Chief Minister of the state, Mr. Omar Abdullah. Besides this she has been the face of over 300 documentaries on India for the state owned DoorDarshan.
The international best seller titled ‘Chicken Soup for the Indian soul’ carries four of her stories. “Rhyme and Reason” is an initiative which intertwines these stories with soul music that leave the audience inspired as expressed by content heads from media organizations in the subcontinent.
Her writing skills were acknowledged through the ‘Top Controversial blogger ‘ award from the BBC WST and Communication Initiative website.
A long standing dream of dedicating a book to her journalistic lineage is close to fruition with Harper Collins publishing it in 2014.
The altruistic streak of her personality took various expressions using her core talent. Some included recording audio books for the visually impaired , conducting workshops to sensitize children towards physical impairments and the current initiative Woman Endangered (WE)'.
Her current commercial assignment has her editorially consulting with exchange4media, India’s premier platform for the business of Media.'
Mr. Uday Kumar Varma recently retired from the position of Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB), Government of India. He has extensive administrative experience at the highest levels of administration both in the state government (of Madhya Pradesh) and central government. He has a proven track record in terms of efficiency and competence. His administrative service record has been consistently outstanding. Mr. Varma's greatest expertise lies in the field of media, information and broadcasting. Being the spearhead of the successful nation-wide digitization program, the brains behind the social media initiative of MIB, the in-charge of the extremely successful "Bharat Nirman" media campaign and with his nearly half-decade of experience at the senior-most levels of MIB, his knowledge and understanding of mass media, information dissemination, broadcasting, media law, content regulation and all associated matters is unparalleled.
Mr. Varma also carries extensive knowledge of the medium and small-scale industries sector, having been instrumental in formulating the government procurement policy in this field. He has also considerable experience in dealing with matters of technology up gradation and involvement of private equities in relation to these industries. Mr. Varma has considerable experience in numerous fields such as industries, health and family welfare, home affairs, women and child development, tribal welfare and labour issues. He has served with distinction as Director of the of the renowned V.V. Giri National Labour Institute, which he completely transformed both in terms of infrastructure as well as its scope, level and quality of academic training and policy development.
Mr. Varma also has an outstanding academic background, being an alumnus of the world-renowned Harvard University where he studied public administration and finished among the top students. He completed his undergraduate degree first of his class from the prestigious Benares Hindu University. He has numerous academic decorations and medals and is a published scholar with two books and numerous articles to his name.
Perhaps most important of all is the reputation Shri Varma enjoyed as a civil servant. He carries a reputation of having been an efficient, thorough, upright, and visionary officer, and of having an incorruptible and venerable persona.
Former Secretary, I&B