The TV 18 Group has instituted a new division, TV 18 Media Networks, to consolidate all its sales and marketing functions. B Saikumar, who was till now VP-Sales and Marketing of TV 18 Group, has been appointed CEO of the division. The development is effective April 3, 2006. Saikumar continues to report to Haresh Chawla, CEO, TV 18 Group.
The new division brings together the marketing and sales functions of all the channels under the TV 18 Group comprising CNBC-TV 18, Awaaz, CNN-IBN and IBN-7, amongst others.
Saikumar has been with the group for the last seven years before joining the TV 18 group from the Times of India group, where he started his career.
Speaking on the development, Chawla said, “We wanted to consolidate all our sales and marketing operations under one umbrella and hence, we instituted this division. Sai, being one of the oldest members of the TV 18 Group, has spearheaded the function in any case so far and so we gave the charge to him.”
In an internal communiqué titled ‘A star is born’, Chawla announced the elevation of Sai Kumar as “it feels a bit strange to write this formal note for a colleague who has ensured we all relate to him informally… hence, the title of this mail! Please join me in congratulating Sai Kumar – he is being promoted as CEO of our newly formed media division, TV18 Media Networks. TV18 Media Networks will be the single point commercial and marketing interface for the Group.”
“I recall him sharing the same tiny cabin as me when we were in our small little office at Recondo in early 2000 – he used to have to step out when I had guests – and was really employee No. 1 on the commercial side of TV 18. Well from there, when our turnover could be counted in a few lakhs to now – where we are on a run rate in excess of Rs 200 crore – he has pretty much carried the torch singlehandedly and built up the best sales and marketing teams in the business,” Chawla added in his communiqué.
“My role, I must confess, was only marginal. So, here’s a salute to a guy whose energy is infectious, whose smile is always on and whose positive attitude is a delight – he defines the spirit of TV18. Way to go mate… we are so utterly proud of you,” he concluded.
Chawla’s announcement was expected for a while as Kumar has been implementing the vision of Raghav Behl and working closely with Chawla to grow the TV 18 Group.
With this development, all marketing and sales heads of the various channels of the TV 18 Group will report to Kumar.