Kolkata-headquartered media giant, ABP Group, has finally found a replacement for outgoing Managing Director Aniruddha Lahiri. The new man in is Pramath Sinha, a former McKinsey partner and former dean of Indian School Business. Lahiri, who had put in his papers in October last year, is set to join The Chatterjee Group (TCG), led by well-known international investor Purnendu Chatterjee, as President from Januray 16, 2006. Sinha is set to take over as MD of ABP Pvt Ltd in the middle of this month and an official statement is expected sometime this week.
Lahiri was also Director, Media Content and Communication Services (MCCS), the joint venture between ABP TV and STAR Group. MCCS runs the STAR News and STAR Ananda news channels, which have been making a strong impression in the television news space in recent months.
As for Sinha, he was instrumental in leading McKinsey’s engagement with ABP in 1998-99, before he went on to head the prestigious ISB. McKinsey had made several far-reaching recommendations, which the ABP Group had implemented, including a portfolio review and appointment of a CEO and a board. In the past year, the ABP board has been strengthened with the presence of members like A S Ganguly, Bimal Jalan and R Gopalakrishnan. Sinha reportedly has a good rapport with the Sarkar brothers – Aveek and Arup.
Said Lahiri, “I have enjoyed my experience thoroughly with the ABP Group and have given my 200 per cent to the company. Having decided to part ways with them, I was ready to take up a fresh challenge when approached by Purnendu Chatterjee.”
About his future assignment, he said, “My challenge with TCG would be developing business. I believe TCG as a group has a wide range of opportunities, which if nurtured, can be engines of growth for the country, particularly West Bengal.”
Lahiri had joined ABP in November 2001 and his mandate was to consolidate business, and bringing in a professional management approach. He started his career with Hindustan Lever Ltd and worked his way up to become a member of the Board of HLL as Director in charge of agri-business.
Following the merger of BrookeBond/Lipton with HLL, Lahiri assumed the position of Director-HR, Technology and Corporate Affairs. He then moved to Unilever’s headquarters in Rotterdam as Vice-President, Manufacturing and Supply Chain Technology, with worldwide responsibilities.