In order to take the HT brand strategy to the next level, Rajiv Verma, CEO, HT Media, on Monday announced major leadership changes. Anand Rambhadran, formerly COO, Hutch-Rajasthan circle, is taking over as the new Head of West and South. He replaces Sandip Ghose, who is moving back to New Delhi as Head of New Ventures including Magazines and Joint Ventures.
Meanwhile, Ranagnathan Thota, Head of Expansion Plans for New Editions, has decided to quit HT Media to pursue other interests. He joined the company in January 2005. Significantly, Thota was brought in from Mumbai and Ghose had taken his place to spearheaded HT’s Mumbai edition soon after its launch.
Ramabhadran, who will take over the reins from Ghose and report to Verma, has previously worked with Sify as VP-Broadband business, and Bharti as VP-Brand Marketing for their landline business. He started his career with P&G as a Management Trainee. He also had a short stint with Whirlpool as Director for the Laundry category. He was also Country Head-Ghana for Chanrai Corp. He is an MBA from IIM-Ahmedabad.
Said Verma in a communication announcing these changes, “During past year, our entry in Mumbai has seen good response from our consumers. The Hindustan Times brand in Mumbai, with its positioning of ‘Let There Be Light’, has been well appreciated, and most of the business objectives of circulation and media marketing have been met or exceeded. Our team has been strengthened in editorial as well as management functions.”
Praising Ghose’s role in leading the Mumbai operations, Verma said, “Having built a robust platform in Mumbai where we have seen emergence of HT as a successful and quality alternative to the market leader, Sandip will lead growth strategy of the company in the area of New Ventures – of which Magazines, Events and especially family entertainment are cornerstones.”
Hinting at future initiatives, Verma added, “Just like our Radio business, there are a few exciting JVs in the works in these new categories. Also, a soon to be announced JV will be a part of Sandip's responsibility.”
An ex-HLL hand, Ghose moved to HT in early 2005 from ABP Group in Kolkata where he headed the The Telegraph and Businessworld brands.
Among other changes, Gauri Satyamurty Kapre will be the new Business Lead for the Magazines business and will report to Ghose. She has played key role in the success of the Hindi newspaper business during its inception stage, Verma said. Farhad Wadia, who leads the events business, will also report to Ghose, and continue to be responsible for all operations of this business.
Welcoming them in their new roles, Verma said HT Media was “in an exciting phase of growth and customer intimacy where we are on a journey of transformation into an enduring enterprise.”