The day-old free-to-air Hindi news channel, Rajat Sharma-promoted India TV, has appointed Arun Poddar, an old ESPN-STAR Sports hand, as its Distribution Head.
An MBA from Indian Institute of Media Management, Kolkata, and with an advanced course fellowship from XLRI, Jamshedpur, Poddar brings with him 14 years of experience in FMCG sales and distribution and seven years of experience in distribution of ESPN-STAR Sports.
Based in Mumbai, Poddar leads a team of 18 distribution professionals across the country. He has been entrusted with the responsibilities of distribution of India TV – primarily in the Hindi-speaking belt of Northern and Western India in the first phase. “We want to make India TV a pan-India channel. The experience I bring to the company, in terms of knowledge of cable operators, MSOs and distribution trade at large, will come handy to me,” he observes.
Poddar, however, treats his new assignment as a challenging one. “At ESPN-STAR Sports, I was involved with the distribution of a pay channel. But the distribution of a free-to-air channel is a different ballgame, where one has to look at both vertical and horizontal distributions,” he says. While dwelling on the strategy with exchange4media.com, he adds: “We have to evolve a different strategy to ensure effective penetration of the channel. The strong content of the channel and brand equity of Rajat Sharma will, however, be effective for us.”