Mahendra Swarup, ex-MD & CEO of Times Internet Limited (Indiatimes), presently working as Advisor in the Private Treaties Division of Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd, has decided to call it quits from the Times Group in September this year, after serving the media giant for more than five years.
Ending all speculation that he is joining a powerful new media house, Swarup made it clear to exchange4media that he is “not running for a job” any more. “Though I had some very alluring offers from India and abroad, to a person with my experience it does not excite any more,” he commented.
Asked about his next step, Swarup said, “I will work towards identifying new opportunities and converting them into valuable businesses.” But Swarup refused to divulge any further details of his future plans.
However, exchagne4media has reliably learnt that Swarup has taken significant stakes with online media agency Quasar Online Media Solutions, interactive technology solutions company Studio Smile and 3G mobile VAS provider Oxigen Info Vision. It is also learned that Swarup has been inducted on the Board of Directors of Oxigen Info Vision in which CitiBank has 25 per cent stake.
Refuting rumours that he ran into differences with the Jain brothers leading to his being shifted from Indiatimes, Swarup said, “I still share very cordial relations with both the brothers and hold them in high esteem. I wanted to move on to do more exciting things in life and they appreciated that.”
In an exclusive interview last October, Swarup had told exchange4media that Indiatimes is mulling an IPO. When asked whether he was not unhappy to leave the organization midway before completing the listing of the company, Swarup said, “One person cannot run a corporate marathon, it’s a relay race. I have handed over the baton to the new team. Now they have to take Indiatimes to the finishing line.”
In December 2005, WestBridge Capital acquired a 2.9 per cent stake in Indiatimes for $7 million, indicating a valuation of $230 million for the company.
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