Discovery Networks International on Wednesday announced the integration of its India and Asia businesses. Effective July 1, Rahul Johri, SVP, Advertising Sales, Discovery Networks India, will assume management responsibility for India as SVP and Country Manager, reporting to Tom Keaveny, EVP and Managing Director, Discovery Networks Asia. Following this transition, Deepak Shourie, EVP and Managing Director, Discovery
Networks India, will move into a new role as Advisor, Corporate Affairs, India for the company.
The integration formally recognises the close alignment, existing synergies and long-standing partnership between Discovery Networks India and Discovery Networks Asia. Discovery Networks India, which launched in 1995 and distributes Discovery Channel, Animal Planet and Discovery Travel & Living to 91 million cumulative subscribers across seven territories in the region, will continue to be managed directly in the market under Johri’s leadership out of the company’s Indian headquarters in Delhi, with additional offices in Bangalore, Mumbai and Chennai.
With more than 15 years’ experience in the Indian media industry, Johri joined Discovery in 2001 from IMG. As Head of Advertising Sales with additional responsibility for the region’s research and communications functions, Johri has played an integral role in consolidating and strengthening Discovery’s portfolio in India over the past seven years.
Under his leadership, Discovery has built a robust advertising sales business in India, including the successful launch of sales on Discovery Travel & Living, which was the first lifestyle channel to launch in India and is now the category leader in the market.
Reacting to the announcement, Johri said, “I am honoured to step into this new role and look forward to working with
the entire team in India to move the business forward," said Rahul Johri.
"We remain committed to strengthening our portfolio in the market in order
to deepen our relationships with audiences, affiliates and advertisers alike
and ensure Discovery's networks remain as relevant and entertaining as
"The integration of our India and Asia operations will position Discovery
more competitively in the region by allowing us to collaborate across both
businesses and more effectively share content and resources in order to
drive continued growth," said Greg Ricca, President & CEO, Discovery
Networks International. "The strength of our business in India is a tribute
to Deepak's leadership and significant contributions, and we remain
committed to strong investment in the market."
"This new structure is part of the continued evolution of Discovery's
operations in India," said Deepak Shourie. "I believe the time is right to
formally recognise our close relationship with Asia and transition to new
leadership, and I look forward to continuing to serve the company in an
advisory capacity. Rahul's proven track record and in-depth knowledge of the
business, combined with his passion for Discovery, will help drive continued
success in India."
Shourie has managed Discovery Networks India since 2001. He oversaw the
launch of the company's first international lifestyle channel, Discovery
Travel & Living, in India in 2004, and also revamped Discovery Channel's
programming and marketing strategies in the market, leading to the network's
current ranking as the number-one channel among all English news, movie,
entertainment and factual channels in India.* Shourie also oversaw the
creation of the One Alliance distribution joint-venture with Sony
Entertainment Television, which now manages cable operations for partner and
third-party channels. A 20-year industry veteran and advocate, Shourie holds
executive positions in leading industry bodies and companies including:
Director, Indian Broadcasting Foundation; Member, American Chambers of
Commerce in India and Board Member, Reliance Communications Limited, one of
the largest mobile telephone companies in India.
Keaveny has served as EVP and Managing Director, Discovery Networks Asia,
since 2005. He first joined Discovery in 1999 and served in a variety of
senior sales and revenue roles in Europe, Latin America and Asia prior to
taking over management of Asia. He reports to Ricca. Launched in 1994,
Discovery Networks Asia operates seven networks in 25 countries across the
Asia Pacific region, reaching 348 million cumulative subscribers.
Headquartered in Singapore, the region also has offices in Hong Kong, Tokyo,
Sydney, Taipei, Beijing and Shanghai.