STAR India has made a key change in its senior order. The media company has roped in Bharti Airtel’s Chief Marketing Officer Sanjay Gupta as the Chief Operating Officer. Gupta would join the company in the next couple of weeks. The COO of the company Jagdish Kumar’s mandate, on the other hand, would be to head the recently created joint venture between STAR India and the Jupiter Group STAR Jupiter in the south. He would continue reporting to STAR India CEO Uday Shankar.
Gupta would be based in Mumbai. All STAR GM’s would be reporting to him.
Confirming the development, Shankar informed exchange4media, “Sanjay is joining us as the COO, and he has been looking at the media business from the other side of the fence. I believe this cross-pollination of talent is important for the media business, and the business has suffered so far from the lack of it.”
Speaking further on the fact that Gupta comes to STAR from a non-media background, Shankar added, “The fundamentals of business remain the same everywhere. I came to an entertainment business with absolutely no previous experience in this domain. I am a big believer that influx of talent cannot be watertight.”
Kumar’s movement is seen as STAR’s commitment to the South operations. In an internal mail, Shankar stated that Kumar led the Asianet acquisition and was increasingly involved in the development and consolidation of the South business. It is understood that his designation too would realigned to reflect his charge of the South operations.
Sanjay Gupta joins STAR from Bharti Airtel, where he was responsible for driving marketing, sales and distribution for the $6 bn mobile business. Prior to Bharti, he played a key marketing role in Hindustan Unilever in various functions such as Oral care and Home care divisions. He has driven strong brands such as Close-up, Pepsodent, Wheel, Vim and Domex. He is a Mechanical Engineer from Delhi College of Engineering with a post graduation from IIM Kolkata. Gupta has more than 18 years of experience in key marketing and sales functions.