Chintamani Rao, President, Universal McCann, is moving into a new role shortly. Rao will be joining Rajat Sharma-led India TV as CEO early next month. He will be with Universal McCann till the end of the month.
When contacted, Sharma confirmed the news and said, “Chintamani is the best person for this role. India TV has been expanding rapidly; we have been getting good response from our viewers, clients and advertisers. This is the best time to bring in an experienced hand like Chintamani.”
A veteran of the ad industry, Chinta, as he is commonly referred to by colleagues, is a versatile professional of the Interpublic Group, the global parent of McCann Worldgroup, FCB, Lowe and others. He is also President, Integrated Communications, McCann Worldgroup. He is responsible for all non-advertising businesses of the group, including Universal McCann (media), Result McCann (direct marketing and event management), McCann Healthcare (healthcare) and Weber Shandwick (public relations). An Economics graduate, Chinta is fond of travelling, food and contemporary Indian art. When asked about this sudden change, Chinta said, “I have spent 31 years in advertising, and handled virtually every aspect of the ad business. I have had a wonderful time, met some excellent people along the way, some of them acknowledged giants of the industry. Frankly speaking, I didn’t have any new mountains to climb. I needed to remain professionally excited, and joining India TV would help me explore new territories.”
As for India TV, Chinta said, “It is doing very well. It has all the right assets, and is editorially led by one of the best hands in the business. But there is scope to make it more established business-wise. It is a challenge I am looking forward to.”
As CEO, Chinta said he would look after all aspects of the India TV business. “It is like any CEO’s job,” he remarked.
India TV recently completed one year of operations, having been officially launched on August 15 last year. Through the better part of this year, the channel has made a huge impact with a series of sting operations against politicians, sadhus and showbiz stars. The channel plans to launch a Gujarati news channel around December this year.