In a significant development, Network18 Group has announced the appointment of Ajay Chacko as Chief Operating Officer. This appointment is aligned with the group’s plan to strengthen its central management structure, aimed at accelerating growth and furthering synergies between businesses. Chacko Ajay has been with the group for over nine years and is currently President of A+E Networks I TV18, the joint venture between A+E Networks, US and TV18. He will currently continue to hold responsibility for the venture.
In his new role, Chacko will actively support management teams and leaders across functions in leveraging the network’s diverse strengths, be responsible for creation and management of network-wide properties and institutionalize processes and models that unleash value across the group and its ventures. He is also mandated with strengthening the business planning and monitoring processes as well as other critical support and staff functions across the group. Additionally, he has been entrusted with the role of being the custodian of ‘Brand Network18’.
Commenting on this, Raghav Bahl, Founder & Editor, Network18 said, “The dynamic nature of the media landscape in India today has necessitated the need to continuously evolve our internal operating environment to align with these changes. We have now embarked on a path of bringing together our various business units in order to successfully ride the opportunity wave and stay focused on returns to shareholders. In Ajay, we entrust the responsibility of strengthening our continued efforts to emerge as ‘one’ strong network. He has our best wishes and whole-hearted support.”
B Sai Kumar, Group CEO, Network18 added here, “We’ve invested in and built a great set of brands across multiple platforms over the last decade. This network today, straddles broadcast, e-commerce, digital content and niche print businesses. In the next phase of Network18, we intend to consolidate the strengths of each of these businesses across the network, extract value through unrelenting focus on internal assets and thereby better our offerings to external constituencies all around. Ajay has been key to the success of some of these businesses and in this new role, he will bring his expertise, foresight, operational and people skills to achieve what we’ve set out to accomplish.”
Ajay Chacko added “We have been seen to be a diverse and talented set of people running some of the country’s most successful media brands. I hope to be able to supplement Sai’s efforts to help strengthen the collaboration between our various business units and functions with a view to improve financially as well operationally and emerge stronger as one network.”
In his earlier roles at Network18, Chacko has led many of the group’s businesses such as CNBC-TV18, CNBC Awaaz and Forbes India and has been instrumental in their ascendance as market leading media brands in the country. He has also led the group’s efforts in the business media domain as well as the successful launches of key digital properties of Network18. He has been responsible for the functioning of the JV between A+E Networks & TV18, now a key player in the Indian factual entertainment space with HistoryTV18 emerging as a top tier brand in the genre. Prior to joining Network18, Chacko worked in financial services and media for over a decade. His earlier stints were with IL&FS (Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services, India) and he has also been a part of the start-up team at Sharekhan. He started his career in the Indian Express Group, where he worked in various capacities.