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Star shifts top DTH official to Hong Kong

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Star shifts top DTH official to Hong Kong

Star Group is shifting its senior-most representative in the direct-to-home (DTH) joint venture company with the Tatas, to Hong Kong.

Sources in the company said G Jagdish Kumar, who was chief operating officer (COO) of Space TV, would be handling the financial operations of Star group for the entire Asian region including the important markets of India and China.

It is unlikely that the group will continue to have its representative as COO of the joint venture. But Star will have a member in the board of Space TV, the joint venture company for the DTH project.

While the Tata Group holds 80 per cent stake in Space TV, Rupert Murdoch-promoted News Corp controls the remaining 20 per cent. Recently, Vikram Kaushik took charge as the chief executive officer (CEO) of Space TV, while Shankar De has joined as the chief financial officer.

In another development, Star Group’s president of digital platforms, Altaf Alimohamed is believed to have resigned from the company. He was responsible for the business development plans for the DTH project in India, apart from his other functions. Responsible for developing digital platform operations in India, Mr Alimohamed also oversaw the company’s subscription TV services in the Middle East and Pakistan.

When asked whether Mr Kumar was moving to Hong Kong and Mr Alimohamed had resigned, Star India chief executive Peter Mukerjea declined to comment.

News Corp is in the process of acquiring the 20 per cent stake which Mr Kumar and Ajay K Sharma hold in Space TV. Mr Sharma is also a STAR employee. The DTH service is scheduled for launch towards the end of the year.

Sources said Mr Kumar, who was also in the board of Hathway Cable & Datacom where Star holds a 26 per cent stake, will play a wider role in the group as he will be engaged in the financial operations across the Asian region. Mr Kumar will report to John Lau who is executive vice-president of Star Group and oversees all financial matters including management and financial reporting, internal audit, treasury and tax.

Mr Kaushik and the other Space TV employees are currently operating from Star India’s office in Andheri, a western suburb in Mumbai. The office for the DTH service is likely to move to Voltas House, a Tata Group company, but no final decision has been taken yet.


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