Beginnen Media launches Hindi rural entertainment platform, strengthens leadership team

The five-member team will comprise Mohan Gopinath, Doris Dey, Rachin Khanijo, Johnson Jain and Dinesh Bhutra

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Jul 29, 2021 10:57 AM

After launching Azaad, India's 'FIRST Premium Hindi Entertainment Platform that will feature Content Exclusively for the 'Rural Mindset’, Beginnen Media also announced its leadership team with executives who add deep experience across verticals to further strengthen the organization's ability to develop more personalized experiences with new and existing audiences who have a rural mindset. Their work will support the momentum that the company is already experiencing in its launch phase and is expected to create future vectors of growth.

The five-member core leadership team announced by Beginnen Media, Managing Director, Bharat Kumar Ranga includes Mohan Gopinath as Director - Project and Operations, Doris Dey as General Manager- Product, Rachin Khanijo as Chief Marketing Officer, Johnson Jain as Chief Revenue Officer and Dinesh Bhutra as Chief Financial Officer. Speaking about the team, Ranga says, "There are some talented jewels who are a part of my team. I am very proud of them. Some have worked with me for over a year and the rest have joined about six months ago and are doing a brilliant job:'

"The first person to join me on this journey was also a part of our promoter team in my entrepreneurial journey. Mohan Gopinath first worked with me when he was heading Zee Cinema cluster and later, we launched the Bengali movie channel, Amaar Cinema, the sales entity, Screenmax Media and he has led several independent projects to successes. He is our Director - Project & Operations;' says Ranga.

Mohan Gopinath is a media and broadcast veteran with nearly 25 years work experience. In his 18 years stint with Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited, he has covered the entire spectrum of functions ranging from sales, marketing, distribution, content, acquisition along with the P&L responsibility of all brands that he led including ZEE Cinema and Essel Vision Productions Ltd. He turned entrepreneur and co-created Bhu Entertainment in 2015. This entity handled Sales, Film marketing and promotion and Distribution across the various platforms in India and internationally.

He was also a content catalyst for two leading production houses and successfully helped Viacom launch its first movie channel, Rishtey Cineplex. As Beginnen Media's Director - Project & Operations, Mohan Gopinath says, "The media environment is changing rapidly and despite a plethora of content options, none are focusing on the Rural segment. Azaad comes with a beacon of hope, awareness and positivity to cater to the Rural Mindset in the quest for a better tomorrow:'

"Then we have the 'Architect' of our model who understood what our consumer with a rural mindset would like to watch and is then creating shows for them. Doris Dey is General Manager - Product. She's a brilliant, creative mind who has worked closely with Ekta Kapoor at Balaji Telefilms. She conceived and created some great shows like Bhabhiji Ghar Pe Hai at &TV. Here, she drives original and curated content that we've got after consistent research;' adds Ranga. At Beginnen Media, Doris Dey spearheads Business Development, Programming & Content Strategy, Product Innovation, Content Creation and Curation. In a career spanning 18 years, she has successfully helmed various roles of a Writer, Creative Director, Creative Producer, Programming Head (Fiction), Business Head (Fiction) and Independent Producer (OTT). In her previous stint at Essel Group, she envisaged and launched &TV.' Doris Dey, Beginnen Media, General Manager - Product, says," Rural India is the real India.

Our focus is to create stories of hope and aspiration that resonate with them but are not divided by artificial boundaries of class, caste, religion and geography.
We are consumer-driven, cost-effective and innovative as a brand that will challenge and change the way we do content-business."

"Then there's consumer marketing and brand Azaad, distribution, research and On-Air-Promotions. Our Chief Marketing Officer Rachin Khanijo was a part of the team that launched Colors, Head-Marketing at &TV, he had also worked at Eros & an EdTech firm when I asked him to join us. Creative people work better with observation. All of them have gone through extensive rural orientation with me as they have worked creating urban focussed channels and this was their first opportunity to set up a rural brand;' shares Ranga.

With Marketing, On-Air Promotions, Research, Corporate & Digital Communications, Public Relations & Distribution under his purview at Beginnen Media, Rachin Khanijo is a renowned media professional with over 17 years of extensive MarComm experience. Across years, he has worked with Large Organizations and Start-ups in the Media & Entertainment industry, constructively providing strategic marketing impetus and direction to their growth plans.

His career includes stints such as 'Associate Director - Marketing I COLORS: 'Marketing Head - &TV: 'Brand Director - Filmfare, Femina, Good Homes: Vice President - Marketing, Eros Now. Speaking about his association with Beginnen Media as Chief Marekting Officer, Rachin Khanijo says "I'm truly excited to be a part of the dream run of building 'Azaad - India's FIRST Premium Hindi Entertainment Channel: exclusively for the Rural Mindset. With People Centricity at the core and a strong belief in the Power of Engaged Connections with the Rural Person, brand Azaad aims to be a category creator. My endeavor is to constantly build a deeper understanding of the Rural Person to Attract, Engage and establish Connect with them. Further to build affinity, our approach is to place brand Azaad as One amongst them, reflecting their Dreams and Aspirations

"Our Chief Revenue Officer is Johnson Jain who comes from ZEE and is a young go-getter who has worked with me in his early years of his career when I was heading Sales at Zee. He's equally enthused about this model. He knows it's a genre that does not get the right yield currently but, he's taken up that challenge to help create our model and is driving our Ad revenues & digital revenues division;' says Ranga.

Having spent 19 of his 20 years of experience in the Media & Entertainment industry, Johnson Jain specializes in Advertising Revenue and has worked in varied genres. After a Sales & Marketing course from NMIMS, he started his career with Doordarshan and has worked with leading media conglomerates including Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd., Sony Network (SET India) & 9x Group.

He has played a key role in relaunching Zing in 2016 and is one of the few dynamic sales professionals to devise and conceptualize two AFP IPs - Expeditions - Youth Biking Show and Game On-Cricket which had top cricketers including Virendra Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Shreyas Iyer, Yezuvendra Chahal, Harmanpreet Kaur and many others. The successful Arijit Singh Symphony concert in Mumbai that was the first LIVE with an orchestra of 75 musicians is another milestone in his career.

Joining Beginnen Media as Chief Revenue Officer, Johnson Jain says, "Backed with two decades of rich experience in the media industry, I'm excited to partner in achieving the vision of Azaad of being 'The First People-Centric Channel'. My experience will play an integral role in shaping the revenue model for a new advertising category of Rural and Free-To-Air which will take Azaad to the next level. Azaad will also uniquely offer a digital environment in television by ensuring focused and captive audiences, a safe programmatic environment for brands and zero wastage in targeting audiences with the rural mindset.

"We probably have the youngest Chief Financial Officer in our industry. Dinesh Bhutra is extremely brilliant, sharp & we needed someone to get this model right. Dinesh completely understood the finance angle of our model and also oversees Administration & Human Resources," adds Ranga.

He is an Associate Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. He has more than a decade of experience in various sectors like Airlines, Telecom, Entertainment, Education, Finance, Media, Data Centre and Refinery including Jet Airways, Reliance Jio, Essel Corporate, MT Educare Ltd, ISSL (Settlement & Transactions Ltd) and was the Founder of the management consulting firm, Axlient Consultants.

He has handled Business Restructuring & Turnaround Management & Internal Audits, Financial & Operational Review, Business Audits Process Improvements, Cost & Financial Controls, Strategic Decisions & Planning Payable Management, Commercial Evaluation, Treasury Management, Material Management, Budgeting & MIS and Taxation (both Direct & Indirect). Beginnen Media, Chief Financial Officer, Dinesh Bhutra says, "I'm enthusiastic to join an organisation which has a vision of creating a business model in the television industry that is innovative. Azaad has unique strengths, a strong business model and I look forward to working with the team to execute on the company's priorities as we hope to create India's first rural entertainment channel.

Azaad is available on DD FreeDish and select Distribution Platform Operators (DPOs) in the heartland markets and it is available on DD FreeDish on Channel No 36.

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