Uday Shankar teams up with Lupa Systems' James Murdoch for tech & media venture

The two have previously partnered for Star India

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Jan 14, 2021 11:16 AM
james uday

Lupa Systems CEO James Murdoch and Uday Shankar, the former Chairman and CEO of Star India and President of Walt Disney Asia Pacific, are forming a new venture to explore technology and media opportunities in emerging markets.

The new partnership reunites Murdoch and Shankar, who worked together building Star India into the region's largest media company, prior to its sale as part of the merger of 21st Century Fox and The Walt Disney Company.  Star now reaches 600m+ viewers every week and operates Hotstar, Asia's leading OTT platform.

"After two decades of working in India and the region, at Star and more recently at Lupa Systems, it's great to be entering into a renewed partnership with Uday.  Our collaborations over the years have been immensely rewarding for consumers, our various shareholders, and our colleagues. I'm very pleased to be renewing that partnership now.  As connectivity continues to accelerate and expand across South Asia and the whole region, new opportunities for innovation, across consumer sectors, will multiply," said James Murdoch.

"James and I enjoyed a great partnership at Star and I am enormously excited to be in partnership with him again. At Star, we had the great benefit of working with the best and brightest Indian talent, combined with a global vision and a desire to disrupt the old order. Digital Technology promises to transform the lives of many millions of people in this part of the world and I have every confidence that we can harness technology, enterprise, and tremendous talent to create a great business that is also great for society," said Uday Shakar.

"Lupa Systems set up its India presence less than two years ago and has already created a promising portfolio of technology investments. Partnering with Uday, to build ambitiously for the long term, will take us to another level," said Nitin Kukreja, Managing Director of Lupa Systems India.

Lupa Systems is a private holding company founded in 2019 by James Murdoch, the former CEO of 21st Century Fox, Sky plc, and STAR. The company has offices in New York and Mumbai. Collectively, the Lupa team has extensive experience building and scaling businesses across the globe in multiple industries. Lupa focuses on companies within the technology and media industries, impact-driven companies focused on environmental sustainability, and emerging markets, particularly within the Indo-Pacific region.

Uday Shankar left Disney on December 31, 2020, and announced that he will be moving to an entrepreneurial career where, with funding from global investors, he would support founders to create transformational solutions.  A journalist by training, Uday led and transformed television: he took over as CEO of Star India in 2007 and transformed the company's broadcast operations, and made Star India one of the biggest media and entertainment companies in Asia.  He subsequently led 21st Century Fox's operations throughout Asia.  Uday was appointed President of Walt Disney Asia Pacific when the Walt Disney Company acquired 21st Century Fox. Under his leadership, Star launched Hotstar – now Disney+ Hotstar –one of the most successful streaming services globally.  Uday currently serves as the President of the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FICCI).

James Murdoch is an investor and philanthropist. After more than two decades of global leadership in the media and technology industries, James Murdoch founded Lupa Systems as a private holding company. Mr. Murdoch most recently served as CEO of 21st Century Fox from 2015 to 2019; previously he served as 21st Century Fox Co-COO, Chairman and CEO for Europe and Asia. Prior to his time at 21st Century Fox, Mr. Murdoch was the CEO and Chairman of Sky, and CEO of STAR TV. He is a Director of Tesla, the Dia Art Foundation, and a member of many boards, including CNAS. James and his wife, Kathryn Murdoch, are founders of Quadrivium, a foundation that invests in democracy reform, technology and society, scientific awareness, and climate and ocean health issues.

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