KU Rao moves from DNA to Essel Group

Rao’s move to a corporate role at Essel is seen as a significant precursor to Zee’s renewed strategy to consolidate its news offerings

KU Rao moves from DNA to Essel Group

Zee is in the process of augmenting its news businesses and some believe that the move ahead is of consolidation of its print (DNA) and broadcast (Zee News bouquet) ventures.

The media conglomerate took two key steps earlier in the year in this direction – first was Essel Group’s complete takeover of DNA by buying out Dainik Bhaskar Group’s stake in the business. The second step was the high profiled appointment of Dr Bhaskar Das from BCCL to head its ‘news verticals’ in October 2012. While Bhaskar Das is responsible for Zee News and its channels officially, sources close to the development have informed that he has been actively involved in DNA’s operations as well.

Another noteworthy step that has come now is KU Rao’s move from his role as CEO of DNA to a corporate role in Essel Group as part of the senior corporate management. It may be recalled that Rao joined the newspaper in 2006.

DNA has made key appointments in the year to augment its revenue and marketing functions. Zee’s commitment towards the print business can also be seen in the fact that reportedly the newspaper is actively negotiating to buy Amar Ujala in an attempt to get a foothold in the Hindi print market.

Rao has already moved into his new role at Essel. He started his career in 1983 with companies such as Philips and Onida, essentially in the sales role. In 1994, he moved to Shell International Petroleum, where in his stint spanning well over a decade, he worked in several countries including India, South Africa, Singapore and the UK. Rao joined DNA from Shell.

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