Business India ×
  Magazine:
Media

Published on: Oct. 27, 2020, 8:52 a.m.
The rise of a star
  • Shankar: rich legacy; Photo: Sanjay Borade

By Arzoo Dina

He’s been credited with successfully building one of the largest, diversified media and entertainment houses in the country. And after spending well over a decade at the helm, it was announced recently that Uday Shankar would be stepping down from his role as president, The Walt Disney Company APAC and chairman, Star and Disney India effective 31 December, 2020.

According to a statement released by The Walt Disney Company, over the next three months Shankar will work closely with Rebecca Campbell, chairman of Disney’s direct-to-consumer and international segment, to identify his successor and ensure a smooth transition. 

The media veteran has a rich legacy in this space, having taken charge of Star India in 2007 as CEO and being tasked with growing the broadcast firm into a diversified media entity. Under his leadership, it is said to have grown to become a Rs18,000-crore conglomerate.

Speaking about his decision to step down, Shankar said in the same statement that he will be looking forward to focusing on mentoring a new generation of entrepreneurs. “As I look back on this journey, I take pride in having set ambitious goals in my professional career, and achieving all that we set out to do. For some time now, I have been contemplating the question of how I give back to the country, community and the industry that have given me so much. I think the best way to express my gratitude to all of them will be to support and mentor a new generation of entrepreneurs as they set out to create transformational solutions that will have a positive impact on countless lives.” He added that the intention is to partner with global investors and pioneers to achieve this.

Forays into new frontiers

Over the years, Shankar has guided the transformation of Star from a traditional media company to a disruptive and dynamic media house, leading initiatives in distribution through media, movies through Fox Star Studios, regional television through Asianet, consolidating its sports broadcasting operations through 21st Century Fox’s acquisition of its joint venture with ESPN – which has led to Star Sports becoming one of the most prominent broadcasters in this space, along with betting big on digital entertainment through the launch of the content platform, Hotstar (now known as Disney+ Hotstar) back in 2015, which has also expanded its footprint globally.

He also led Star’s aggressive foray into regional and local language programming, transforming the company into a content powerhouse, which now broadcasts more than 30,000 hours of content every year. During his tenure, several marquee sports properties were launched, including domestic leagues ranging from football, hockey, kabaddi and tennis, along with bagging the coveted global broadcasting and digital media rights of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

One of the key milestones was Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox, which included Star India and its assets like Hotstar, giving the company a leg-up in the cluttered and competitive OTT marketplace in India.

It’s been a euphoric rise for the media executive, having started his career in news broadcasting to crafting a unique growth strategy, complemented by his astute business sense at Star, and later on, overseeing operations spread across several countries. Since February 2019, Shankar served as president, The Walt Disney Company APAC and chairman, Star & Disney India.

Don't miss this

Cover Feature

Why September is crucial

The true picture of the economy has started to emerge. A lot now depends on consumer demand

Special Report

Markets on a new high

The markets, which have given a thumbs-up to the government’s policies, may hit the pause button for a few sessions

Focus

Island of distress

Lanka’s fragile liquidity situation has put it at high risk of debt distress

Corporate Report

JB Chemicals new formulations for growth

The company is all geared up to start its next growth phase

Our letter to you, once a week.
Register with The CSR Weekly for free!

E-MAGAZINE
Why September is crucial
Top Business Houses
Paytm The Indian Fintech Giant
FROM THIS ISSUE

Business & Industry

Corporate Report

Automobiles

Corporate Report

Education

Milestones

Social Responsibility

Healthcare

Goodyear India partners Americares India Foundation

Published on Feb. 2, 2021, 9:21 p.m.

The partnership will support COVID-19 healthcare facilities in Faridabad and Aurangabad

Environment

Tata Motors launches a 'Go Green' initiative

Published on Dec. 23, 2020, 10:34 a.m.

The company will plant a sapling for the sale of every new commercial vehicle

Women Empowerment

Tata Starbucks ties up with Educate Girls to empower women

Published on Dec. 2, 2020, 3:10 p.m.

The partnership aims to provide volunteering and educational support to those who have relocated to urban cities from villages

Environment

Indian Oil has a social initiative for a clean and green world

Published on Nov. 25, 2020, 2:53 a.m.

The public sector company is planting a tree for every retail customer visit during its TreeCheers campaign period

Climate Change

E-vehicles

Ola creates history

Published on Sept. 22, 2021, 3:38 p.m.

The company sells electric two-wheelers worth Rs1,100 crore in two days

Sustainability

Mastercard’s masterstroke for sustainability

Published on Sept. 22, 2021, 3:20 p.m.

Mastercard launches Sustainability Innovation Lab

Government and Policy

Kerry launches Indo-US Clean Energy Partnership

Published on Sept. 14, 2021, 8:31 p.m.

US senator introduces Bill to boost bilateral cooperation

Renewable Energy

Let a thousand Solar Parks bloom!

Published on Sept. 14, 2021, 11:08 a.m.

TN Energy Minister V Senthilbalaji says the state will have Solar Parks in every district

Stay ahead of the times.
Register with The Climate Change Weekly for free!