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Tony D’Silva takes charge of Hinduja Group’s media biz

MUMBAI: Hinduja Ventures Limited (HVL) has appointed veteran media executive Tony D’Silva as managing director and CEO of its cable TV distribution company IndusInd Media and Communications Limited (IMCL).

This comes on the heels of IMCL managing director Ravi Mansukhani’s decision to move on from the company. IMCL CEO Nagesh Chhabria is also believed to have quit, according to reliable sources.

HVL is restructuring its media vertical to enhance synergy across its various media initiatives and is investing Rs 3 billion in the media business.

In order to consolidate all media initiatives, D’Silva is being re-designated as group CEO media of HVL. As group CEO media and MD & CEO of IMCL, D’Silva will be responsible to restructure the company’s entire media business and value creation.

Tony D'SilvaD’Silva, who was serving as president of HVL, was roped in to lead the company’s Headend-in-the-sky (HITS) venture. The HITS business is under Hinduja Group’s investment arm Grant Investrade, which had applied to the Information & Broadcasting Ministry for a licence to operate HITS.

The company’s HITS licence is still pending government approval.

While the official statement is tight-lipped about it, sources say that Hinduja Group is planning to merge its proposed HITS business with its cable TV distribution outfit IMCL.

Hinduja Group’s media vertical comprises cable TV business IMCL, film and TV production division IN Entertainment India Ltd (INEL), and TV distribution and marketing company Planet E Shop Holdings India Ltd (PESHIL).

IMCL has a pan-India presence with a reach of around 9 million subscribers in 32 locations and also offers over 300 channels in the digital mode (IN Digital) and about 90 TV channels in the analogue mode (IN Cablenet).

INEL is being established as a content development, financing and production company with a focus on film and TV content creation and financing in the first phase, and developing distribution infrastructure in next phase. INEL also houses the group’s cable channel CVO, IN Digital Classic and IN Digital Music.

PESHIL has obtained the government’s permission to downlink and distribute foreign TV channels and content in India. It offers total management of TV channels (uplinked from abroad), including exclusive distribution and marketing rights in India. It distributes South Korea’s English-language channel Arirang TV.

D’Silva, who has worked in Zee, Star India and Sun Group as CEO, will use his rich experience and skills to consolidate and scale up all the media businesses of HVL.