Vice assembles a team of 40 people to spearhead India operations, strikes partnership with Mountain Dew

MUMBAI: As it prepares to launch its full-scale operation in April, Vice India has said that it has assembled more than 40 of the best young journalists, editors, producers, and creatives in India to focus on content production, editorial, creative services and content distribution.

The company further stated that a local, young and experienced leadership team, deeply embedded in the culture of India, has been put in place to guide the operations in the country.

Vice India has also announced the appointment of Chanpreet Arora as CEO and Samira Kanwar as head of content. Arora and Kanwar will lead the charge as Vice India officially goes live next month.

It has also struck a partnership with PepsiCo brand Mountain Dew, a collaboration that will explore the journey of a real-life hero Arjun Vajpai as he attempts to climb Mt. Kangchenjunga – one of the most difficult summits to conquer.

Vice India’s planned local content will span conversations across topics like food, music, sex, identity, nightlife, arts, politics, literature, and comedy, showcasing the realities and diverse aspects of India without conforming to the boundaries set by multiple languages or cultures. It will produce scripted, film, news and culture content from India for television, SVOD, OTT and digital platforms.

“We are committed to building a company that speaks to a generation that is defining today’s cultural conversation in India and that is based on values of empathy, equality and inclusion. All our decisions, including choice of partners, must reflect this core belief,” said Arora.

“Content sits at the centre of everything we do. We hope to create content and experiences that matter to India’s youth irrespective of the language or regions we come from. VICE India will be a platform for young people to speak up, be heard and also feel at home with about their own identities and ideas,” said Kanwar.

Vice India will offer the full suite of creative offerings, including Virtue Worldwide, the creative agency born out of Vice. On the heels of work with partner PepsiCo, Vice India will seek out additional clients to bring its unique, authentic storytelling to the region.

“We are excited to be the first to work with Vice India, that aims to be the vehicle and voice for the Indian youth. This partnership represents the convergence of two brands coming together to tell an inspiring story of courage to millions of young consumers across the country,” said PepsiCo India associate director Mountain Dew Naseeb Puri.

“We are happy partnering with PepsiCo on one of our first content pieces in India so that the stories we want to tell reach out to the country with the help of one of India’s biggest and most recognisable brands,” added Arora.

Around the globe, Vice and Virtue Worldwide have provided creative content for several of the world’s leading brands, including ABInBev, Samsung, Uber, Airbnb and Google, among others.

The launch of Vice India also represents the culmination of cross-functional planning between Vice and The Times of India Group, both of which share in the VICE India joint venture.

Vice Asia Pacific CEO Hosi Simon said, “Vice India’s goal is to be deeply locally relevant for youth across all parts and cultures of India. We are very thankful for our partnership with The Times of India, led by Times Bridge. Together, we have architected as ambitious a launch as VICE has put together anywhere in the world.”

Times Bridge CEO Rishi Jaitly the arm of The Times Group which invests in and provides strategic market enablement for big, global ideas committed to India – including the likes of Airbnb, Coursera, Houzz, MUBI, Thrive and Uber said, “The launch of Vice India’s digital platform is poised to delight millennial and Gen Z audiences across the country from Day 1; the stories and experiences produced by Vice India will engage youth culture here in a manner not previously seen. We’re proud of our team and look forward to a breakthrough 2018.”

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