As per Disney Star, the changes will allow the company to create a streamlined approach to its revenue, marketing and operations functions
Sumanta Bose has been assigned the additional responsibility of leading content for Disney+ Hotstar Hindi specials portfolio
Mani Rangarajan will assume complete oversight of technology and operations verticals for the Disney cluster
Following the exit of senior executive Kevin Vaz in April, entertainment giant Disney Star has reportedly undertaken a massive internal reshuffle at the organisation.
In an internal email seen by Livemint, Disney Star’s country manager K Madhavan communicated a host of leadership changes to its employees, which are expected to streamline operations at the company.
“The following changes will allow us to create a more efficient and streamlined approach to our revenue, marketing and operations functions,” the email read.
In addition to leading Disney+Hotstar, Gaurav Banerjee has been entrusted with additional charge of handling Star Bharat, Hindi and English movies cluster, kids and infotainment and the Eastern regional portfolio comprising Star Jalsha and Star Kiran. He will continue to report to Madhavan.
While Sumanta Bose has been assigned the additional responsibility of leading content for Disney+ Hotstar Hindi specials, Krishnan Kutty has been appointed as the business and content head of Disney+Hotstar’s specials category for the entire South and Marathi portfolio.
While Kutty will report directly to Madhavan, Bose will report to Banerjee with an additional line of reporting to Disney+ Hotstar head Sajith Sivanandan.
Besides, Mani Rangarajan will assume complete oversight of technology and operations verticals for the Disney cluster. As a result, the head of traffic and presentation, Vivek Dhaimade, and the head of broadcast technology and operations, Gajendra Tijare, will report to Rangarajan.
Additionally, apart from her current role as the head of creative communications, Minakshi Achan has been given the additional charge of social listening.
Meanwhile, senior executive Alok Jain, who looked after regional portfolios such as Star MAA, Star Jalsha, Star Kiran and Star Suvarna, has left the company.
It is pertinent to note that Disney Star is the Indian arm of the media and entertainment conglomerate Walt Disney Co. The local subsidiary owns a basket of offerings from streaming services to general entertainment channels (GECs) in different languages and across demographics.
The development comes at a time when the space is witnessing renewed competition in the wake of Reliance-backed JioCinema’s entry. The tug of war over cricket streaming rights between Viacom18 and Disney Star has also cost the latter dearly as it lost 4.6 Mn subscribers between February 2023 and April 2023.
Despite the headwinds, Disney+Hotstar’s focus on vernacular content continues to yield results even as other global players continue to struggle with increasing subscribers despite offering cheap plans.
In addition, low average revenue per user (ARPU) also seems to have pummelled the revenue growth even as experts hint at a likely consolidation in the space. Amid all this, the streaming seems to be focussed on padding revenues while scaling down losses.
Novi Digital Entertainment, which operates the video streaming service, saw its net losses decline 43% year-on-year (YoY) to INR 343.16 Cr in the financial year 2021-22 (FY22), down from INR 600.77 Cr reported in FY21. Alongside, its operating soared 93% YoY to INR 3,220.41 Cr in FY22, up from INR 1,670.53 Cr during the previous fiscal year.