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Last Updated : Nov 08, 2019 05:31 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Exclusive: Google India appoints former Star and Disney head Sanjay Gupta as new Country Manager

Gupta played an important role in making it the country’s largest media company.

After keeping its top India position vacant for eight months, Google has appointed Sanjay Gupta as its new country manager and vice president of sales and operations. Gupta succeeds Rajan Anandan, who left Google to join Sequoia Capital India as its managing director.

Gupta joins Google from Star and Disney India, where he was the company’s managing director. At Star and Disney, Gupta played an important role in making it the country’s largest media company and increased its digital footprint with Hotstar, which is India’s largest OTT platform. He also built Star’s sports business through acquisitions of cricketing properties and launch of the Pro-Kabaddi League and football league, Indian Super League.

“I am delighted to take on the challenge of leading and shaping Google’s charter in India. It is an exciting opportunity to leverage the power of technology to solve some of India’s unique challenges and make Internet an engine of economic growth for people and communities,” Gupta said in an emailed statement. “I am happy to join the passionate teams across Google and look forward to contributing to India’s digital journey as it becomes an innovation hub for the world.”

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“Our Indian operation is important and strategic for its own sake but also for the innovation which then feeds breakthroughs elsewhere in Google,” said Scott Beaumont, President of APAC at Google. He added that Gupta’s experience and leadership would help in strengthening Google’s position in the highly dynamic, competitive and exciting digital economy, to build a more helpful and inclusive Internet for everyone in India.

Gupta’s move comes less than a year after Hotstar’s former head, Ajit Mohan, joined Facebook, Google’s arch-rival. Mohan reported to Gupta. After joining Facebook, Mohan has focussed on building revenue for Facebook. Moneycontrol had reported earlier that the social media giant is targeting to close the year at $1.1 billion in revenue in India.

In 2018-19, Google's revenue from sales of advertisements was Rs 9,203 crore, according to the Registrar of Companies filings. In 2017-18, the company had reported a gross revenue of Rs 9,338.

Given his background, Gupta’s role will be critical in keeping Google ahead of the pack. In a career spanning more than three decades, Gupta has also worked at Hindustan Unilever from where he moved to Bharti Airtel as the chief marketing officer for the mobile business. He did his engineering from Delhi College of Engineering and his management degree from Indian Institute of Management, Kolkata.

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First Published on Nov 8, 2019 12:09 pm
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