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Viacom18 rejigs leadership team; Ferzad Palia to head all SVOD services

Viacom18, India’s fastest growing M&E network, today announced changes in its leadership team to focus on scaling and bolstering its digital and broadcast businesses. Driving the agenda of growing its digital subscription businesses, in his new role, Ferzad Palia will head all SVOD services (Voot Select & Voot Kids) and International expansion for Voot and will report to Gourav Rakshit, COO, Viacom18 Digital Ventures.

The network’s Youth, Music and English Entertainment business, comprising of channels that are leaders in their respective categories, will now be led by Anshul Ailawadi, erstwhile strategy and project management lead at the Group CEO’s office. Anshul will be reporting to Rahul Joshi, Managing Director, Network18, in his new role.

In its endeavour to become a future-proof organisation, identifying opportunities to drive synergies is crucial. Ferzad has led the growth of the network’s Youth, Music and English Entertainment business for the past 16 years. More recently he launched Voot Select that has already raced to add 1mn+ subscribers within a year. He will now look to cohesively grow Viacom18’s SVoD and International digital businesses. Anshul has played a key role in the growth of Viacom18 over the last 6 years and is a strong proponent of the tremendous fandom, and the potential business opportunity that the YME brands of Viacom18 command. In a young country like India, these brands have a long runway for growth, especially given the proliferation of digital platforms.

Viacom18 forayed into digital subscription businesses in late 2019 with Voot Kids that was closely followed by Voot Select launched in March 2020. Voot Select recently reported acquiring over 1mn subscribers in its first year and though being a late entrant in the category it’s the fastest growing broadcaster-backed OTT service. Youth, Music and English Entertainment portfolio of Viacom18 consists of category leading channels like MTV, MTV Beats, Vh1, Comedy Central and Colors Infinity.

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