​Balaji Tele hires ex-Sony exec Pantvaidya to lead digital content unit

1 Dec, 2015

TV serials and movie producer Balaji Telefilms Ltd has appointed Nachiket Pantvaidya as the CEO of ALT Digital Media Entertainment Ltd, a wholly owned unit that will churn out original shows tailored for web and mobile users.

Balaji had floated ALT Digital earlier this year to target internet users in the age group of 19-30 years.

Pantvaidya will be responsible for the company's content, marketing, distribution and revenues before the launch of its services in 2016.

Prior to this appointment, Pantvaidya served as the business head of Sony Entertainment Television and Star Plus, head of Star Pravah and managing director of Fox Television Studios. He also worked in senior management positions at BBC and Disney. He is IIM-Ahmedabad alumnus.

Sameer Nair, group CEO of Balaji Telefilms, said Pantvaidya has extensive operational experience and excellent understanding of the entertainment ecosystem as well as the transformation it is going through. ALT Digital is on course towards creating a differentiated position as a leading digital entertainment content creator and distributor, he added.

Lately, the company has been making key appointments and ramping up its team. It had recently hired Sunil Nair as the COO of the company. Sunil Nair was earlier with One Channel Media LLC and previously worked at Reliance Jio and Star India.

In August, Star India Pvt Ltd, part of entertainment group 21st Century Fox, exited its investment in Balaji Telefilms, by selling its entire 25.99 per cent stake for Rs 107.8 crore ($16.9 million). Bombay Stock Exchange data show that Balaji promoters Ekta and Shobha Kapoor (daughter and wife of veteran actor Jeetendra) had picked up shares worth Rs 18 crore in the process.Radhakishan Damani, an affluent investor, and Sameer Nair (former chief of Star India) also acquired shares sold by Star.

Star had acquired a stake In Balaji Telefilms 11 years ago through its Dubai-based affiliate Asian Broadcasting FZ-LLC. 21st Century Fox is controlled by Rupert Murdoch. He also leads News Corp, the owner of this news website.