Sony Pictures Networks India Appoints Gaurav Banerjee as New MD & CEO

Industry Veteran Gaurav Banerjee to Succeed N.P. Singh, Pledges to Drive Innovation and Growth

Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI) has announced the appointment of Gaurav Banerjee, former content chief at Disney+ Hotstar, as its new Managing Director and CEO. Banerjee is set to succeed N.P. Singh, who steps down after a remarkable 25-year tenure in senior leadership roles at Sony’s Indian division. Banerjee will officially assume his new position on or before August 26, pending regulatory approvals.

Banerjee expressed his enthusiasm for the role, stating, “I am deeply honoured to take on the role of MD & CEO at SPNI. Under N.P. Singh’s remarkable leadership, SPNI has achieved tremendous success and innovation in the entertainment industry. I am excited to lead talented teams as we explore new frontiers in original programming, enhance our viewers’ experiences, drive our distribution footprint across India, and significantly boost our revenues. Together, we will set new benchmarks in entertainment and deliver exceptional value to our audiences and stakeholders.”

Renowned for his expertise in content creation, Banerjee most recently served as Head of Content for Hindi Entertainment & Disney+ Hotstar and Business Head for Star Bharat, among other channels. He played a pivotal role in commissioning successful series such as Aarya, Special Ops, Criminal Justice, The Freelancer, and The Night Manager, which propelled Disney+ Hotstar to become India’s leading streaming service. His portfolio also included popular TV shows like Anupama, Ghum Hai Kisi Ke Pyaar Mein, and Imlie. Banerjee began his career as an assistant producer and anchor at Aaj Tak, later joining Star News in similar roles.

His departure from Disney+ Hotstar follows the announcement of a merger between Disney’s Indian operations and JioCinema’s parent company, Reliance Industries. This merger, pending regulatory approval, is expected to bring significant changes in leadership and strategy, with Reliance holding a majority stake and Disney retaining a minority interest. The deal is projected to finalize by the end of 2024 or early 2025.

SPNI, the consumer-facing brand of Culver Max Entertainment, a subsidiary of Japan’s Sony Group, operates a diverse range of channels including Sony Entertainment Television, Sony MAX, Sony PAL, Sony BBC Earth, Sony AATH, Sony YAY!, and several sports channels. Its digital streaming service, Sony LIV, and production studio, Studio NEXT, bolster its robust content offerings. SPNI reaches over 700 million viewers in India and operates in 167 countries.

Ravi Ahuja, Chairman of Global Television Studios and President & COO of Sony Pictures Entertainment, praised the transition: “N.P. Singh’s leadership has been instrumental in shaping SPNI into the powerhouse it is today. I am confident that Gaurav Banerjee, with his proven track record and visionary approach, will continue to drive SPNI’s success. Gaurav’s expertise in content creation and strategic leadership will undoubtedly lead SPNI into an exciting new chapter of growth and achievement. We are thrilled to have him at the helm and look forward to the continued success of SPNI under his leadership.”

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