Ashok Venkatramani to take charge of Zee Media from July 1

17 May,2018

By A Correspondent


Ashok Venkatramani

Former ABP News Network CEO and Hindustan Unilever top honcho Ashok Venkatramani has been appointed Managing Director of Zee Media Corporation Limited. The Board of Directors of ZMCL met on Thursday and formally announced the appointment to the stock exchanges, and the world. Meanwhile, there are reports of an expansion at ZMCL, and Executive Director Group COO Rajiv Singh will reportedly be given an expanded role and newer


Venkatramani, who quit ABP News in November 2016, will take charge on July 1, 2018. The contract is for a period of three years. Venkatramani, who is currently in the United States, is looking forward to his new role, a reply from him to us and other friends indicated.


An engineering graduate from Mumbai and a postgraduate from the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, Venkatramani worked with Hindustan Unilever for nearly two decades after which he joined ABP News, then called Star News, and the company, a joint venture of the ABP Group and Star India, was called Media Content and Communications


(MCCS). At HUL, the post he last held was Vice President and Business Head of the all-important skincare division. At ABP, he helped streamline processes and successfully transitioned the Star brand to ABP. Venkatramani has also done an advanced management programme at the Harvard


Known for his people skills, Venkatramani is known to be no-nonsense when it comes to deliverables and processes. This is what Punit Misra, currently CEO of the Broadcast Business at Zee Entertainment wrote on Venkatramani, his boss at HUL, on LinkedIn in April 2009: “Having worked with Ashok in two different stints, I rank him tops on his ability to build and nurture individuals and to create great performing teams. There are many things special about Ashok as a leader – always accessible and friendly, operating from the principle that people must be given support and space to contribute thier best, supporting people when chips are down, never hierarchical, willing to take risks and let people take risks, feet strongly on the ground but egging people on to go for the moon – and so many other things… It has been an absolute pleasure reporting in to a friend like Ashok – ‘coz he doesn’t treat you as if he is the boss!”


Former colleagues at ABP News are bullish about Venkatramani turning around ZMCL. “If ANN is a profitable company today, it’s thanks to the systems and processes Ashok set up. He may scream and shout a bit, but he gives you the kind of freedom that few bosses do. He doesn’t micro-manage at all and would judge you via periodic reviews. He also focuses considerably on training of his team and ensuring that they are adequate empowered.” Another ex-colleague said: “He’s not one who will sack people. So if there’s something that needs cleaning up, he will do it. And that’s what Subhash Chandra and the Zee management always look for.”



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