Sweet news on Sankranti. Uday Shankar joins James Murdoch to grow Lupa Systems

14 Jan,2021

By Our Staff


So where’s Uday Shankar going? That was the question everyone seemed to ask when he announced his decision to move from Star/Disney last year? But the two big rumours were him joining former Star India owners – the Murdochs and Mukesh Ambani’s Jio.

Some meetings with the Jio bosses are said to have happened, but we know we haven’t heard the last on this from the Reliance Industries headquarters.

In the meantime, Shankar took charge as the FICCI big boss, and we do know that he wouldn’t have assumed that position without something major that we was going to be doing.

So here’s News #1:

CEO James Murdoch and and the former Chairman and CEO of Star India and President of Walt Disney Asia Pacific, have announced that they are forming a new venture to explore technology and media opportunities in emerging markets.

The new partnership reunites Murdoch and Shankar, who worked together building Star India into the region’s largest media company, prior to its sale as part of the merger of 21st Century Fox and The Walt Disney Company.  Star now reaches 600m+ viewers every week and operates Hotstar, Asia’s leading OTT platform.

Said Murdoch in a statement: “After two decades of working in India and the region, at Star and more recently at Lupa Systems, it’s great to be entering into a renewed partnership with Uday.  Our collaborations over the years have been immensely rewarding for consumers, our various shareholders, and our colleagues. I’m very pleased to be renewing that partnership now.  As connectivity continues to accelerate and expand across South Asia and the whole region, new opportunities for innovation, across consumer sectors, will multiply.”

And this is what Shankar said: “James and I enjoyed a great partnership at Star and I am enormously excited to be in partnership with him again.  At Star, we had the great benefit of working with the best and brightest Indian talent, combined with global vision and a desire to disrupt the old order. Digital Technology promises to transform the lives of many millions of people in this part of the world and I have every confidence that we can harness technology, enterprise, and tremendous talent to create a great business that is also great for society.”

The communique misspelt Shankar’s name as Shakar, which perhaps is appropriate. Shakar is Sugar in Hindi, and this is a sweet piece of news for media watchers in India.

“Lupa Systems set up its India presence less than two years ago and has already created a promising portfolio of technology investments. Partnering with Uday, to build ambitiously for the long term, will take us to another level,” said Nitin Kukreja, Managing Director of Lupa Systems India. Kukreja, if one remembers, was with Star India/Disney and was the boss of Star Sports.

What’s News #2. Like you, we too are waiting.



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