Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI) has announced strategic leadership changes ahead of their merger with Zee Entertainment Enterprises. This move is seen as a crucial step towards consolidating their position as a leading player in the Indian entertainment industry.
As part of the changes, Danish Khan, who was earlier the EVP and Business Head for Sony Entertainment Television, SonyLIV, and Studio Next, will now exclusively focus on digital offerings. In his new role as the Business Head for SonyLIV and Studio Next, Danish will work towards expanding the digital business’s footprint in both domestic and international markets, ensuring long-term sustainable growth for the network.
Danish has had two stints with SPNI, totalling almost eighteen years of experience. In his current term, he has been the Business Head for Channel SET for seven years and has spearheaded Studio NEXT and Sony LIV since 2019.
During the last three years, Danish Khan has achieved remarkable success in the digital business following the launch of Sony LIV 2.0. Under his leadership, the top line has grown by more than 300%, and the monthly active users have increased fourfold, making it one of the most impressive turnaround stories in the industry. His promotion as Business Head for SonyLIV and Studio Next is a testament to his success and the network’s faith in his abilities.
Meanwhile, Neeraj Vyas, Business Head for Sony SAB, will now oversee SPNI’s Hindi language entertainment as Business Head of Sony SET, Sony SAB, and Sony PAL and Hindi movies. In his new role, Neeraj will lead SET’s overall business strategy and collaborate with the team to fortify its brand and market presence. Neeraj has been associated with SPNI for over 27 years and has been instrumental in heading SAB, PAL, and Hindi Movies for the past six years, guiding the movie cluster to maintain a dominant position in the market while driving SAB’s exceptional growth with over 200% EBIT and close to 300% topline growth.
The leadership changes will take effect from June 1, 2023, and both Danish Khan and Neeraj Vyas will report to the MD and CEO of SPNI, NP Singh. An effective transition plan is currently in progress to ensure a smooth handover of responsibilities.
NP Singh, managing director & CEO, SPNI commented and says, “As we increase our focus on digital and prioritise our DTC (direct-to-consumer) services, I’m excited to share that Danish will lead Sony LIV’s growth and oversee Studio NEXT’s expansion. Moreover, Neeraj will enhance the value proposition of SPNI’s Hindi General Entertainment channels, including Sony Entertainment Television (SET), to drive growth and momentum in Hindi language entertainment. I wish them the best in their endeavours.”
The merger between SPNI and Zee Entertainment Enterprises is set to create a formidable player in the Indian entertainment industry. The combined entity will have a vast portfolio of channels, both in the linear and digital space, covering all genres and languages. The strategic leadership changes at SPNI are seen as a critical step towards consolidating their position in the market and leveraging their strengths to take on competition and create new growth opportunities.
As part of the merger, the new entity plans to invest significantly in the digital space and create original content for their digital platforms. The changing consumer behavior and the increasing penetration of high-speed internet have led to a significant shift towards digital consumption of content. With the combined strengths of SPNI and Zee Entertainment, the new entity aims to capitalize on this trend and establish itself as a leader in the digital entertainment space.
The merger between SPNI and Zee Entertainment Enterprises is set to create a formidable player in the market, and the combined entity aims to leverage their strengths to take on competition and create new growth opportunities.