Google Names Star India Veteran Sanjay Gupta Country Manager

Star India MD Sanjay Gupta - H 2019
Courtesy of Star India

The executive, who spearheaded the growth of the Indian TV giant, now owned by Walt Disney after its Fox acquisition, says he wants to help “India’s digital journey as it becomes an innovation hub for the world."

Google India said Friday it has appointed Sanjay Gupta as its country manager and vp sales and operations, starting next year. He will join the internet giant from Star India, which was long owned by 21st Century Fox until Walt Disney took it over when it acquired large parts of Fox. At Google, Gupta will replace Rajan Anandan, who left the company in April to join venture capital firm Sequoia Capital India as its managing director.

During his time as managing director at Star, Gupta played a key role in growing the company's television business and its extension into digital with the launch of streaming service Hotstar. In addition, Gupta was also instrumental in building Star's sports TV business via acquisitions of key cricketing properties, such as the Indian Premier League and launch of new properties, such as the Pro Kabaddi League, based on a traditional Indian contact sport.

After Disney's acquisition of Star, Gupta became country manager of Star India and Disney India. Gupta will start his position at Google next year and will be based in Mumbai.

"Our Indian operation is important and strategic for its own sake, but also for the innovation, which then feeds breakthroughs elsewhere," said Google Asia Pacific president Scott Beaumont. "We are excited to combine [Gupta's] expertise, experience and leadership with our teams and build further on our existing efforts in this highly dynamic, competitive and exciting digital economy, looking to build a more helpful and inclusive internet for everyone in India."

Gupta added that "it is an exciting opportunity to leverage the power of technology to solve some of India’s unique challenges and make the internet an engine of economic growth for people and communities. I am happy to join the passionate teams across Google and look forward to contributing to India’s digital journey as it becomes an innovation hub for the world."

Prior to Star India, Gupta had stints at consumer goods giant Hindustan Unilever and telecom giant Bharti Airtel.