27 October 2020 12:01

MediAvataar's News Desk

MediAvataar's News Desk

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Will Remain with Disney’s Direct-to-Consumer & International Segment Through End of 2020 to Help Identify His Successor and Ensure Smooth Transition

Uday Shankar will step down as president, The Walt Disney Company APAC and chairman, Star & Disney India, effective as of December 31, 2020, it was announced today by Rebecca Campbell, chairman of Disney’s Direct-to-Consumer & International segment.

Over the next three months, Mr. Shankar will work closely with Ms. Campbell to identify his successor to ensure a smooth transition.

“I want to thank Uday for his leadership and dedication to our APAC business. With the successful launch of Disney+ throughout the region, he has helped put The Walt Disney Company in a commanding position in this dynamic and incredibly strategic part of the world. His vast experience and expertise have been invaluable in bringing together a strong, cohesive APAC leadership team to chart a path forward for our streaming businesses in the region and beyond,” said Ms. Campbell. “Uday has been a great friend, colleague and valued counselor to me personally, and I know I speak for all of DTCI when I say he will be greatly missed. At the same time, I understand and respect his desire to make this change. I am extremely grateful that he has agreed to stay on to help ensure a seamless transition.”

Commenting on his decision to step down, Mr. Shankar said, “I have always believed in the power of creativity and cutting-edge technology to create a better world and consider myself incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunity to do so at Star, 21CF and now at The Walt Disney Company. As I look back on this journey, I take pride in having set ambitious goals in my professional career, and achieving all that we set out to do. For some time now, I have been contemplating the question of how I give back to the country, community and the industry that have given me so much. I think the best way to express my gratitude to all of them will be to support and mentor a new generation of entrepreneurs as they set out to create transformational solutions that will have a positive impact on countless lives. I intend to partner with global investors and pioneers to achieve this.”

Since February 2019, Mr. Shankar has served as president, The Walt Disney Company APAC and chairman, Star & Disney India. Previously, he was president of 21st Century Fox for Asia and the chairman & CEO of Star India. He took over the leadership of Star India in 2007 and transformed not only the Star business into one of the largest and most successful media companies in Asia but has also played a significant role in revolutionizing the media landscape of the region with a great team, audacious strategy and meticulous execution. A believer in the power of local execution, Shankar led Star’s aggressive foray into regional and local language programming, transforming Star into a content powerhouse which now broadcasts more than 30,000 hours of content every year. He also consolidated Star’s sports broadcasting operations through 21st Century Fox’s acquisition of its joint venture with ESPN. Today, Star Sports is India’s largest sports broadcaster and is fundamentally redefining India’s sports ecosystem. In a notoriously single sport country, Star has launched multiple domestic sports leagues like those in Kabaddi and Football and has pioneered the agenda of creating a thriving multi-sports culture. Under Shankar’s leadership, Star has also made strides in disrupting the country’s digital landscape with the launch of Hotstar, which is now India’s largest over-the-top (OTT) platform for professionally produced content and has gone global in its footprint with offerings in the US, Canada and the UK.

He previously served as CEO and editor of Star News, which was the first 24-hour news channel in India. He was also the editor and news director at TV Today Group, where he spearheaded the launch of Aaj Tak, a leading Hindi news channel, in 2000 and Headlines Today, a leading English news channel, in 2003. Over the past decade, Shankar has played a key role in shaping the media and entertainment sector in India, bringing reforms for the industry and its consumers. A former president of Indian Broadcasting Federation (IBF), he is currently senior vice president of FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry) and in line to take over as its next president.

Mukesh Ambani is big winner with 73% rise in net worth

Amid the Covid-19 pandemic which hit India hard and led to a sharp economic contraction, half of the nation’s 100 richest on the 2020 Forbes India Rich List saw gains. Their collective net worth rose 14% to US$517.5 billion from a year earlier, even as the benchmark BSE Sensex stock index remained flat from a year ago. The complete list is available at www.forbes.com/india and www.forbesindia.com.

The list can also be found in the October issue of Forbes Asia and the November 20 issue of Forbes India. Mukesh Ambani accounted for more than half of those gains and remains at No. 1 for the 13th year. The tycoon added $37.3 billion, bringing his fortune to $88.7 billion, a rise of 73%. Shares of his Reliance Industries soared when, amid the nation’s lockdown, Ambani raised more than $20 billion from a string of marquee investors for Jio Platforms, Reliance’s fast-growing digital arm. Investors are now eyeing Reliance Retail, which has already raised more than $5 billion.

Infrastructure magnate Gautam Adani retains the second spot on the list by boosting his net worth 61% to $25.2 billion. Unfazed by the pandemic-induced travel slowdown, Adani, who aspires to be India’s airport king, acquired a 74% stake in Mumbai airport, the country’s second-busiest. Tech tycoon Shiv Nadar, who ceded the post of chairman of HCL Technologies in July to his daughter Roshni Nadar Malhotra, jumps three places to No. 3 with $20.4 billion as shares of India’s third-largest tech firm surged.

Radhakishan Damani of Avenue Supermarts climbs three spots to No. 4 with a net worth of $15.4 billion. The Hinduja brothers with $12.8 billion, round out the top five.

With a global health crisis raging, it is no surprise that pharma entrepreneurs fared well. The fortune of vaccine billionaire Cyrus Poonawalla (No. 6), whose privately held Serum Institute of India—led by his son Adar—has joined the race to produce Covid-19 vaccines, was up 26% to $11.5 billion. Adar, who is CEO of Serum Institute of India, is featured on the cover of the October issue of Forbes Asia.

Listed companies making drugs to treat the virus saw their shares jump. The biggest percentage gainer on the list was Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw (No. 27), founder of Biocon, which is set to start phase 4 trials of a potential Covid-19 drug. Her wealth nearly doubled to $4.6 billion.

The Covid-19 pandemic benefited fortunes in some other sectors as well. Increased data consumption by those stuck at home during the pandemic lifted telecom company Bharti Airtel’s share price by 42% in the past year and boosted the wealth of chairman Sunil Mittal and his family. He climbs three spots to No. 11 with a fortune of $10.2 billion. The net worth of M.G. George Muthoot (No. 26, $4.8 billion), chairman of lending firm Muthoot Finance, also rose as the demand for gold-backed loans surged amid a pandemic-induced cash crunch.

There are nine newcomers on this year’s list. They include Sanjeev Bikhchandani (No. 68, $2.1 billion), cofounder of Info Edge (India), which owns popular job and property websites, as well as siblings Nithin and Nikhil Kamath (No. 90, $1.55 billion), cofounders of discount stock brokerage Zerodha Broking. The new entrants also include three specialty chemicals producers Vinati Organics’ founder Vinod Saraf (No. 95, $1.4 billion); brothers Chandrakant and Rajendra Gogri (No. 96, $1.39 billion) of Aarti Industries, and Arun Bharat Ram (No. 99, $1.34 billion), the patriarch of SRF.

Naazneen Karmali, Asia Wealth Editor and India Editor of Forbes Asia, said: “Despite the double whammy of a plunging economy and a rising pandemic, India's 100 richest managed to increase their combined wealth this year. The new faces on the list are further proof that the Indian entrepreneurial DNA has the will to surmount the odds.”

More than a third of the listees saw their wealth decline, notably those with interests in real estate. A dozen dropped off the list, including Future Group founder Kishore Biyani, who sold the bulk of his debt-laden retail empire to Ambani’s Reliance Retail.

The minimum amount required to make this year’s list was $1.33 billion, down from $1.4 billion last year.

The top 10 richest in India are:

1) Mukesh Ambani; US$88.7 billion
2) Gautam Adani; $25.2 billion
3) Shiv Nadar; $20.4 billion
4) Radhakishan Damani; $15.4 billion
5) Hinduja brothers; $12.8 billion
6) Cyrus Poonawalla; $11.5 billion
7) Pallonji Mistry; $11.4 billion
8) Uday Kotak; $11.3 billion
9) Godrej family; $11 billion
10) Lakshmi Mittal; $10.3 billion

This list was compiled using shareholding and financial information obtained from the families and individuals, stock exchanges, analysts and India’s regulatory agencies. The ranking lists family fortunes, including those shared among extended families such as the Bajaj and Godrej families. Public fortunes were calculated based on stock prices and exchange rates as of Sept. 18. Private companies were valued based on similar companies that are publicly traded.



Panasonic, Dabur, LG Hing and Crax Fritts join TV9 Bharatvarsh in these tasting times

With Cricket bringing some cheer to us in these gloomy times, TV9 Bharatvarsh has added a desi tadka of cuisine in a specially designed initiative, Royals Da Swaad.

Commenting on the initiative, Raktim Das, COO, TV9 Studio (Digital and Broadcasting), said: “Confined to their safety bubbles, players are missing the taste of home-cooked food. And that’s why TV9 Bharatvarsh, part of India’s No.1 News Network, has roped in famous chef Harpal Singh Sokhi to cook up a fare for our cricketers. The chef speaks to the players, whips up the flavours they are missing and finally we share this recipe with their fans. We are happy to have leading brands as our partners for this initiative.”

Panasonic India, Dabur, LG Hing and Crax Fritts have partnered the network for Royals Da Swaad which will be aired on TV9 Bharatvarsh at 7:30 pm along with cricket stories.

Cricket in India is incomplete without celebratory feasts! And we are pleased to collaborate with TV9 for their show Royals Da Swaad by Chef Harpal Singh Sokhi to make their celebrations even more delightful through Panasonic’s AI enabled refrigerators. Our new refrigerator range #IntelligentHAI, as it understands and adapts itself to the needs of each family member distinctively bringing efficiency and comfort to the day-to-day lives of consumers. – Shirish Agarwal, Head – Brand & Marketing Communications, Panasonic India

Ghar Jaisa Swaad, Dabur Hommade ke Saath". Dabur Hommade, a brand trusted by millions of households for quick, convenient, great tasting home like food is proud to be associated with TV9 Networks special series Royals Da Swaad said Apoorva Singh Bais, Category Head – Foods at Dabur India Limited. The delectable range of Tomato Puree, Ginger Garlic pastes and newly launched Tangy, Spicy, Chatpati Dabur Hommade Chutneys range will tickle the taste buds as we partner this exciting show with TV9 Networks and renowned Chef Harpal Singh. So grab your pack of "Dabur Hommade Rajasthani Garlic Chutney" with your favourite snack as we embark upon this exciting journey !

Our special partner Laljee Godhoo and Co. adds a taste of its LG Hing, a loyal and trusted brand since 1894, to Royals Da Swaad. “Hing’ remains an integral part of any Indian Cuisine, Culture and heritage. I wish the entire team of TV9 Network for this show with Chef Harpal Singh Sokhi,” said Riddhi Merchant, Partner, Laljee Godhoo and Co.

And when one is watching cricket, snacking is a must. “Crax Fritts is targeted towards youth and hence the association with the special series would be aired during ongoing T20 cricket league. Audience will also get to see few recipes being curated using Crax Fritts by chef Harpal Singh Sokhi,” said Rajat Nanda, Chief Marketing Officer at DFM Foods.

“We are excited to collaborate with TV9 Bharatvarsh for this innovative content partnership of Crax Fritts with Chef influencers like Harpal Singh, who have built up a high level of trust with consumers within the gourmet cuisine space,” said V Narayanan, COO, Alliance Advertising

Staying at the forefront with meaningful content formats for its users, India’s largest digital products company, Times Internet has worked with Google to implement a fast-loading full-screen, interactive, narrative-driven digital storytelling format. Users can now access these stories on all 16 Times Internet Brands and also on Google Discover feed in Android & iOS Apps. When the user opens Google App -- they will see a carousel of stories that bring them rich, visual content.

Since its launch on Times Internet properties in April ‘20, web story content users have been spending 3X time across categories on its English & Hindi lifestyle, sports & entertainment platforms. After launching 400+ web stories across brands simultaneously within the first month, the group is planning to add web stories and innovative features such as contests, polls, quizzes, podcasts etc to 10+ sites to drive even greater engagement.

"Acquiring a user with high engagement is a big win for us. We foresee Web Stories to be the next big story-telling product with its high visual appeal across content categories, and expect it to drive significant advertising revenue in the near future." Rudra Prasad Kasturi, Vice President - Times Internet

Times Internet’s proprietary content management system (CMS) & ad-tech solutions offer the brand greater flexibility & control over its content & data. Its technology team has implemented the web story plug-in, adding detailed analytics, comprehensive search/recommendations for Images, editing options etc in a way that the group’s editorial team is able to seamlessly create compelling, brand-safe visual stories & narratives across genres & languages. The group has also created a wide range of design templates that enable writers to select a relevant theme for their visual stories to deliver the most immersive and relevant content experience to end-readers.

Kiran Bedi becomes India’s new most admired woman

Narendra Modi once again tops the most admired men’s list in India, with an admiration score of 15.20%. He has even strengthened his position in the global rankings by moving up two places- from sixth to fourth this year.

Among women, Kiran Bedi, India’s first female IPS, replaces Mary Kom (now moved to third) to become the most admired woman in India, with an admiration score of 10.49%.

Virat Kohli is ninth this year in the local list but had made a new entry into the global rankings at sixteenth.

Another notable name- Sudha Murthy has not only made an entry into the local women rankings in fifth, but has even secured a position in the global rankings, at the seventeenth spot.

Bollywood divas Deepika Padukone and Priyanka Chopra have surpassed Michelle Obama in the local women’s ranking to acquire the sixth and seventh place, while the latter stands at the eight position.

Akshay Kumar is the new entrant in the list of India’s most admired, coming from not being ranked last year to fifth on the men’s list this year. He has outperformed one of Bollywood’s biggest stars- Amitabh Bachchan (6th) and Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar (7th).

The Obamas are the world’s most admired man and woman

Barack Obama has deposed Bill Gates from his position as world’s most admired man for the first time since YouGov first started asking in 2014.

Michelle Obama holds on to her position as world’s most admired woman, having ended Angelina Jolie’s run of dominance last year. Jolie herself has risen one place since last year to second, with Queen Elizabeth II also rising one rank to become the world’s third most admired female.

Gates has only slipped one rank, with his fall potentially coming as a result of rumours that he is in some way involved in the spread of COVID-19. Chinese president Xi Jinping finds himself in third place once again, having previously held that position from 2015-2017.

This year’s study is our largest ever with more than 45,000 people in 42 countries and territories being interviewed to compile the list.

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has seen the greatest increase since last time, climbing four places from 13th to ninth. Human rights campaigner Malala Yousafzai has fallen farthest, tumbling eight places from 6th to 14th.

Entertainers dominate the female list, with 12 of the most admired women being actresses, singers or TV presenters (although some, like Emma Watson and Angelina Jolie, are also notable for their humanitarian work). By contrast, the list of most admired men contains more people from political, business and sporting backgrounds.

The results are calculated from the combination of responses to two questions – whether a respondent admires the figure at all and then whether they are the figure the respondent admires the most. Each nation's results in the global compilation are also weighted to represent the country's population size. (Full methodology is available below)

New additions to the top twenties this year include environment campaigner Greta Thunberg, pop stars Jennifer Lopez, Beyoncé and Shakira, actors Keanu Reeves and Scarlett Johansson, sportsmen Michael Jordan and Virat Kohli, Indonesian president Joko Widodo, and Indian charity head Sudha Murty.

Barack Obama is more admired than Donald Trump in every country, except one

Barack Obama’s rise in the rankings is mirrored by Donald Trump’s fall, with the current US president slipping one spot to 15th place globally.

The former president tops the global list in 22 of the 42 countries and territories surveyed, including the USA. Trump performs best in the US (coming 2nd), South Africa (3rd) and Vietnam (3rd), but only ranks ahead of Obama in one country: Russia, where he places 11th to Obama’s 15th.

Who is the GOAT, according to World’s Most Admired?

The results show that football’s greatest rivalry continues to be won by Cristiano Ronaldo, ranked as the world’s 6th most admired man, compared to 11th for competitor Lionel Messi.

Ronaldo ranks higher than Messi in 32 of the 42 countries and territories surveyed, and has led his opponent in the last three global studies.


From January to March this year YouGov gathered open-ended nominations from panellists across 42 countries and territories, asking them simply: “Thinking about people alive in the world today, which [man or woman] do you most admire?” These nominations were then used to compile a list of the 20 men and 20 women who received the most nominations and were nominated in at least four countries. An additional 5-10 popular local figures were added to the lists for individual countries.

Because the first wave of fieldwork was carried out before the peak of the coronavirus pandemic, some figures associated with leading national efforts to counter the disease did not make it on to the national admiration lists. This is unlikely to affect the global results, as such figures are generally only well-known in their own country and a candidate needs to be nominated in at least four countries to stand a chance of making the global top twenty (which it is less likely still they would have reached).

In fieldwork conducted from May to September we used these lists to poll each of the 42 areas asking two questions: “who do you truly admire?”, where respondents could make multiple selections, and “who do you MOST admire?”, where they could only pick one. These two numbers were combined into a percentage share of admiration, displayed to the right of each name in the graphic above and table below, which shows the full results for every country including local celebrities and public figures:

By asking respondents two questions, we can understand both the breadth (i.e. global reach) and the intensity of a person's support.

Altogether, we polled in countries that constitute more than seven-tenths of the world's population. However, some parts of the world were better represented than others, so we weighted up the impact certain countries had on the final scores and weighted down others so the global scores more accurately reflect the breakdown of sentiment in the world overall.

All of the surveys were conducted online, and in many of the countries the internet penetration is low to the point where the sample can only be said to be representative to the online population. The countries and territories where this applies are China (including Hong Kong), Egypt, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

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