Ajit Andhare joins Viacom18 Motion Pictures as COO
Ajit Andhare has been appointed as the chief operating officer of Viacom18 Motion Pictures, a part of Viacom18 Media, one of India’s leading entertainment companies.
Joining today, Andhare will be responsible for the growth and profitability of Viacom18 Motion Pictures and will be reporting to Viacom18 Media Group CEO Sudhanshu Vats. In this role, Ajit will also lead Viacom18 Motion Pictures’ distribution alliance with Paramount Pictures.
He replaces Vikram Malhotra, who put-in his papers, some time back, to pursue his entrepreneurial interests. Andhare had last week stepped down from his post as Colosceum Media CEO which he founded, along with Capital18.
Said Vats on Andhare’s appointment, “In Ajit, we’ve found the right leader to drive Viacom18 Motion Pictures to the next level of growth and profitability. His passion for films coupled with his education and experience across varied fields like engineering, marketing and creative production give him the edge to build a business that would become a benchmark in the industry.”
With an experience of over 17 years in FMCG and media, Andhare has worked with Unilever in India and Asia Pacific region for over 12 years across sales, general management and marketing roles. He holds an MBA from the Indian School of Business & B Tech from REC Rourkela.
Speaking on his appointment, Andhare averred, “The fundamentals of the motion picture business in India are improving with growth in digital distribution, multiplex screens, emerging digital platforms and above all success of high content cinema. It’s a great opportunity to lead one of the country’s premier studios recognised for its distinguished work in this exciting context.”
Over the last two years, Viacom18 Motion Pictures has had hits like ‘Tanu Weds Manu’, ‘Pyaar Ka Punchnama’, ‘Shaitan’; and super hits like ‘Kahaani’, ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’, ‘OMG – Oh My God!’, ‘Son of Sardaar’ and the recently released ‘Special 26’ and ‘Saheb Biwi Gangster Returns’.
Through its strategic alliance with Paramount Pictures, Viacom18 Motion Pictures also released some of the biggest Hollywood grosses in India, like ‘Transformers: Dark of the Moon’ and ‘Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol’.