Universal Music India (UMI), a division of Universal Music Group (UMG), today announced a strategic expansion of its leadership team within India and South Asia, to reinforce its position as the leading music company for non-film music within the region and to accelerate its growth across the original artist, non-film music and hip-hop genres in India and South Asia.
Gaurav Chaturvedi has been appointed as VP, Domestic Labels, Universal Music Group India, responsible for leading label activity, strategy and releases for all domestic UMI labels effective immediately. The role will focus on the expansion and development of VYRL Originals alongside several other key label initiatives to be announced in the coming months. Chaturvedi will be based in Mumbai and will report to Vinit Thakkar.
Chaturvedi joins UMI from Indian Media conglomerate, Star India Pvt Ltd where he held the position of Assistant Vice-president Marketing and was responsible for leading marketing strategy and activation for their Star Sports network across all major sports verticals; Cricket, Kabaddi & Football to the channel’s global audience. Prior to joining Star India in 2013, he held senior marketing positions at Sony Music Entertainment India and Zee Entertainment.
To further enhance UMI’s capabilities across brand partnerships and artist campaigns, Pranav Thakker has been appointed as General Manager, New Business Development at Universal Music Group Brands (UMGB) for India and South Asia. An experienced branding executive within the region, Pranav previously worked at TVF (The Viral Fever), Big FM and DNA (Zee Media Ltd) and will report to Preeti Nayyar, Vice President, New Business Development, India & South Asia.
Taking to the ocassion, Vinit Thakkar says, “This is an exciting time for Indian artists and music, and we are looking forward to further expanding the horizons of what is possible to achieve with VYRL Originals and our other domestic labels. I am very proud that our efforts have resulted in creating a culture and category of non-film music in India. I am very excited about my new role whereby alongside Devraj, I will be responsible for driving UMG’s strategic expansion in the region.”
Sanyal and the UMI management team will continue to work closely alongside Adam Granite to identify further opportunities for UMI artists to reach new audiences and fans around the world, utilizing UMG’s unrivalled global network of industry leading businesses spanning more than 60 countries worldwide.
Adam Granite, Executive Vice President, Market Development at UMG said, “Devraj and the senior management team in India have done an incredible job opening the door for non-film music to break into the mainstream and reach a new mass audience of fans in India, within the vast Indian diaspora around the world and hopefully beyond. The potential for artist talent and creativity in India is huge and we are excited to support their efforts to bring original Indian music to the world and further establish UMG as the home for non-film music talent and success in the region.”
Additionally, Vinit Thakkar has also been promoted from SVP to the newly created position of COO, India and South Asia, effective immediately. Prior to joining UMG in 2012, Thakkar held positions at Sony Music, Citibank and Titan. Thakkar has held several senior positions within UMI and was instrumental in the launch of VYRL Originals.
Based in Mumbai, in his new role, he will work closely with Devraj Sanyal, MD & CEO Universal Music India and South Asia, and shall report to Sanyal. Thakkar will be responsible for driving India’s overall content strategy, strategic initiatives and operational efficiency, to ensure that UMI continues to lead and innovate in this rapidly evolving market.
Announcing the changes, Sanyal said, “I am thrilled to announce these strategic appointments, as we look to marry our ambition to increase the scale and reach of original music in India and our continued focus and commitment to domestic A&R, with real action to help revolutionize the listening experience for Indian music fans. Under Vinit’s guidance, VYRL Originals has become the blueprint for non-film music success in India, and I look forward to working closely together with him in his new role to achieve further innovation and success. The addition of Gaurav and Pranav to our senior management team will help expand the boundaries of commercial success for our recording artists, label teams and amplify the opportunities for local and international artists to reach new fans, both here in India, and also around the world.”
Through these strategic initiatives and executive appointments, UMI is accelerating the company’s focus on growing the entire music ecosystem including recorded music, music publishing, production, live events, brand partnerships and merchandising efforts throughout India.