Update: It’s official – Rishi Khiani has confirmed to MediaNama that he has joined Times Internet Ltd as CEO.
Original Story: Just a quick note: several people had raised doubts about a story we had done a month and a half ago about Rishi Khiani joining as CEO of Indiatimes. Note that we’re yet to receive any official word on his joining the company, though today is officially Khiani’s first day at Indiatimes. He’s at the Gurgaon office, we’re told, as is COO Sunil Rajshekhar.
From what we’ve heard, Khiani has been in Delhi for a while, and been attending meetings at the Times of India office at Bahadurshah Zafar Marg. The next few months will be rather interesting at Indiatimes: Khiani will have at his disposal, content – audio, video and text – from the largest Media conglomerate in India, but needs to ensure that units don’t operate in silos.
The opportunity is there not to become an aggregator of content, or a mere facsimile of print, but the largest Internet media company in India – much like Yahoo claims to be the largest Internet media company in the world. We would want to see better integration of content across BCCLs online properties, and for the company to bring readers in with the news, and building pageviews and time-spent through better integrated social interactions on the properties.
Though heightened expectations are a recipe for disaster, we do hope to see Indiatimes among the companies challenging Google as the largest Internet company in India, at least in terms of revenues. From what I’ve heard, Google India is believed to have a turnover of around Rs. 400 crores. The nearest competitor, at least in revenue terms, is probably Info Edge with revenues of around 273 crores.