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Exclusive: Vishal Gondal Quits Disney India

Vishal Gondal, MD (Digital) for Disney India, has put in his papers, Disney India has confirmed to MediaNama. Gondal was not reachable at the time of writing this post, so we’re not sure of his future plans. Samir Ganapathy, who was heading Distribution for the Media Networks business at Disney India will also look after the digital divisions business function; we don’t have clarity on his designation yet.

As a part of the restructuring of Disney India’s business under UTV, Gondal was made MD (Digital) along with Samir Bangara, also a part of the promoter group at Indiagames. Bangara quit shortly afterwards, in October last year.

Gondal is an investor in multiple startups, so he might possibly looking at expanding his role as an investor, or maybe even starting up again. Disney India had acquired Gondal’s company Indiagames through its acquisition of UTV, buying the 30% stake from Gondal and Bangara (together, the ‘promoter group’) for around Rs 94.56 crore.

Update: Gondal’s last working day will be June 30th 2013, and he is going to be an entrepreneur (and continue investing, we presume). Disney India has just issued a press release on Gondal’s move. That was quick:

Vishal Gondal to move on from Indiagames

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Mumbai, April 23, 2013: Vishal Gondal the founder & CEO of Indiagames & Managing Director – Digital of Disney UTV will be moving on from the company and his last working day will be 30th June 2013. Sameer Ganapathy who was earlier handling the distribution for the media networks business of Disney UTV will now take on the business function for the digital arm of Disney UTV.

The Digital team of Disney UTV combines all mobile, video, audio, broadband, ITV, games and virtual world’s initiatives and has a combined audience reach of over 300 million in India. All digital content across all brands namely Disney, Marvel, UTV, Indiagames, bindass including original content for web and mobile and games will be developed and managed by this team.

“Vishal has been a great founder and CEO for Indiagames. As we consolidate the digital, mobile and web play for Disney UTV in India, we plan to build on our creative prowess and transform the digital business to be a direct to consumer, yet working closely with all our partners, telecom operators, OEM’s and others. This is similar to our approach in our other verticals of movies, broadcasting and consumer products. Sameer Ganapathy brings an astute business sense and high resourcefulness to this position, which is key to meet the ever growing trajectory of the digital business in India”, said Ronnie Screwvala, MD – Disney UTV.

“Indiagames had small beginnings but a big dream. I cannot help but look back with a tremendous sense of fulfilment & pride, upon the long, eventful & exciting journey. I am really proud of what the team has accomplished. Excellent support from our early investors Infinity, IL&FS, TOM Online, Adobe, Cisco & UTV & the subsequent acquisition by Walt Disney provided us the opportunity to work towards our vision of making gaming big in India. Over last 18 months, we have spent time integrating the teams & set a platform for continued growth. Consequently, I’ve decided to move on to pursue my dreams & passion of being an entrepreneur”, said Vishal Gondal.

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