The top editorial team of Forbes India – Editor Indrajit Gupta, Managing Editor Charles Assisi, Executive Editor Shishir Prasad and Director of Photography Dinesh Krishnan – were asked to leave the magazine on Monday and Tuesday, MediaNama learned from multiple sources within the magazine. From what we’ve heard from sources, this was largely down to issues relating to stock options given when Forbes India was founded, which vested after a four year time frame. However, speaking with MediaNama, Network18 COO Ajay Chacko said that this move was a part of the overall restructuring that happened when R. Jagannathan (Jaggi) who, after building FirstPost, took over as Editor-in-Chief of Network18’s Web & Publishing Division a couple of months ago. On the issues related to stock options, Chacko said that “There are going to be stories doing the rounds. There were always going to be some redundancies after Jaggi took over.”
At present, there is no editor at Forbes India, and the Forbes India editorial team is now directly reporting to Jagannathan. Assisi and Gupta did not take calls when we tried to contact them. Jagannathan, Forbes India CEO Gurmeet Singh and Shampa Kochhar, Group Head of HR of Network18 declined to comment for this story.
The deal between Forbes and the Network18 group to launch Forbes India was struck in December 2007, the editorial team, under Gupta, was put together in early 2008, and after rather long wait for approvals, the magazine was launched in May 2009.
Readers will note that, over the past couple of months, more and more content from Forbes India has been integrated with (or replicated on) FirstPost. The thinking in the group, it appears is that the focus going forward is mainly going to be on TV and Digital.
Forbes India has a noticeable news-making year last year – two issues in particular that we found noteworthy and led to commentary, allegations and consternation, as well as magazines being picked up from the newsstands, were the covers done on Flipkart and OnMobile.
Updates: an earlier version of this post incorrectly stated Prasad’s designation as ‘Deputy Editor’ instead of ‘Executive Editor’. The error is regretted.