Gautam Chikermane has joined Reliance Industries as its New Media Director. On being contacted by Medianama, Reliance Industries has promised to get back with more details soon. We are also trying to get in touch with Chikermane and will update the article once we hear back.
An Exchange4Media report however suggests that Chikermane is looking after the digital media wing of Reliance Industries. Chikermane has told the publication that he will be involved in the roll out of RIL’s media platform. He said – “It is a matter of great pride and privilege for me to join India’s largest company to roll out what I believe will be India’s largest media platform”.
Prior to this appointment, Chikermane was the columnist at Inc for about an year and a half. Before that, he was working as the Executive Editor (Business) for Hindustan Times for about five years and was the Editor (Special Projects) at Indian Express for about three years. He has also served as executive editor for the Financial Express and Outlook Money and has 21 years of experience in the media industry.
He is also the director at the non-profit organizations Financial Planning Standards Board and CARE India, which he will continue to be as per the report. Besides this, he is the co-author of The Disrupter which interestingly is about the rise of Arvind Kejriwal and the Aam Aadmi Party in India.
Reliance Jio’s Digital Media Rollout
Reliance Industries chairman and CEO Mukesh Ambani had earlier mentioned that they had plans to offer digital services across various sectors like education, healthcare, security, financial services, government citizen interfaces and entertainment. The company had appointed former OnMobile CEO Arvind Rao as Head of Innovation in late 2012.
According to our sources, Rao, along with Aniruddha (Ajit) Nazre, was heading the content and data services side of the business. However Rao had left the venture last month before the services were even launched commercially. Jio appears to be taking a value added services approach to content by providing services like Live TV (Jio Play), Video on Demand (Jio World), web storage (Jio Drive), its own magazine stand (Jio Magazine), among others.
Note that Reliance Industries had previously divested a part of its stake in ETV channels to TV18 Broadcast, to secure preferential access to Network18′s content from all its media and web properties and TV18′s programming and digital content of all its broadcasting channels. There were also reports of RIL inking a joint venture with Disney’s UTV to offer content like games, Bollywood content and children’s content among others. Mukesh Ambani has also reportedly invested in the niche entertainment TV channel Epic TV.