Speakers | Indian Media Leaders eSUMMIT 2021

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Speakers | Indian Media Leaders eSUMMIT 2021


Director, WAN-IFRA South Asia & Director, The Printers Mysore Ltd., India.

Shanth Kumar has been a printing technologist, editor and director with The Printers Mysore since 1983. He has driven the editorial coverage at Prajavani and helped it retain a leadership position in Karnataka over the last decade. Under him, the daily has seen several developments, including a redesign and new supplements. Shanth is a director of the Press Trust of India, where he recently completed his term as chairman and Wan-Ifra India. He is a former chairman of the Audit Bureau of Circulation. He has covered the last eight Olympics as a photojournalist for Deccan Herald and Prajavani. Shanth oversees the Nettakallappa Sports Foundation, a charitable trust started by his father K A Nettakallappa, that promotes the Deccan Athletic Club and provides scholarships to athletes. He was a former board member of the Indian Golf Union (IGU) where he promoted junior golf in India. He has the distinction of representing India in golf as a non-playing captain at the Asian Games in 2002.

Director of Insights & Editor-in-Chief, WAN-IFRA, Germany

Dean is Director of Insights and Editor-in-Chief of WAN-IFRA, he is responsible for coordinating all activities related to the organisation's array of multimedia publications. He has more than 25 years’ experience working in the news publishing industry, much of that time spent researching, analysing, identifying and ultimately reporting about global media developments.

Executive Director World Editors Forum, WAN-IFRA, UK

Cherilyn Ireton heads up the World Editors Forum, the global network for editors within WAN-IFRA. She is a seasoned newspaper professional, having spent more than 20 years on South African newspapers, as journalist and editorial manger on the country's leading titles, the Sunday Times and Business Day. She rose to be Chief Operating Officer of BDFM Publishers, the business media joint venture between Pearson, owners of the Financial Times, and Times Media in South Africa which published Business Day newspaper, the Financial Mail magazine and Summit TV. She relocated to the UK in 2005 and owned an ran a London-based media consultancy, Presslinks, which advised a variety of international organizations and foreign governments.

Co-Founder & CEO, Quintillion Media, India

Ritu Kapur is the co-founder and CEO of The Quint and board member, World Editors Forum. She is also a Board Member at Oxford University’s prestigious Reuters Institute Of Journalism and the World Editor's Forum. She used to head Programming at History Channel, was Features Editor at CNN IBN, where she launched the popular CJ (Citizen Journalist) Show, among others. Kapur has been recognized by Outlook Business as "Woman of Worth 2017 - The Newsmaker".

Under her leadership, The Quint has grown by nearly 250% Year on Year in terms of both Unique Users and Pageviews, and seen a 100%+ growth in revenue, and pulled in some of the biggest clients in the industry. She has also driven the redesign of The Quint's website, founded the proprietary interactive microsite format "Quint Lab", and launched the health content platform "Quint Fit".

Along with being an accomplished leader, she has spearheaded many initiatives and campaigns tackling social issues. Some of her most successful campaigns are Register To Vote and Power Of 49, which championed a manifesto for women, who comprise 49 per cent of the population. Another significant initiative was The Quint's partnership with BBC, which led to the birth of #SwachhDigital India, a campaign against fake news.


Ritu Kapur has also strived to provide multiple platforms for free speech such as Talking Stalking, Bol and Citizen Q.

Founder-Editor, DT Next

Yagna Balaji is Founder-Editor of DT Next, an English daily from Tamil Nadu's Daily Thanthi group and the website dtnext.in. She heads the content for the website dtnext.in, as well as the paper’s other social media and online properties.

A journalist with two decades in the field, Yagna was instrumental in the launch of the Deccan Chronicle newspaper in Tamil Nadu in 2005. Under her leadership, Tamil Nadu’s first tabloid, Chennai Chronicle was launched. A decade later in 2015, she once again launched a brand new city-focussed newspaper for Chennai – DT Next. In a short time, DT Next has built a young and loyal readership, and is poised for growth across the state. Investigative reports, hard-hitting stories and a reader-first approach has been instrumental in the paper’s success.

Yagna has led workshops on developing communication skills, and has also been the recipient of awards for articles on developmental journalism. She has served on panels of graduate level media study programs to promote ethical journalism.

Yagna completed her graduation from St Francis College in Hyderabad, and her post-graduation in Journalism & Communication from the Symbiosis, Pune.

About DT Next: DT Next is a daily broadsheet from the 75-year-old Daily Thanthi group, which is circulated in and around Chennai. The group also brings out India's largest circulated Tamil newspaper Daily Thanthi, leading news channel Thanthi TV and the top rated regional radio station Hello FM.

Creative Diversity Lead and Journalist, BBC, London, UK

Nina is the BBC’s Creative Diversity Lead and is spearheading initiatives to support the Corporation’s aspiration that its on-air representation reflects society. 

Part of her role is managing the multi-award-winning 50:50 Project, which is currently the biggest collective action on increasing women’s representation in BBC content there’s ever been. More than 650 BBC teams from across News, Sport, Factual and Entertainment are signed up to the voluntary initiative that uses a self-monitoring data system to effect change. In addition, over 100 external organisations have partnered with 50:50 including ABC News, Voice of America and Fortune. 

50:50 is expanding its methodology to disability and ethnicity – an initiative Nina is leading.

Nina is also a journalist and, before her current post, was a BBC News senior producer. She has worked in media her whole professional career including The Sunday Times and The Sunday Telegraph.

Director, Digital Skills Agency, Australia

Corinne Podger is a results-driven consultant and training facilitator, through her consultancy, the Digital Skills Agency. She has a proven track record of supporting newsrooms, NGOs and social impact organisations in more than 50 countries to implement digital innovations that grow audiences and support business priorities. Corinne’s expertise draws on more than 30 years in the media industry as a reporter, editor, lecturer and author. Her specialisms include digital-first newsgathering, online verification, mobile journalism, social multimedia production, podcasting and audio storytelling, and strategic audience engagement that drives brand awareness and media revenue. Her clients include WAN-IFRA, Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union, European Journalism Centre, Thomson Reuters Foundation, BBC Media Action, and ABC Australia. She also works with science and public health organisations to tackle misinformation and disinformation. Corinne teaches on a sessional basis at the Universities of Sydney and Melbourne, and speaks regularly at international journalism conferences.  She is a firm advocate of media diversity and inclusion in all her work. 

CEO, The Hindu

He worked in Mindshare, Jakarta, Indonesia as leader of trading between March 2016 and May 2019 before coming back home to The Hindu Group as CEO from June 2019.  For him, this represents homecoming: he served this organisation between 1998 and 2006 in a senior position in Advertising and Marketing.  Going on to get a diverse media experience in radio, television, media planning and buying, and digital advertising, he brings with him the expertise and hands-on experience to play an effective leadership role in the Company in the face of far-reaching changes and challenges in the media landscape and in an increasingly interconnected digital ecosystem.

Before moving abroad in 2016, Mr. Navaneeth led the programming teams at Sun Tv Network's Kannada and Telugu language channels as vice president from September 2009-2015 . He has also worked with Radio One as station director and head of programming from August 2006-2009.

Mr. Navaneeth, gained varied and useful insights; thanks to working for traditional brands with heritage and enviable lineage, setting up a new business with an entrepreneurial outlook, working with entertainment brands that established market leadership positions in a reasonably short span of time and being part of businesses where the only constant is change.  He also used his time to consult a couple of startups in the Food and Beverage space. 

Executive Editor & Director, Malayala Manorama, India

Jayant Mammen Mathew is the Executive Editor and Director of Malayala Manorama Company, one of India’s largest media companies with a significant presence in Print, Television, Radio and Onine. He was the President of the Indian Newspaper Society (INS), for the year 2018-19.

Malayala Manorama is India’s largest selling regional newspaper with a daily circulation of 2.3 million. The company also publishes more than 40 titles in various languages and operates Radio Mango, Kerala’s No. 1 FM station and ManoramaOnline, one of the largest portals. Jayant played a major role in the company venturing in to television broadcasting.

He spends considerable time expanding the television business. MM TV, broadcasts Manorama News, a 24-hour news and current affairs television channel and Mazhavil Manorama, an entertainment channel. Both the television channels, have won numerous awards, including the best regional news channel of India. Recently MM TV launched ManoramaMax, the first Malayalam news and entertainment OTT streaming service.

In addition to his role at MM TV, he continues to provide leadership in Malayala Manorama Company, where he oversees several publications and continues to write for the newspaper on business, economics and technology.

Prior to joining Malayala Manorama, he was an Associate Editor at Electronic News, a unit of Cahners Publishing in New York, where he specialized in finance and technology coverage. His articles at Electronic News won the Gold Award for feature series instituted by the American Society of Business Publication Editors. Jayant wrote for Malayala Manorama and The Week from New York for several years. He co-wrote the Man of the Year feature for The Week that won a South Asian Journalists Association Award in 2000.

Jayant also worked for Bridge News, a financial news service in New York. His articles have appeared in several publications, including Business Week Online and The Economic Times. Prior to this, he worked in corporate finance for News Corp. in New York and Fox Television in Los Angeles. He received a BE in electronics and communication engineering from Mangalore University, an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh and an MS in journalism from Columbia University, New York.

Executive Director and Board Member, Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd

Mohit Jain, Executive Director - Supply Chain is BCCL Board member and core member of the Executive Committee, heading 5 major functions – Distribution (RMD), Production, Business & Commercial, Modernization and H&S (Administration).

 He is the Program Lead for multiple strategic cross-functional initiatives such as Cost Excellence, Operations Excellence (Sunrise) and Fire Safety. He leads company-wide engagement & ideation forums to harness the passion in people & strengthen their beliefs in fulfilling shareholders’ vision.

 He is also an active board member at the Indian Newspaper Society (Media industry body) for the last 15 years. He represents the company at various government and industry forums to mobilize opinion and build policy convergence.

 Previously, he has worked with GSK Consumer Healthcare, and was a member of the India Management Team.

 An MBA and Chemical Engineer.

Diplomatic Editor, The Hindu

Suhasini Haidar is the Diplomatic Editor of The Hindu, one of India’s oldest and most respected national dailies (www.thehindu.com), regularly writing on Foreign policy issues. Prior to this, Suhasini was Foreign Affairs editor and prime time anchor for India’s leading 24-hr English news channel CNN-IBN (2005-2014), where she presented the signature show “WorldView with Suhasini Haidar”, and Correspondent for CNN International’s New Delhi bureau before that.

Executive Editor, The Globe and Mail, Canada

Angela Pacienza is the Executive Editor at The Globe and Mail. The role includes oversight of the programming, editing and visual journalism teams. From breaking stories as a beat reporter at The Canadian Press to launching Canada’s first video wire service and overseeing a massive newsroom re-org at The Globe and Mail, Angela’s speciality is driving culture change to create more nimble, inclusive and forward-thinking newsrooms. Angela is a graduate of the Online News Association’s Women’s Leadership Accelerator program and a mentor with Digital Women Leaders.  

Indian journalist

Rohini Mohan is an Indian journalist who writes on politics, environment and human rights in South Asia.

For over 16 years, she has written for several publications and websites including TIME, The New York Times, The Economic Times, The Hindu, New Indian Express, and news channel CNN-IBN.

Rohini has a Masters in political journalism from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, New York, and a PG Diploma in Print Journalism from Asian College of Journalism, Chennai. She speaks four South Asian languages: Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam, and Kannada. She is based in Bangalore, India.

Rohini has won the Chameli Devi Jain Award for outstanding woman journalist, 2019.

Her first book is the award-winning THE SEASONS OF TROUBLE (2014), a nonfiction account of three people caught up in the aftermath of the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka.

​Her second is Mission Cycle, a children's book set in Kashmir. It's available in 5 languages.

Founder-Editor, Mojo Story

Barkha Dutt is a pioneer of television journalism in India. Anchor-reporter with 23 years of experience, front-line correspondent who has reported on war & conflict with special expertise in Jammu and Kashmir and India-Pakistan relations, she has hosted iconic television show 'We The People' and prime time shows like 'Buck Stops Here' and 'Democracy Live'.

She is the winner of dozens of International and National awards, including the Padmashri, the Asian TV award for Best Presenter and Best TV Show, the Association of International Broadcasting Award for Journalist of the year and the World Economic Forum's Global Leader for Tomorrow. She is also India's only Emmy Nominated Reporter for her work from Srinagar.

Experienced Editor with skills in Journalism, Writing, Broadcasting, Storytelling, and Digital Media, Barkha is now a featured columnist with the Washington Post.

She studied B.A at St Stephen's College, Delhi, a Masters from M.C.R.C Jamia Millia, and an M.Sc focused in Journalism from Columbia University in the City of New York.

Barkha appears regularly as an analyst on international television networks, like CNN, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, BBC and Al-Jazeera. She is also the Founder-Editor of Digital Platform 'Mojo Story'

Executive Managing Editor, South China Morning Post

Zuraidah Ibrahim is Executive Managing Editor of South China Morning Post in Hong Kong. She oversees the Hong Kong, Asia and International desks and also a Sunday magazine, This Week in Asia, which won the Best News Website award from WAN-IFRA in 2017. She was previously deputy editor of Singapore’s largest English newspaper, The Straits Times. She has published several books, among them Lee Kuan Yew, Hard Truths to Keep Singapore Going (2011), a monograph on the Singapore opposition (2017) and Rebel City: Hong Kong’s Year of Water and Fire (2020).

Senior Director of Engineering, The New York Times

He leads multiple engineering teams across web, mobile, backend and data to handle the digital ads business at the New York Times. Previously, he was the Director of Engineering for Ad Technology and a Development Manager of Engineering.

Before joining the New York Times in 2015, he was a Technical Program Manager in Tavant Technologies, US. Prior to that, he held various software engineer positions at Patni Computer Systems,  IBM and Fidelity, India. he hold a Bachelor of Technology degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, India.

Director, Data Insights Group, The New York Times

Mariam is a Director in the Data Insights Group at the New York TImes, where she supports the advertising business through data-driven insights and analytics. She and her team have most recently been working on the company's first party data program. Previously, Mariam ran analytics at an insurance startup in Boston and worked in management consulting at Innosight.

CEO, Jagran New Media

Bharat Gupta is the Chief Executive Officer at Jagran New Media (digital arm of the India's Largest Print and Radio Publisher Group, Jagran Prakashan Ltd). With over 100+ Million Users, Jagran New Media (JNM) is amongst the Top Internet Media Groups in India. Bharat has to his credit, 20 years of rich experience in managing and turning around several media businesses across Print, Radio, Ground Activation & Internet. Under his leadership, Jagran New Media is now the fastest growing News and Information Company in the Indian Digi-tal landscape and has received more than 16 awards and recognitions in 2019 itself. The company has also launched India's first Hindi Fact Check Website 'Vishvas.News' in December'18 and has now expanded into 11 Languages.

In addition to his role as CEO, Bharat is also serving as Director to the INMA South Asia Board (International News & Media Association); he is a Governing Council Member at IAMAI (Internet And Mobile Association of India), founding member of Digital News Publishers Association (DNPA) and on the board of the esteemed International Fact Checking Network (IFCN). He has also represented Indian digital media publishers at many global industry forums like WAN-Ifra, YouTube Publishers Forum, GNI, and Newsgeist Asia, where he has been actively ideating on Audience and Revenue Growth opportunities for the sectors in the region. In recognition of his achievements he was awarded 'Youth Achievers Award' at the Sixth Global Marketing and Social Media Awards, 2014.

Data & innovation Strategy, Google News Initiative, APAC

Sheena has been leading programs on the Google News Initiative since its launch in APAC in 2018. She has worked with partner newsrooms on programs that span the full spectrum of newsroom operations and strategy, from diversity, equity, and inclusion to analytics and data. She has designed and executed programs like the GNI APAC Subscription Lab, Design Accelerator & Data Labs in 2019-2020, helping newsrooms develop ideas for news products that serve the needs of both their audiences and internal constituencies.

Sheena's professional background also includes experience in brand strategy, programmatic ad technology, mobile app productization and sales, and media production - in both corporate and non-profit settings. She also possesses rich geographical experience having worked in different Asian markets including Tokyo, Sydney, and now Singapore.

South APAC Head - News & Publishing Partnerships, Google

Shilpa leads news and publishing product partnerships for Google in South APAC, including India, Southeast Asia and Australia. She is passionate about connecting news publishers with their online readers through world-class digital products and is committed to driving sustainable impact for news partners and for Google across Asia-Pacific's most vibrant media markets. 

Prior to joining Google, Shilpa held various leadership positions in the functions of business development, strategy and sales at major broadcast media companies, with regional mandates across APAC. Having worked in Jakarta, Hong Kong and Singapore, she is now based in Melbourne, Australia. Outside of work, she supports social causes related to education and loves traveling the world to attend music festivals.

General Manager, Piano

Alex Chapko is a General Manager at Piano Software, overseeing company growth, partnerships, and client relationships across India, Central Asia, Middle East, and Eastern Europe. Alex has been working with the Indian market for over 8 years, starting as a CEO of Newzmate - a content marketing cloud acquired by Piano in 2018. He is today working alongside hundreds of brands and content publishers across 30 countries, helping them identify and implement the necessary strategies and technology stack to improve audience understanding, engagement, and monetisation.

Chief operating officer, Digital, The Printers Mysore Ltd, India

With over 20 yrs of rich experience, Arpan Chatterjee currently leads the digital media business for Printers mysore, Prior to this he was with THG publishing, then Chief Sales and Marketing officer at Dainik Jagran newspaper, one of the largest media brand in India. Earlier, he also headed the inside sales & marketing across North America and Asian Marketings for eBay partner company. He was also part of the start up team at Webdunia.com, the first Indian language Internet portal  & technology services.

Promoter Director – Dainik Bhaskar Group

Girish Agarwaal is the Promoter Director of Dainik Bhaskar group and has been on the Board since October 1990. He has approximately 29 years of experience in the publishing business and has been with the organization for same number of years. He heads the marketing and related operations. He is also an active member of Indian Newspaper Society (INS). He holds the distinction of being the youngest chairman of INS for Madhya Pradesh region. He has also been awarded the Entrepreneur of the Year, for the year 2006 in the Media & Entertainment category by Ernst & Young. Further, he is also award recipient for "Outstanding Entrepreneur" in APEA (Asia Pacific Entrepreneur awards).

Dainik Bhaskar today is the 3rd largest circulated newspaper  in the World. The 1st and 2nd ranks are with the Japanese newspaper. And Dainik Bhaskar group is also India’s largest circulated newspaper group.

The launch story of ‘Dainik Divya Marathi’, Marathi language Newspaper of the group has been presented as a case study by Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Bangalore and was featured in the Harvard Business Review (HBR). Similarly, launch story of Gujarat (2003) became a subject of case study at the IIM, Ahmedabad.

Mr. Agarwaal is Managing Director of DB Power Ltd and has been spearheading its 1200 MW thermal power plant at Chhattisgarh which won the recognition from Government of India.

Chief Product Officer, Schibsted, Norway

Ola is a Chief Product Officer for Norway´s largest news site, VG. He has been in different positions in VG and Schibsted since 2004 and has been central in the digital transformation of a newspaper that is really sticking out on the international media map. Ola is journalist educated but came into VG with focus on editorial innovation and started his journey with contributing to building their successful video strategy and operation. After his position as managing editor for VGTV he joined the top management team in VG in 2014 as executive digital editor, working with strategy on how to shape the future of VG - from content to distribution both editorial and commercial. In 2019 he became the chief product officer in VG and managing a large team of product people, developers and designers. He is still a part of the management team in VG but now also a part of the management team in Schibsted Product and Technology. 


Digital transformation, content strategy and innovation consultant, WEF Board Member, UK

Dmitry is an expert in digital transformation, content strategy, and innovation. He worked for 21 years at the BBC in London where he was responsible for developing and implementing the BBC’s digital editorial offer for 40 non-English foreign language new services. Originally from Moscow, Russia, Dmitry worked in various editorial-development roles for the digital section of BBC News. These roles required liaison between editorial, product and strategy teams in order to drive innovation and develop new ways of reaching audiences, increasing engagement across the world and, crucially, driving culture change is newsrooms. He is an experienced digital leader in content creation, specialising in growing audiences across the world, driving editorial changes in newsrooms and adapting the way organisations work in digital space, especially around content innovation and audience engagement.
After his years at the BBC, he joined Culture Trip, a startup operating at the intersection of media and travel. He is now pursuing new adventures. Dmitry's main area of expertise is on the intersection between Editorial, Organisational, Strategy and Product sectors.

Founder, Editor-in-Chief & CEO, MxMIndia

Pradyuman Maheshwari is a senior editor and media commentator having worked with a variety of media entities for over 30 years. He has worked with The Indian Express, Mid-Day (where he was Editor and also Head of Interactive Services), the Sakal group in Pune, the now-defunct DNA where he was on the Editorial Board  and Senior Editor and Group Chief Editor, exchange4media.com. Since nine years, he turned entrepreneur with MxMIndia, a web-based publication tracking the media and advertising. He is also a serial entrepreneur, and in addition to various other things is also editing an online magazine for senior citizens.

His first tryst with the digital media was in 1996 when he set up the website for Mid-Day’s coverage of the World Cup. Since then he has been active on the internet space having set up Mid-Day Interactive and then with the leadership team of Aptech Internet. He has been on the jury of the Advertising Club Bombay’s interactive categories for over a decade and is an academic associated with many educational institutes. He is on the Consumer Complaints Council of the Advertising Standards Council of India and is one of the early evangelists of the internet and convergence. He lives in Mumbai with his wife, daughter and many digital devices.

Indian Media Leaders eSUMMIT 2021