To me this is not a surprise and though Rishi is a dear friend, I am happy to see this change at Indiatimes for the positives. Positives for both the Brand and of-course individuals involved with this story.
I have known Satyan for about 2 years now and after having met him for various purposes including fund raising and just discussing various opportunities that the Indian Digital Market presents to its consumers, I saw a personality who was extremely focused, diligent and a keen learner of the space in India. And when I invited him for ad:tech New Delhi's keynote, I had a lot of people asking me various questions about this extraordinary man whom many did not know much about and all I said to them was see him at ad:tech and what a key note he delivered, the best I had attended in a long time.
His initiatives in the deals space is known to one and all and TimesDeal is slowly but surely becoming the leader in the daily deals space business. I am also waiting for his pet project Box TV to be officially launched on Indiatimes.
In him we saw a man who was forward thinking and progressive, in him we saw someone who was in love with the capability of the product, in him we saw someone who was hell bent on ensuring that the brand is perceived right and finally we also saw someone who was extremely down to earth. He knew the short comings of TIL and it's brands and he also humbly accepted them however what was clearly evident was he was focused in getting those short comings fixed. In his late twenties/early thirties, Satyan will bring in that fresh air that is required for Indiatimes and I have no doubt that he would do a wonderful job of ensuring he takes the brand to the next big leap it is focusing on. Here is wishing Satyan Gajwani all the best in his new role as CEO of Indiatimes.com.
I dont feel sorry at all on Rishi moving out because Rishi is a born entrepreneur and a great human being. I was surprised that he was enjoying his stint as CEO of Indiatimes when I always believed that he is an entrepreneur at heart. Having built UrbanEye from scratch to selling it Web 18 and then driving Web 18's story so passionately, I knew Rishi would always go back and create value, wealth and an organization that will have an entrepreneurial drive across levels.
Rishi is a dear friend and while I knew this would come at some stage, I am sure he will go on and build something that touches his heart, something that will then touch people's heart.
What he has done in the last 2.5+ years at Indiatimes is there for everyone to see, he changed the entire product look and feel, took bold steps in launching new products and services including his pet project Gaana.com and off-course went after what he believed in and did change the dynamics of how video is perceived by brands and agencies by taking the IPL digital rights. Whenever we spoke about those changes I have seen a twinkle in Rishi's eyes and what a big change it brought for the brand. Indiatimes.com became a clear leader in the audience growth story in India and off-course became the number one portal on comScore on several metrics. So I am sure Indiatimes will miss those aspects of leadership as Rishi moves on to start his own venture.
Both these gentlemen are awesome in their own rights and I personally wish them best of luck on behalf of iMedia Connection India.
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