Universal Music Group makes senior level appointments to drive expansion

MUMBAI: Universal Music India (UMI), a division of Universal Music Group (UMG), has expanded its leadership team within India and South Asia in order to strengthen its position as the leading music company for non-film music within the region.

The move is also aimed towards accelerating the company’s growth across the original artist, non-film music and hip-hop genres in India and South Asia.

The company has promoted Vinit Thakkar from SVP to the newly created position of COO, India and South Asia, effective immediately. In his new role, Thakkar will work closely with Devraj Sanyal, MD & CEO Universal Music India and South Asia. He will be responsible for driving India’s overall content strategy, strategic initiatives and operational efficiency, in this rapidly evolving market.

Having joined UMI in 2012, Thakkar has held several senior positions within UMI and was instrumental in the launch of VYRL Originals, alongside acclaimed Bollywood Director Mohit Suri.

The company has also hired Gaurav Chaturvedi as VP, Domestic Labels for Universal Music Group

India. He will be responsible for leading label activity, strategy and releases for all domestic UMI labels. The role will focus on the expansion and development of VYRL Originals alongside several other key label initiatives to be announced in the coming months.

Based in Mumbai, Chaturvedi will report to Thakkar. Prior to UMI, Chaturvedi was at Star India, where he held the position of AVP Marketing for the sports business.

Devraj Sanyal, MD & CEO Universal Music India and South Asia.

UMI has also appointed Pranav Thakker as GM, New Business Development at Universal Music Group Brands (UMGB) for India and South Asia. An experienced branding executive within the region, he previously worked at TVF (The Viral Fever), Big FM and DNA (Zee Media). Pranav will report to Preeti Nayyar, VP, New Business Development, India & South Asia.

“We are truly in a sea change moment for music in India, with an audience that is consuming more music, video and content than ever before,” said Devraj Sanyal, MD & CEO, Universal Music India and South Asia. “Because of this we have worked hard alongside our partners over the past two years, to build and launch new sub-labels that put artistic creativity and collaboration at the heart of every release, and where artist’s voices and talent can be seen and heard, starting with VYRL Originals and Mass Appeal India and with further exciting initiatives to follow in the coming months.”

“Under Vinit’s guidance, VYRL Originals has become the blueprint for non-film music success in India, and I look forward to working closely together with him in his new role to achieve further innovation and success. The addition of Gaurav and Pranav to our senior management team will help expand the boundaries of commercial success for our recording artists, label teams and amplify the opportunities for local and international artists to reach new fans, both here in India, and also around the world.”

“Devraj and the senior management team in India have done an incredible job opening the door for non-film music to break into the mainstream and reach a new mass audience of fans in India, within the vast Indian diaspora around the world and hopefully beyond,” said Adam Granite, EVP, Market Development at UMG. “The potential for artist talent and creativity in India is huge and we are excited to support their efforts to bring original Indian music to the world and further establish UMG as the home for non-film music talent and success in the region.”

Sanyal and the UMI management team will continue to work closely alongside Adam Granite to identify further opportunities for UMI artists to reach new audiences and fans around the world, utilising UMG’s global network worldwide.

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