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Murdoch links with Shankar for new venture

James Murdoch has linked up with Uday Shankar, the former chairman and CEO of Star India and president of Walt Disney Asia Pacific, to invest in technology and media opportunities in emerging markets.

Uday Shankar

It marks the first major venture from former 21st Century Fox CEO Murdoch since he resigned from the board of his father Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp last year, citing “disagreements over certain editorial content.”

James Murdoch, who is also the former CEO of Sky and Star, is now CEO at Lupa Systems, which has offices in New York and Mumbai, and has partnered with Shankar to explore opportunities in Indo-Pacific region.

The pair previously worked together building Star India into the region’s largest media company, prior to its sale as part of the merger of 21st Century Fox and The Walt Disney Company.

Shankar left Disney at the end of last year having overseen the launch of streaming service Hotstar, now known as Disney+ Hotstar. He is currently president of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry.

James Murdoch

James Murdoch was CEO of 21st Century Fox from 2015 to 2019. Previously, he served as 21st Century Fox co-chief operating officer, chairman and CEO for Europe and Asia.

Prior to his time at 21st Century Fox, James Murdoch was the CEO and chairman of Sky and CEO of Star TV, and he also served as executive chairman of News International. He is a director of Tesla and the Dia Art Foundation and is a member of many boards, including CNAS.

James Murdoch said: “Our collaborations over the years have been immensely rewarding for consumers, our various shareholders and our colleagues. I’m very pleased to be renewing that partnership now. As connectivity continues to accelerate and expand across South Asia and the whole region, new opportunities for innovation, across consumer sectors, will multiply.”

Shakar added: “At Star, we had the great benefit of working with the best and brightest Indian talent, combined with global vision and a desire to disrupt the old order. Digital technology promises to transform the lives of many millions of people in this part of the world and I have every confidence that we can harness technology enterprise, and tremendous talent to create a great business that is also great for society.”

Nitin Kukreja, MD of Lupa Systems India, said: “Lupa Systems set up its India presence less than two years ago and has already created a promising portfolio of technology investments. Partnering with Uday to build ambitiously for the long term will take us to another level.”

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