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Gaana strengthens management, appoints Sandeep Lodha as new CEO

Brings in former Times Internet executives Vivek Pandey as COO, and Ram Awasthi as CTO

Music streaming app Gaana has strengthened its management by appointing Sandeep Lodha as its new CEO and brought in former Times Internet executives Vivek Pandey as COO, and Ram Awasthi as CTO.

By strengthening the leadership, Gaana has now set its sight firm on tapping the country’s unprecedented potential in the OTT sector. All the three leaders bring with them almost 60 years of rich experience that is poised to provide Gaana with the growth impetus.

Gautam Sinha CEO Times Internet, said, “The Indian OTT ecosystem is about as exciting, dynamic, and competitive as it has ever been. We have seen an amazing batch of OTT brands develop and flourish over the last few years, and we have seen unprecedented interest from global companies keen to tap into the Indian consumer opportunity. At Gaana, we are equally excited about our next stage of tech-led relationships with users, content producers and advertisers with Gaana. Our new CEO Sandeep’s experience leading hyper-growth brands such as Disney and Oyo, Vivek's 360-degree product, growth and monetisation experience, and Ram’s strong and visionary leadership in technology make us believe we can achieve the audacious goals we have set for the brand in the coming years.”

From the media and entertainment industry, Lodha has 22 years of rich experience in scaling brands in hyper-growth sectors with Disney, Bain & Company, & Intel Capital. Sandeep founded and created India’s largest wedding co which he then sold to OYO. The brand scaled 14X within 15 months post acquisition, while Disney’s consumer products business grew by a healthy 50% YOY under his leadership. Lodha holds an MBA from The Wharton Business School of the University of Pennsylvania, and BTech from IIT Delhi.

Pandey has been the Vice-President of Revenue Strategy and Analytics at Times Internet, also managing TIL's AdTech stack. He has contributed towards the goal of increasing the group’s reach to a billion Indians and monetising this reach effectively through revenue initiatives. He has also been instrumental in major digital transformations at companies like Tata Cliq, MakeMyTrip and Indiatimes Shopping.

Awasthi has hands-on experience in envisioning, architecting and delivering a broad range of distributed, internet scale and real time applications. In his earlier role, he was responsible for leading new business initiatives and setting up high performance technology teams and evaluation of tech stacks for different business units under Times Internet, technology evaluation for new business acquisitions, integration of central services to different business units, responsible for cyber security of all Times Internet businesses and acquired businesses.

With over four decades of combined experience between them, Pandey and Awasthi have been the key pillars of the Times Internet’s central leadership team, having set up and led high performance analytical product, marketing and technology teams for the group over the years.

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