MUMBAI — The Walt Disney Company India has reappointed Mahesh Samat as Managing Director. Samat had left Disney four years ago to establish Epic Television Networks and was founder and MD of The Epic Channel, a Hindi-language entertainment channel focusing on history, folklore and mythology-based content.
Samat succeeds Siddharth Roy Kapur who is leaving the company to pursue other business interests. Under Roy Kapur’s leadership Disney endured a spate of box office flops and decided to end Indian film production, instead concentrating on distribution.
Samat will report directly to Walt Disney International Chairman Andy Bird. Starting on Nov. 28, he will manage all local businesses except ESPN.
“Mahesh guided Disney in India in its early days, and we are thrilled with his decision to return to the organization he helped build. We are encouraged by the opportunity we see to further grow our business in India and believe Mahesh’s entrepreneurial spirit, knowledge of our brands and franchises, and long-standing expertise in our broader operations will continue the momentum we are experiencing in this dynamic market,” Bird said.
“Sid is a pillar of the Indian entertainment industry and has demonstrated passion and commitment for the Disney business. We are immensely thankful for his service and wish him well in his next venture,” Bird said.