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...
After early career steps in consumer goods marketing, the smooth-talking Kapur honed his TV industry skills in a succession of roles for Star TV in Mumbai, Hong Kong and Dubai. His move to UTV in 2005 allowed him to learn from Ronnie Screwvala, one of India’s most dynamic media entrepreneurs.
Kapur took over UTV’s filmmaking operations in 2008, prior to UTV’s two-step acquisition by Walt Disney. When Screwvala stepped away in 2014, Kapur rose to become MD of Disney India.
After Disney began to enjoy greater success in India with its Hollywood movies, and struggled to make money from its local productions, the company exited the Indian film business in 2016. Kapur followed shortly after but in June 2017 announced his own shingle, Roy Kapur Films, and greenlighted three movies. He is also currently president of the Film and Television Producers’ Guild of India, where he has taken up the fight of excessive taxes he believes is hurting the Tamil film industry.