by Priya Jadhav
Bengaluru, December 2019: OML today announced the appointment of Gunjan Arya as its Chief Executive Officer, Dhruv Sheth as the Chief Operating Officer and Saurabh Abbi as the Chief Business Officer (New Initiatives and International Business). The newly elevated leadership team — all Managing Partners at OML prior to these appointments — will take on their new roles with immediate effect, leading OML into its next phase of growth and expansion. Ajay Nair will continue in his role as Managing Director of the company, focusing on new opportunities for the company.
In her new role as CEO, Gunjan will take on the overall responsibility of running and leading OML, devising and executing the growth strategy for the company with support from Dhruv Sheth and Saurabh Abbi in their new roles as COO and CBO respectively. The live events, brand solutions, global creator network teams and HR will continue reporting to her directly. In the business of building brands since the age of 16, Gunjan has formerly worked with a number of global and Indian ad agencies including, Arnold Worldwide in Boston and chlorophyll in India. Her love for sculpting brand solutions also galvanised her to launch her own company in 2009 -- ‘Design of Information’, which won several coveted awards globally. A part of OML since 2015, Gunjan has been instrumental in helping the company transform itself from a homegrown Indian company to a global company, setting up one of its fastest growing verticals — the Global Creator Network — that has presence in over 22 countries. She has also been a key member of the live events team – from the design of the very first BACARDÍ NH7 Weekender festival, to today leading the business vertical that runs over 300+ shows every year. Gunjan will continue to be a part of the board of directors at OML, and support Nair in OML’s international expansion.
As COO, Dhruv will continue to oversee the content division at OML as well as supervise the finance and legal functions. Additionally, Dhruv will lead the integrated creator and artist management team, while bringing organizational efficiencies across businesses at OML. Dhruv joined the company in 2012, as a production intern for the David Guetta concerts, and has steadily risen through the ranks. He has an instinctive sense of picking up talent and has expanded the artist management roster at OML to 75 artists from 17 artists seven years ago. Amongst the shows Dhruv has produced at OML are ‘Comicstaan’, ‘One Mic Stand’, ‘Pushpavalli’, ‘Laakhon Main Ek’ and ‘Chacha Vidhayak Hai Humare’. Having already produced over 200 hours of content for multiple digital platforms in the last couple of years, Dhruv has an interesting line-up of content-led shows coming up next year.
Saurabh, in his new role as CBO (New Initiatives and International Business), will be responsible for developing and launching new business verticals as well as international businesses at OML. His tenure with OML has kept him deeply connected with its legacy arm of Artist Management and he will continue to lead international touring for artists. Saurabh has shaped a unique career path over the last 17 years. Traversing through varied roles that range from leadership in people practices to envisioning and setting up operations for successful businesses, Saurabh’s extensive repertoire of work before he joined OML in 2012 includes stints in companies such as Global Vantedge and WNS among others. Saurabh's expertise in people management and the intricacies of leading businesses has helped him ensure the popularity of OML-represented artists in India and across the globe.
"OML has had its best performing couple of years in FY 18 and FY 19 and is poised to grow at over 30% over last year in FY 2020. These three years have been remarkable for the new businesses OML has built and for the multiple new live, branded and content experiences it has executed. This has been largely due to the excellent leadership of Gunjan, Dhruv and Saurabh along with a very talented, experienced and resourceful team and it gives me great pleasure to announce their new roles. I am confident in their abilities to take on these expanded roles and lead such a diverse portfolio in today's dynamic environment,” said Ajay Nair, MD, OML.
“OML, as an industry leader, has accomplished massive growth in the past decade. The new leadership team led by Gunjan has a proven success record and I’m sure that they will continue to excel in their new expanded roles at OML to ensure high momentum business growth,” said Rajesh Kamat, MD, Emerald Media, and a board member to OML.
OML continues to remind us of its outstanding ability to build businesses with its “customer n people first” approach. The new leaders are a testimony to its management depth and maturity. Hats off to Ajay for developing the business with such redundancy and future-proofing.” added Sanjeev Shah, Executive President, Corporate and M&A at Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd., one of the investors at OML.
About OML: OML is a global, artiste-first company that creates and owns leading live entertainment brands, creates artist-led content for digital platforms, and is a leader in generating branded content in the fields of comedy, music and storytelling in 20+ countries. The Mumbai-based artistes management company was founded in 1999, to book and manage artistes across all genres of entertainment; and now two-decades later, OML has expanded its vision manifold and built an enviable global creator network of over 350+ artistes across the world.
The 135-member strong company has produced the Cannes-award winning ‘The Dewarists’, some of the biggest Amazon Original shows – ‘Comicstaan’ and ‘One Mic Stand’, ‘Pushpavalli’, ‘Laakhon Mein Ek’, ‘Chacha Vidhayak Hai Humare’, amongst others, along with over 45 stand-up specials on Amazon, Netflix and other OTT platforms. The company's much-loved team of individual content creators include Zakir Khan, Kanan Gill, Kenny Sebastian, Kaneez Surka, Sumukhi Suresh, Prashasti Singh, Debbie Rao and Melvin Louis amongst others.
Some of India’s biggest live entertainment properties promoted and presented by OML include Bacardi NH7 Weekender (described by The Guardian as "India's answer to Glastonbury”), Breezer Vivid Shuffle (India’s largest hip hop festival) and comedy properties — LOLstars and Headliners. OML also works with brands that wish to participate in artist influence through culture in reaching audiences globally and has provided cultural marketing solutions for popular brands such as Bacardi, RedBull, Tinder, YouTube, Cadbury 5 Star, Google, FlipKart and Amazon.