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nexGTV ropes in Saavn Interactive’s ex-CEO Abhesh Verma

In a major announcement, nexGTV, India's subscription-driven video entertainment App, recently bolstered its leadership by appointing Abhesh Verma as its Chief Operating Officer (COO). Abhesh joins nexGTV with over 16 years of experience across several industries such as entertainment, e-commerce, SEO, advertisement, Venture Capital and Real Estate. He was previously associated with the digital entertainment portal Saavn and Saavn Interactive as its Chief Growth Officer and CEO. In his new role at nexGTV, he will be spearheading executive decision-making and long-term strategic planning for the organisation.

Despite having chiefly operated from the US, Abhesh has developed, implemented and managed many India-centric digital media and advertisement solutions to great success for the organisations he has been associated with. ShopClassic.com, with him at the helm as its President, was driving e-commerce way back in 2000 as a website that allowed Indians to purchase and deliver gifts to each other within India. He was also instrumental in transforming Saavn’s business approach from a B2B to B2C model. By deploying and managing multiple revenue streams including online ad sales & solutions teams for the platform, Abhesh played a vital role in building up nearly 95 percent of Saavn’s revenue from scratch. He also oversaw the integration of new site acquisitions into the Saavn Interactive aegis, and was also responsible for end-to-end management and integration of new features.

Speaking on the appointment, G.D. Singh, Director & CEO, Digivive Services Pvt. Ltd., said, “Abhesh has had a highly successful career in digital media and internet-based entrepreneurship, as can be seen by the list of professional achievements he has garnered over the years. His in-depth practical proficiency in the digital entertainment sector is one of the prime reasons why he has been chosen to spearhead nexGTV at this critical juncture of its business journey. We are confident that his on-boarding will help spur nexGTV into its next era of growth.”

Explaining his motivation behind joining nexGTV, Abhesh added, “Having worked in the digital entertainment and media industry for so long, I wanted to be associated with a novel idea that can allow me to optimally leverage the insights I’ve gained during my career so far. Joining nexGTV, which has already established itself as one of the most promising digital entertainment brands in India, gives me a chance to do exactly that. I will be looking to optimally leverage my experience with internet-based entertainment and advertisement services to further the brand’s value proposition and firmly secure its position as a frontrunner in the Indian digital entertainment ecosystem.”

Holding Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering from Pune University and an MBA from Maharishi University of Management, Fairfield, Iowa, Abhesh is a thought leader and pioneer who created and drove internet-based digital media start-ups during a time when the term wasn’t even coined. Several highly successful ventures such as SmasHits.com, India Broadcast Live Inc, MyIndoSpace.com and IndiAds.com under his belt have firmly established his credentials as one of the earliest and most prominent influences in the digital entrepreneurship field.

Before merging with Saavn in January 2009, SmasHits.com was amongst the top three most visited music & entertainment websites in India with monthly visitor traffic of over 30 million. Under Abhesh’s leadership, SmasHits.com also led the world premiere of Ajay Devgn’s home production ‘Raju Chacha’, (India’s most expensive production at that time), at the Samuel Goldwyn Theatre at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The feat, which was unique for a Bollywood movie, is yet to be emulated.

Other feats further underline the innovative thought process that made Abhesh one of the early movers in the digital entertainment industry. India Broadcast Live Inc. was India’s first IPTV Company with exclusive licenses for Doordarshan (DD) and All India Radio (AIR) and was the first to live stream more than 25 Indian TV Channels across the world on broadband internet. Another of his ventures, IndiAds.com, saw monthly traffic of over 1 billion ad impressions on average and was ranked by Alexa as the ‘Number One Ethnic Marketing Website’. Abhesh also pioneered the concept of Smash Chat, a first-of-its-kind feature that enabled live celebrity chat in India with leading superstars such as Sunil Dutt, Gulshan Grover etc.


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