After serving over seven years at Universal Music Group, Vinit Thakkar has returned to Sony Music Entertainment as its Managing Director for India, succeeding Rajat Kakar, who is leaving at the end of the month.
In his new role, Thakkar will oversee SME’s operations in one of the fastest-growing music markets in the world, Sony Music said in a press release on Thursday (March 16).
Thakkar will report directly to Shridhar Subramaniam, President of Corporate Strategy and Market Development for Asia and the Middle East at SME.
Thakkar succeeds Rajat Kakar, who is scheduled to leave at the end of March.
“I started my music career with this incredible team over 25 years ago and I leave with a huge sense of satisfaction. I am confident that the company will have continued success in the years ahead under Vinit’s stewardship,” said Kakar.
Added Thakkar: “Rajat has done a commendable job steering the company and I feel privileged to be working with this stellar team to drive our business forward.”
Thakkar’s appointment marks his return to Sony Music after serving six years in the company from 2007 to 2012 in three major roles: as Senior Marketing Manager for Premiums, Alliances and Talent Management; General Manager for Film Marketing and Distribution; and Senior General Manager for Digital, Licensing and Publishing.
After leaving Sony Music in December 2012, Thakkar joined Universal Music Group as Vice President of Digital, New Business Development, Licensing and Publishing for over four years, and as Senior Vice President, India and South Asia from 2017 to 2020.
He was appointed Chief Operating Officer at Universal Music India in February 2020 and left the role just last month, according to his LinkedIn page.
“We are thrilled to have Vinit at Sony Music Entertainment India. His expertise, wide breadth of experience, steadfast belief in supporting artists and focus on placing creativity at the center, all while driving strategic and commercial growth, makes him ideal for our company.”
Shridhar Subramaniam, Sony Music Entertainment
During his time at UMG, Thakkar helped launch Def Jam India to support Indian and South Asian hip-hop talents, as well as a new label called Vyrl Punjabi in partnership with composer Jatinder Shah. Thakkar was COO of UMI when the company inked an exclusive global deal with Indian music superstar Badshah and when the company partnered with Indian music company Desi Melodies.
“We are thrilled to have Vinit at Sony Music Entertainment India,” said Shridhar Subramaniam, President, Corporate Strategy and Market Development, Sony Music Entertainment Asia, and the Middle East.
“His expertise, wide breadth of experience, steadfast belief in supporting artists and focus on placing creativity at the center, all while driving strategic and commercial growth, makes him ideal for our company. I am confident that he will achieve our aspirations for this important market. I would also like to thank Rajat who has done an excellent job elevating our business and we wish him all the best for the future.”
Sony Music says Thakkar has played a significant role in major label signings with leading artists and is widely credited for the creation and launch of artist-centered platforms.
Thakkar has contributed to India’s pop music scene through the promotion and creation of culturally significant and commercially successful non-film music, the company added.
“India is a remarkable country for musical talent and creativity, transcending cultural and geographical divides. I look forward to driving greater success for our artists and creators through new partnerships and introducing them to new and exciting ways to connect with their fans.”
Vinit Thakkar, Sony Music Entertainment
The appointment comes as SME doubles down on its investments in India. Data from Statista suggests that India’s music industry would reach 28 billion Indian rupees ($339 million) by the end of 2024.
“India is a remarkable country for musical talent and creativity, transcending cultural and geographical divides. I look forward to driving greater success for our artists and creators through new partnerships and introducing them to new and exciting ways to connect with their fans,” said Thakkar.
Sony Music in December launched Sony Entertainment Talent Ventures India, a joint venture with Sony Pictures.
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