Film producer Siddharth Roy Kapur is reportedly stepping down as the managing director of the Walt Disney Company India to “explore his own business interests.” Mahesh Samat will be taking his place, as per a report by Walt Disney International, a division of the Walt Disney Company. Samat will return to his leadership role as managing director at the Walt Disney Company India.
“Mahesh guided Disney in India in its early days, and we are thrilled with his decision to return to the organization he helped build,” said Andy Bird, chairman of Walt Disney International. “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,” he added. Samat succeeds Kapur, who is departing the company to explore his own business interests.
“Sid is a pillar of the Indian entertainment industry and has demonstrated passion and commitment for the Disney business. He carved a strong position for Disney in the Indian media and entertainment space that positions us well for the future. We are immensely thankful for his service and wish him well in his next venture,” Bird said.
While working for the company, Kapur, who is married to actress Vidya Balan, introduced the Indian Broadway version of the timeless classic “Beauty and the Beast,” which was a huge success.
Samat departed Disney India four years ago to establish Epic Television Networks, and was the founder and managing director of the Epic Channel, which focused on history, folklore and mythology-based content.
As managing director, Samat will have responsibility for setting and driving the Walt Disney Company’s strategy, coordinating all business efforts in India, including overseeing Disney global franchises in the market, expanding existing businesses, and creating new business opportunities. He will take over starting Nov. 28.
Samat is excited to return to the wonderful world of Disney. “Moving forward, we will accelerate the great work done by the team and create new, innovative ways for audiences to engage with our stories, brands and characters, and drive growth across our businesses,” Samat said.