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Universal Music India Appoints Sanujeet Bhujabal As Managing Director

Universal Music India Appoints Sanujeet Bhujabal As Managing Director

Universal Music Group has recently announced significant alterations to its leadership team in India. Sanujeet Bhujabal, formerly the executive vice president of content, has been formally promoted to the position of managing director for Universal Music India and South Asia.

In his new role, Bhujabal will report directly to Devraj Sanyal, who holds the positions of chairman and CEO for India & South Asia, as well as senior vice president of strategy for Africa, Middle East, and Asia (AMeA) at Universal Music Group. This promotion follows Sanyal's transition from managing director and CEO to chairman and CEO last year, thereby creating a vacancy in the managing director position, which Bhujabal now fills.

In another move, Viral Jani has been appointed as the chief revenue officer for Universal Music India and South Asia.

Bhujabal, who joined Universal Music in April 2023, brings with him valuable experience, having previously served as an executive director at Sony Music Entertainment.

In parallel with these changes, the music industry in India is witnessing a shift towards non-film songs as labels and artists aim to broaden their reach among audiences. The non-film genre has seen a remarkable surge in music label catalogues, increasing from 5-10% to 30% over the last three years. Amid the pandemic, which halted film releases, music labels capitalized on the opportunity to launch non-film original songs in various regional languages, including Hindi, Punjabi, Bhojpuri, Gujarati, and Haryanvi, to bolster revenue and expand audience share.

This shift has also provided singers with a platform to enhance their visibility and earnings. Universal Music, primarily dealing in artiste-driven, non-film music despite having a retro movie catalogue, is poised to benefit from this trend.

While film music remains dominant in India, the emergence of an artiste-first ecosystem allows songs to be associated more closely with singers rather than the actors they are filmed on, as noted by Sanyal in an interview with Mint. The popularity of these artists is evident in the sold-out on-ground shows both in India and abroad, further highlighting the changing dynamics of the Indian music industry.

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