Uday Shankar is a highly successful and globally recognized Indian executive who created one of the biggest media and entertainment businesses in the Asia-Pacific region. In his new avatar, Mr. Shankar is a technology entrepreneur and the founder of Asia Initiatives, wherein he partners with James Murdoch to set up technology-led enterprises in education, media, and healthcare in Asia. Mr. Shankar currently also serves as the Immediate Past President of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), India’s premier industry association, and was formerly the President of the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF). During his tenure as President of (FICCI), Mr. Shankar was also a member of the Start-up Advisory Council of India set up the Government of India to promote and bolster the start-up ecosystem.
In a long and illustrious career, Mr. Shankar has served in several leadership roles including as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Star India, President of 21st Century Fox Asia, and more recently President of The Walt Disney Company Asia-Pacific & Chairman of Disney & Star India.
Under his leadership, Star transformed into the region’s leading company placed distinctively at the intersection of media, entertainment & technology. Mr. Shankar is credited with leading the streaming and OTT revolution in India and in the APAC region. Hotstar is now a leading global OTT. Star Sports transformed into Asia’s leading sports network during his tenure. Mr. Shankar also led the company’s strong foray into regional and local language content, building a comprehensive consumer offering across entertainment and sports. Mr. Shankar started his career in news and is widely regarded as the pioneer of television news revolution in India with the launch of Aaj Tak, Star News and what’s now known as India Today TV.
Mr. Shankar has been a key contributor to shaping the Indian media and entertainment sector, championing important reforms such as digitization of the distribution ecosystem and self-regulation of content.
Besides being the Immediate Past President of FICCI, Mr. Shankar serves on the boards of global non-profit Malaria No More, and on the boards of Kotak Mahindra Bank and Business Standard. Mr. Shankar also serves as an Advisor to the board of US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF).
For his contribution to media and society, Mr. Shankar has been awarded numerous business and industry honours. Mr. Shankar was conferred the honorary doctorate degree by Bennett University (The Times of India Group). Mr. Shankar was recognized by Forbes India as the “Best CEO (MNC)”, named “Entrepreneur of the Year (Entrepreneurial CEO)” by EY, and has featured in Indian Express’ “100 Most Powerful Indians” and in India Today’s “50 Most Powerful People in India”.