Reliance BIG Pictures strengthens senior mgmt; Priti Shahani, Utpal Acharya on board

MUMBAI: After seeing three top-level departures over the last couple of months, Reliance BIG Pictures has now appointed two senior executives to its core management team.

Sources close to the development inform that ex-Studio 18 senior vice president marketing, distribution and syndication Priti Shahani will be joining Reliance BIG Pictures as head of strategy and marketing and will be a key member involved in the overall strategy of the company.

On the other hand, Inox Leisure vice president programming, distribution and production Utpal Acharya is slated to join as head of distribution across all platforms including theatrical, digital and television.

The two will report to Reliance BIG Pictures CEO Sanjeev Lamba. As per information available, Shahani, who quit Studio 18 in March this year, will join Reliance in mid-June. Acharya’s date of joining has not yet been decided.

Shahani was one of the founding members of Television 18’s movie arm – Studio 18 and was with the company since 2006. She was instrumental in tapping new revenue streams for films by introducing the syndication model for Jab We Met’s satellite rights.

Acharya, who was also with Studio 18 when the company was formed, moved to the exhibitor side of the business in 2007 when he joined multiplex chain Inox Leisure. Prior to joining Studio 18, he was with Sony Pictures, Shringar Films and UTV Motion Pictures.

When contacted by, both Shahani and Acharya declined to comment.

As was earlier reported by, Reliance BIG Pictures COO – film distribution Kamal Gianchandani put in papers at the company and will be joining PVR Pictures as CEO post the release of Raavan in June. Additionally, Reliance Big Pictures COO – international film business Jawahar Sharma and Reliance Big Pictures regional head – international business – worldwide Gayathiri Batra also resigned from the company recently. Late last year Reliance BIG Entertainment COO Sunir Khetrapal and Reliance BIG Pictures chief marketing officer Saurabh Varma also resigned from the company. Hence the old guard at Reliance BIG Pictures has now been replaced by a fresh team on board.

At the time of filing this story Lamba, who is currently in New York for the premiere of Kites, was unavailable for comment.