Sony News: Sony Pictures Entertainment names two leaders of the Indian film business

Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) promoted two of its young leaders, Lada Guruden Singh as well as Shoni Panjikaranto take over the reins of film production and distribution in India.

Singh was named CEO and head of Sony Pictures International Productions (SPIP), India. He will oversee the development and production of SPIP India’s local films as well as its expansion into regional cinema. He will report to Michael Rifkin and Shabnem Askin, co-leaders of SPIP.

Panjikaran was appointed CEO and head of Sony Pictures Releasing International in India. He will manage the Sony Pictures film business in Hollywood and the local film business in India, including all distribution, sales and marketing efforts. He will report to adam mrSenior Vice President, SPE Asia Sales.

SPE divided the Indian film business between two leaders for the first time. Previously, Vivek Krishnani led the Indian business of SPE as Managing Director of Sony Pictures Films India.

The company has been looking to replace Krishni since his departure in March of this year.

In May, Sanford Panich, president of Sony Pictures Entertainment Motion Group, SPE’s film division, told ET in an exclusive interview that the company will be heavily investing in local projects in India, with a focus on “theatre-worthy” films.

Taking over the manufacturing business, Lada Guruden Singh said, “We are excited to do our best to become one of the top players in the country. From popular hits to erratic breakthrough content, from stories unfolding in the fields to celebrating Indian mythology, we want to push the boundaries and team up with top talent as well as fresh new voices. Shoni and I are committed to making this dream come true, breaking down all language barriers and making Sony Pictures Entertainment, India the most sought after creative studio in India.”

In addition to its lineup of upcoming Hollywood and Bollywood films, SPE has also expanded its presence in regional cinema to include Telugu, Tamil and Malayalam projects.

“Sony Pictures is a global force that creates creative and engaging content for viewers around the world. I am honored to oversee the SPE theater business in India and introduce Indian audiences to the incredible diversity of Hollywood and Indian cinema,” said Shoni Panjikaran. “It will be very beneficial for both Lada and myself to lead Sony Pictures Entertainment, India, into a new era. Today, the film market in India is virtually limitless and I look forward to new initiatives and partnerships in this dynamic space to distribute and meet the demand for brilliant global and local stories in India.”

Singh has been with the Sony Pictures Group since 2014, holding various roles in public relations, marketing and creative development. He has worked on projects such as Piku, PadMan, 102 Not Out, Looop Lapeta and also led the studio’s expansion into Malayalam and Telugu with 9 and the recent blockbuster Major.

Most recently, he was instrumental in securing the rights to Shaktiman, the superhero trilogy that SPIP is currently working on.

Meanwhile, Panjikaran took over Sony Pictures.

The company’s marketing initiatives over the past four years have helped launch successful releases including Spider-Man: No Way Home, Spider-Man: Far From Home, Jumanji: The Next Level, Venom, and The Major.

Prior to this, Panjikaran had spent ten years in Fox Star Studios where he led their marketing efforts in various roles; his work has included films such as Avatar, Life of Pi, Deadpool, Sanju, Baagi 2, Raja Rani Utley and more.