Warner Music Group today announced the expansion of its presence in India, through the launch of its newest affiliate. Executive Jay Mehta has been named the first Managing Director of the new territory. His brief will also cover the other markets in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) - Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Based in Mumbai, Mehta will report to Alfonso Perez-Soto, EVP, Eastern Europe, Middle East, Africa and India.
This is the latest example of Warner Music Group’s long-term expansion of its global reach and local expertise. Within the last twelve months, the company has opened new offices in Turkey and Peru, acquired labels such as Monsp in Finland and Forza in Slovakia, and announced a partnership with Chocolate City in Nigeria.
According to IFPI’s most recently available data, India is the 15th largest music market in the world, with a population of more than 1.3 billion people. In 2018, streaming revenue represented 69.7% of the total music market in India. During the same year, streaming revenue rose 30.9%, driven by local services as well as international players. 2019 figures by IFPI will be available in the coming weeks.
Mehta will join Warner Music in April from Sony Music India, where he served as Director of Digital Business for several years. Prior to joining Sony, Mehta was Regional Director for the Reliance Broadcast Network, and also had stints at Reliance Communications and UNINOT, the sixth largest telecom company in the world.
Mehta commented, “Music is a way of life here in India, a valuable pillar of our culture. There’s so much talent hungry for opportunity, and I’m looking forward to signing and serving a wide diversity of local artistry. India’s growing music audience will also benefit from this move, as we not only amplify our new rising stars, but Warner’s global superstars as well.”
“With a dynamic and vibrant music scene, India is a natural place for Warner to grow presence,” said Perez-Soto. “It’s a market that’s increasingly embracing international repertoire, as well as developing its own music scene beyond the traditional dominance of Bollywood. Jay is a brilliant creative and commercial leader and we all look forward to supporting him and his team as he spearheads our efforts in this growing region.”