Pavan R Chawla    24 Jan 11 15:35 IST

Pic by Deepak Dhuri

Shridhar Subramaniam joined Sony Music India at its founding way back in 1996, and became MD in 2002. He has a deep understanding of the Asian region, having previously overseen Sony Music's operations in Thailand in 2006 and 2007, and in end-2010, was named President, India and the Middle East for SME. Here, in conversation with Pavan R Chawla, Director Content & CSO – Group and Editor –, Subramaniam speaks of his role for Sony Music in the Middle East, the recession of 2009 and why, in spite of being â€?bonded at the waist'  with a then reeling Film industry, the Music business did not witness reduction in film acquisition prices;  why new and established music labels exited the business and the strengths that keep his Company afloat and strong in this difficult environment. He also speaks of Sony Music's achievements from its foray in the South, its future plans, and more.

Excerpts  -

You were recently named President, India and the Middle East for Sony Music Entertainment. Tell us about the additional responsibility.

Yes. Sony Music now has an office in Dubai, and we are now the second music major to have an office in the Middle East. While I am based in Mumbai, I now oversee SME's presence in the fast developing Middle Eastern market. We are specifically focusing on the UAE, Qatar, Egypt and Lebanon. It's an exciting time as the Middle East is a growing market for International and Indian music, and we are planning an entry into Arabic music, which has a very rich heritage and is starting to travel more. There are some exciting digital and live music opportunities there too. I will continue to be based in Mumbai, and this region reports to Richard Sanders, President International, who is based in New York.

Tell us more about your role in the Middle East.

The Middle East is a very large territory that spans 16 countries and it is a culturally rich and diverse region with a long tradition of music and poetry. Both Cairo and Beirut are fascinating centers of creativity. The UAE is a sophisticated market with worldclass facilities and venues and is emerging as a vibrant center for creativity. We want to become a complete entertainment company with a focus on the digital and live music. We will develop interesting media partnerships based on our

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