Dipankar Das Purkayastha has decided to step down as the CEO and managing director of ABP – the Ananda Bazaar Patrika newspaper, magazine, and electronic media publishing group. Purkayastha has been associated with ABP Pvt Ltd for four decades and was appointed as CEO in August 2019.
The company, commenting on Purkayastha’s decision to move on, said, “We take this opportunity to record our appreciation for the services he has rendered to the company. He is a visionary and a legend in our pantheon. He has made the company ready to meet the challenges of the future.”
Purkayastha, who is in his seventies, will be succeeded as CEO on 1 April 2021 by the deputy chief executive officer of the group, Dhruba Mukherjee. Anandabazar was first launched in 1876 in Jessore (now in Bangladesh) by Sisir Kumar Ghose and Tusharkanti Ghose, who left it to subsequently launch Amrita Bazar Patrika. The ABP group that the Sircar family owns was re-established in 1922 by Suresh Chandra Majumdar and editor Prafulla Kumar Sarkar with Ananda Bazar Patrika’s relaunch as a Bengali daily on 22 March 1922. The group’s publications have generally been at the forefront of Bengali culture and society, including the independence movement.
Editor Emeritus Aveek Sarkar is currently the vice-chairman of the Ananda Bazar Group of Publications and was elected chairman of Press Trust of India, the country’s leading news agency, in August 2020. The Indian newspaper industry that has hitherto been owner-managed is now increasingly professionalizing, and the ABP group plays an essential role in this trend.
As an industry insider put it on hearing the news of the CEO succession at the ABP yesterday, “The industry has to modernize and face the digital realities, and this process requires both professionalization and stability. It is a challenging transition for the leading news publishing group promoters who find it difficult not to interfere in day-to-day affairs of their newspapers.”