Sumon K Chakrabarti is the founder-CEO of www.FootTheBall.com. 20-years a journalist, Sumon in 2016 is trying to disrupt the legacy media eco-system and create the new media stack in the Indian subcontinent.
As a specialist in content, operations, digital strategy and transformation, in 2014 and 2015, he co-founded the digital news platform of F7 Broadcast – focusnews.com, creating India’s fastest growing digital news platform in the process. Focusnews.com achieved organic eye-popping numbers within the first 4 months without a single marketing penny spent. 1 million page views in the second month, 2.5 million page views on the 4th, surpassing all traffic goals of the 1st year in the first few months. He also supervised the entire digital brand transition to New World India.
In 2016, he also launched India’s first bi-lingual intelligent online news curator – EditPlatter – as it’s managing editor.
But his passion for football ensured that after a career of working as a multi-media journalist for 19 years, he delved into his own start-up along with 5 others to realise his own football dream in a country which he regards as the ‘sleeping giant’ of the beautiful game. Starting out as a reporter, Sumon grew into other operational roles including anchor, editor, and managing editor with the role of developing and implementing digital newsrooms while keeping a sharp eye on product growth numbers,
Sumon has worked across all possible media platforms in my career – in radio, newspaper, TV, wires, magazine and of course, digital – which gives me a natural understanding of synergy in media operations and a 360 view on how various newsrooms get things done — and how things get stuck and how to resolve them.
In the last 19 years in the media industry, he has been a founder member of CNN-IBN and TheNewspaperToday (India’s first online newspaper by the India Today Group). He was nominated for “Best Indian Journalist of the Year” in 2006 and 2009. He was also nominated for the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Awards in 2006 and the Indian Television Awards in 2008.
“And with my experience in start ups that have either breached the ceiling (thenewspapertoday.com) or created history (CNN-IBN & focusnews.com), I believe that steering an innovative, disruptive business model matured me, and primed my dedication to people, cultures, and the dynamic exchange of ideas and projects that ensues. Through my roles as a reporter, communicator, editor, start-up hustler and part-time academic, I remain focused on the strength that people and teams bring with them and working across platforms and belief systems,’ according to him.
“Navigating multiple hats gives me a leadership advantage as a lifelong learner and mentor. I’ve learnt the importance of engaging my work-community and life-community, ensuring a healthy dialogue to keep my values grounded and skills sharp. This ethic is where I align closest with FootTheBall.com’s mission. But most important, at FootTheBall.com, we want to break the ceiling. A ceiling which is waiting to be breached not just in India but across South Asia and China,” he adds.