Nihal Gupta named new SBS chairman


An Australian-Indian businessman has been officially named as the new chairman of SBS.

Australian-Indian businessman Nihal Gupta has officially been named the new chairman of SBS.

He takes over the chairman position at a time when public broadcasters are under growing financial pressure, with further cuts foreshadowed to the budgets of both SBS and the ABC.

SBS Managing Director Michael Ebeid said he looked forward to Mr Gupta's "contributions towards steering SBS through a dynamic but also very challenging time for our organisation and the media sector more broadly.”

“Mr Gupta believes that diversity adds strength, capability and richness to society as a whole," Mr Ebeid said.

"(He believes) as one of the most successful multicultural countries in the world, Australia can cherish that diversity as a wonderful attribute of our well-functioning democracy.

"He understands the important role that SBS plays in supporting and enabling a cohesive, plural society in Australia, and tells me he is looking forward to working with our team and furthering the important mission of SBS."

Federal opposition spokesman for communications Jason Clare said he hoped Mr Gupta would make stopping further budget cuts to SBS a priority.

"SBS has already had cuts in the order of millions of dollars, and now they're threatened with tens of millions of dollars' worth of more cuts. If Mr Gupta is loyal to SBS, then he'll stop those cuts happening," he said.

Mr Gupta’s is a story similar to that of thousands of Australians - a story of migration and entrepreneurialism.

His Indian parents came to Australia in the 1950s, where Mr Gupta was born and raised.

His father founded consumer electronics company Palsonic in the late 50s, and began importing sewing machines from Asia before expanding to televisions, audio equipment and fans.

Mr Gupta spent several decades in the family business, and is now Managing Director of Digital Electronics Corporation Australia.

He has over 30 years’ experience in the consumer electronics and technology sector, with a background in international business throughout Australia and the Asia Pacific region.

Mr Gupta is also Chairman of NSW Multicultural Business Advisory Panel, a Director on the board of the Asia Society Australia, a Trustee of the Sydney Cricket Ground Trust, and Deputy Chairman of the Indigenous performing dance and arts Naisda Foundation Limited.

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