Universal Music Group has signed a deal with Eros International, a leading integrated studio in India's media and entertainment industry, to launch a joint venture artist-management agency.

The agency will develop and promote Indian pop talent locally and globally. The partnership means new artists will be signed and promoted throughout the country as well as internationally

The agreement was announced today (Dec. 10) by Kishore Lulla, chairman and CEO of Eros International, and Max Hole, president, Universal Music Asia Pacific Region, and executive VP, Universal Music Group International.

The agreement, which is the first of its kind for UMG in both India and the South East Asia region, came into effect when contracts were signed on Nov. 18.

Rajat Kakar, managing director of Mumbai-based Universal Music India, has been appointed the inaugural chairman of the joint venture. Sunil Lulla, president, India, of Eros International, and Jyoti Deshpande, COO of Eros International Group, are on the board of directors.

The launch phase will focus on marketing and promotional initiatives for undiscovered pop acts from around India.

"Eros is an incredibly exciting and ambitious company," said Max Hole in a statement. "Combining the creative ideas and marketing skills of Eros and Universal Music will certainly give a huge boost to Indian music and artist development."

Eros International’s operations cover global distribution, motion pictures, music, home entertainment, e-Television, new media and animation. It releases up to 50 new films annually and exploits a 1,900-title film library.

"Music and films are naturally intertwined, so the synergy is unmistakable," said Kishore Lulla in a statement. "As we continue to expand our film slate, we are constantly searching for new talent. Our tie-up with Universal, and their expertise in pop music talent management, is perfectly complimentary with Eros' ability to offer a credible platform for such talent through its films or worldwide distribution network. The possibilities for Indian and international collaborations are very exciting."

Rajat Kakar added: "Indian music today is at a very interesting juncture, influenced by global trends and distributed via new avenues. We are excited at the prospect of pioneering India's first-ever 360 degree talent management entity aimed at creating musical icons that appeal to millions of Indians, with the potential of appealing to global audiences as well."