In the second high profile appointment in the last two weeks, Zee Telefilms Ltd (ZTL) yesterday announced the appointment of Apurva Purohit, as president, Zee TV, its flagship channel. The appointment is effective mid-July. Purohit will work out of the company's headquarters in Mumbai and report to Zee group broadcasting CEO, Sandeep Goyal.
Purohit's mandate is to "look after Zee TV". Significantly, she also will have the crucial task of coordinating the channel's growing overseas presence. Among the predecessors of Purohit in the same post were Madhavi Mutatkar and Sainath Iyer. Right now, Purohit is the director of Lodestar Media, the media arm of FCB-Ulka, and she is credited with leading Lodestar to the coveted 'Media Agency of the Year Award' at the Emvies 2002.
Industry observers see the appointment as a move to strengthen the flanks of Zee. Last week, Prashant Sanwal was appointed to head the regional channel network, in a move that has been seen as underlining Zee's renewed focus on the regional network and attracting local advertising. Purohit's appointment is seen as part of the same strategy, but this time round, to effectively strengthen both the domestic and foreign presence.
Zee has aggressively targeted the South Asian Diaspora, and has launched programmes in the UK, the US, Africa, Fiji and Mauritius. Zee TV has more than 50,000 subscribers in the United States, and an estimated 180 million viewers worldwide, attracting them with a mix of entertainment, sports, music, news, public affairs, children's programming and more.
The company has been aggressively working on increasing revenues, though Zee posted considerable profit last year. During the financial year 2002, ZTL achieved consolidated revenues of Rs 1,140.9 crore, recording a growth of 10 per cent over the previous year. The increase in revenues in a recessionary market scenario is largely due to subscription revenues, which recorded a sharp jump of 65 per cent to Rs 336.9 crore. Gross advertisement revenue during the financial year 2002 fell by 7 per cent to Rs 640.2 crore due to increased competition and a sluggish advertising market. Some also point to the lackadaisical performance of Zee's new programmes, majority of which did not go down too well among viewers.
But the network made good progress in expanding its domestic pay market and recorded revenues of Rs 98.7 crore, a 225 per cent growth over financial year 2001. Currently, Zee Network distributes 14 channels in its pay bouquet. Overall, the company earned profits of Rs 201.7 crore for the financial year 2002, which is 16 per cent higher than the previous year.
The company foresees a bleak year ahead when it comes to advertisement revenue. In such circumstances, broadbasing revenue streams become essential. One of the major strategies to offset the decline of the advertising market are Zee's plans to utilise separate encrypted broadcast beams in the Middle East, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal, which would open the advertising market in these countries.
Purohit's wide-ranging experience in both the servicing and media planning wings should help in achieving these targets. An alumnus of the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, her experience in advertising and media spans 15 years. Among the high profile clients that Purohit has worked with are Colgate-Palmolive and Citibank.
Welcoming Apurva to Zee Telefilms, Sandeep Goyal said in an official release, "Apurva brings to our team a fine balance of media science, media interpretation and media innovation. Apurva is a very fine-honed professional and we are sure she will contribute significantly to enhancing the franchise of Zee TV." © 2002 agencyfaqs!