afaqs! news bureau

Zee to stem losses in HiPi, English Cluster of Linear TV Biz, Teleplay & Zindagi among others

ZEE Entertainment’s Board institutes Monthly Management Mentorship (3M) Program to review the Management’s business performance.

The Board of ZEE Entertainment Enterprises (ZEE) has institutionalised a structured Monthly Management Mentorship (3M) Program. The objective of the 3M Program is to guide and enable the management team to achieve key performance metrics, including the targeted 20% EBITDA margin, proposed by the MD and CEO. This step, led by ZEE Chairman, R. Gopalan, underscores the Board's commitment towards delivering higher value to all stakeholders.

In order to drive the 3M Program, the Board has formed a Special Committee to review the management’s business performance and provide the required directional guidance. The Special Committee comprises of ZEE Chairman, R. Gopalan and Uttam Prakash Agarwal, chairman of the Audit Committee.

The 3M Program Special Committee has conducted the first set of extensive review sessions with the management to evaluate business vertical plans, enhance the revenue generation approach and optimise resource utilisation for improved efficiencies across the company.

It has identified business verticals that require a critical assessment – 1) Margo Networks (Sugarbox) 2) Teleplay & Zindagi 3) Hipi 4) Weyyak and 5) English Cluster of Linear TV Business. The Special Committee has advised that the identified business verticals will need to substantially reduce losses and enhance their performance levels.

R. Gopalan, chairman, ZEE, speaking after the completion of the first phase of the 3M Program, said, “After completing a detailed set of 33 meetings with various business verticals, corporate functions and leaders of the management team; our confidence and belief in the potential of the Company to deliver the targeted results, has certainly strengthened. Under the able leadership of Punit Goenka as the MD & CEO of the Company, the businesses are well-aligned and focused towards the set goals for the future. The Board has also advised the MD and CEO to further simplify the management structure and optimise the utilisation of the human capital.”

The Committee has also invested its time in conducting a detailed analysis of the Technology and Innovation Centre (TIC), which had incurred an expenditure of approximately Rs. 600 crore in the last year. The Committee has noted that the TIC has developed a substantial level of technology and tools; however, it has highlighted the immediate need to focus on Return on Investment. It appreciated the efforts sown in by the TIC in the realm of gaming and product development; but is also of the view, that many of the development projects have reached its maturity levels.

After reviewing the TIC’s approach to gradually emerge as an independent technology company; the Committee has advised that the management should stay focused on its core expertise, ethos and DNA i.e. Content. Hence, it has advised the management to utilise the services of TIC to enhance its Content Development and Distribution process. It has also advised that the management should leverage the TIC’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) tools to gain a deeper insight into the consumer profiles. With this view, the Committee has advised that the management should reduce the expenditure at the TIC by 50%, for the Financial Year 2024-25; and utilise its services to enhance the Company’s content development, distribution and monetization approach.

The 3M Program Special Committee has also reviewed the Music Business of the Company; and has advised its leadership team to enhance the monetization avenues and subsequently increase the vertical’s contribution to the Company’s bottom-line. It has also advised that the Music Business should focus on further optimising its costs, without losing its leadership position in the market.

In order to safeguard the interest of the stakeholders of the Company, the Board has also recently constituted an 'Independent Investigation Committee' to fact check / review / examine all allegations raised by the regulatory agencies against the Company, its promoters and KMPs through a deep dive exercise; and make a submission to the Board, outlining its recommendations and suggesting necessary actions.

Have news to share? Write to us