Movies

Indian Film Company set for recast; CEO Sandeep Bhargava quits

MUMBAI: Network18’s AIM-listed The Indian Film Company (TIFC) is set for a recast.


Sandeep Bhargava, the chief executive officer, has quit even as the company is working out a revival plan. He will be serving his notice period till 30 June.


TIFC posted a net loss of ?4.56 million for the fiscal ended 31 March 2010 compared to a net profit of ?3.89 million a year ago. Revenue fell to ?19.88 million, as against ?40.90 million in FY‘09.


The group released nine films during the fiscal ended March 2010, all of which bombed at the box office. These included Shortkut - The Con is On, Luck, Life Partner, Fruit ‘N‘ Nut, London Dreams, Rann, Striker, Road, Movie and Hum Tum Aur Ghost.


Network18 and Viacom18 Group CEO Haresh Chawla will now take interim charge of the operations at TIFC.


“Over the last two years Sandeep has made TIFC a successful business venture and we wish him luck in his future endeavours,” Chawla said. “We will soon will start the next phase of our growth in the films business through TIFC and Studio18 and we shall share the details of that in time to come.”


Bhargava had joined the company in mid 2006 to launch Studio18. In the early period, TIFC and Studio18 had given blockbusters like Jab we Met, Welcome, Golmaal Returns, Singh Is Kinng and Ghajini. Two films from portfolio with debutant directors Sooni Taraporwala (Little Zizou) and Amrit Sagar (1971) got critical recognition and received National Awards.


In January this year, Studio 18 senior vice president marketing, distribution and syndication Priti Shahani had quit to join Reliance Big Pictures.


TIFC is a film investment company which was admitted to trading on the AIM market in June 2007 and raised ?55 million in order to invest in a diverse portfolio of Indian films targeted at the Indian audiences across varying genre, language and budgets.


During the year, Network18 made mandatory cash offer for the entire issued share capital of TIFC and increased its holding from 36.02 per cent to 80.38 per cent.


"After a lull, affected by the global crisis, there is a revival proposal that will be announced," a source said.

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