'Time to move on,' says Purohit

NEW DELHI: Change, they say, is the only truth. And Zee TV president Apurva Purohit felt that it was time for a switchover, time to move on

"There are times when priorities in life change and that's exactly what has happened," Purohit told a day after it was officially announced yesterday by the Subhash Chandra-promoted Zee Telefilms that she has resigned from the company.

Pointing out that her decision had nothing to do with any internal company differences, she said, "I must admit that I have enjoyed my stint at Zee - rather am still doing so (her last working day is 31 January). I must also emphasise that I have learnt a lot during my stay here, especially the freedom that was granted to me at the work place."

Asked about the lessons she has learnt as the head of Zee Telefilms flagship channel, Purohit, a former advertising professional at Lodestar, said, "Even at (FCB Ulka's media unit) Lodestar, I was part of the media space only, but at Zee I learnt the important lessons of content creation and management. At the end 

of the day, it is content that matters the most."

Having lost the No. 1 slot to Star Plus few years back, Zee TV has been trying various permutations and combinations in its programing strategy, but was not getting it right. It was only over the last 12 months or so that the game plan started showing some results.

For its second quarter (ended September), Zee Telefilms reported advertising revenue of Rs 1,458 million, signifying a jump of 2.4 per cent as compared to the corresponding period last fiscal.

As Purohit pointed out, Zee TV would end the financial year making a substantial turnaround in advertising revenue.

In a conference call with the investor community in October this year, Purohit, while enlisting the shows that were doing well for Zee TV, had pointed out, "In the last six months, we have done a lot of things like launching Chousath Panne, Awaaz and, of course, Astitva, which is growing from strength to strength. Really this has translated into us getting very high numbers with the upper income SEC AB woman. As a result, a lot of our FMCG clients are back with us. Now for the next quarter and the next half year what we are really planning to do is to consolidate viewership amongst this upper income high value consuming female audiences as well as drawing in the masses."

Though during the same interaction with investors, Zee Tele CMD Subhash Chandra had admitted that the programming cost has gone up a bit (in Zee Networks' case it is five per cent in the second quarter), he sought to convey that it was all worth it. "Having cracked the SEC AB section of the female audiences, now we are going after SEC C and D category in female audiences. And once we crack that, then, probably, we will go into (cracking) male audiences step by step," he had explained.

Having been part of such strategies, Purohit today feels that she'd leave Zee "with a bagfull of lessons" and on an amicable note.

What does the future hold for her?

Refusing to divulge much details, she, however, said, "I have a couple of options in the media space only and would take a final view sometime in January."

Purohit also laughed off industry rumours that she may join hands with former Zee group broadcasting CEO Sandeep Goyal in his new venture Dentsu Communications Pvt Ltd. saying, "Well, there are several such rumours floating round and I'd let them be without commenting on them."

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