Asianet Sat Communications MD Radhakrishnan quits

MUMBAI: Asianet Satellite Communications managing director CM Radhakrishnan Nair has quit the company. Mahesh Kumar, who was earlier the senior vice president, has been elevated to chief executive officer of the company.

Nair had joined Asianet in 1995 when the company had just 4,000 connections in Kerala. Today Asianet is the largest cable network services company in the state touching over half a million homes and has a large number of direct subscribers.

"It has been a long period of growth. During my period, we also started Internet services and established Asianet Cable Vision, a cable channel," Nair tells

Kumar, who has taken over from Nair, will face new challenges in the industry. "We are planning to roll out digital services in September. We are deciding what technology we will be using," he says.

Kumar has a finance background and was subsequently made in-charge of cable services division. In Asianet, his task will also be to increase the Internet subscribers.

Also on Kumar's agenda will be to take the company public at the right time. Asianet's initial public offering (IPO) was upset after the 9/11 incident as the valuation of cable companies went tumbling. The company raised debt from financial institutions to fund its expansion plans.

Explains Nair, who was masterminding the IPO plans at that time, "The valuation was as high as Rs 5,000-6,000 per subscriber. But after the tragic incident in the US, the entire market crumbled and we shelved our plans for an IPO as we would not get that valuation."

Asianet Satellite Communications is owned by Rajan Raheja who also has a 74 per cent stake in Hathway Cable & Datacom while Star Group owns the rest.

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