Colleagues pay tribute to late MB Zaidi

MUMBAI: His colleagues turned up in full strength to pay tribute to his family and him. As did the chairman of Zee Telefilms Subhash Chandra and his long time friend and mentor the former Zee Telefilms CEO and Times of India director Vijay Jindal. It was evident that legal wiz MB Zaidi, who passed away on 16 April along with his wife Rubab, son Adnan, sister Samina Abdi, niece Sara, and his driver following a accident en route to Mahableshwar, had left his mark on the media business.

The driver apparently lost control of Zaidi's new car and it hurtled down the slopes of the ghats. All the passengers perished.

Zaidi was the initiator of the Essel Group's Playwin Infravest, India's first online gaming company. A confidant of Chandra, he helped the group manouvre past reluctant governments and got them to agree to give the company a licence. He could do this primarily because of his legal background and the fact that he had headed the legal department at The Times of India and then became the director legal of Zee Telefilms, after a short stint at the Essar group where he was a legal adviser.

At the prayer meeting held on this afternoon in Mumbai, Chandra said that the loss was deep for him. "We worked together for seven years. We hardly felt that there was an employee-employer relationship between us. Even after he left Zee TV to set up his own group, he was always available to me 24/7 if I had to resolve any issues," he said. "And I could sleep peacefully at night."

An emotional Jindal said he had lost a friend. "I learnt a lot from him. Zaidi was all about struggle but he also had a lot of knowledge and I can say that it is both a personal and professional loss for me as we worked together for the past 20 years." Said Jindal, "He was a man who was soft spoken, simple and used both logic and love in his profession, which is what made him different."

Following his departure from Zee, Zaidi, along with Sanjay Gaekwad and Narender Hete, set up the Valuable Group which offers back end services to the online gaming industry. He later launched two publications targeted at the gaming industry and at players.

The industry is richer for his efforts, but poorer by his loss. May he and his family's soul rest in peace.

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