Television

Brand Zee valued at Rs 41.94 billion

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MUMBAI: Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (Zeel) brand, as valued by Interbrand, is estimated to be worth Rs 41.94 billion. The network is looking at increasing its global reach to five times more from its current audience of 959 million viewers. This apart, Zee also plans to increase its content consumption to four times more.

Zee, which recently released its annual report titled ‘Investing in Tomorrow,’ said that it plans to expand its market footprint and its relevance to viewers across a range of ethnicities and nationalities. This reflects in the improvement in Zee’s financial performance – and, along with it, its brand value. Zee with its initiatives is on its way to close the gap in brand value with the global best.

The network is looking at becoming the first global media brand amongst the top 100, with foundations in an emerging market, ensuring greater stickiness and viewer loyalty across the spectrum.

According to the report, Zee is amongst the largest producers and aggregators of Hindi programming in the world. It has over 2,10,678 hours of television content, rights to more than 3500 movie titles and 33 domestic channels.

In pursuit of its ‘Vision 2020,’ Zee aims to invest in adding more channels and offerings to its portfolio.  “At Zee, the Financial Year 2014-15 has been a year of ‘Investing in Tomorrow.’ We envision India playing a major role in the way the entertainment industry, around the world, evolves. Multiple macro factors are driving this growth – stronger internet access, rapid digitisation and increasing globalisation of audience preferences,” said Zeel chairman Dr Subhash Chandra.

Chandra feels that technological advancements in the field of entertainment consumption have bolstered the industry further. “Aspects like 4K, are slated to enrich the viewing experience, and open a whole new arena of premium content consumption. 4G will further empower the consumer to access rich content on the go. These factors are giving the overall entertainment ecosystem a whole new dimension,” added Chandra.

The global media and entertainment industry is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4 per cent from 2015, reaching around USD 2.3 trillion in 2018. “As part of our ‘Vision 2020,’ we see ourselves being at the forefront; targeting growth at a different scale for your company,” informed Chandra.

Chandra foresees the company being ranked among the top global media brands in the next five years. “We have invested minimum shareholder value to achieve our objective of global leadership. Our initiatives are based on the orbit shifting thoughts and ambitions set for the year 2020, with clear, quantifiable parameters, giving us visibility of how the future will unfold for us, capitalizing opportunities along the way,” he added.

On the international front, Zee has aggressively forayed into new territories. “Zee holds ambitions of emerging as an entertainment and media leader in rapidly developing newer markets. Despite challenges, we have emerged as a global content powerhouse, catering to the varying aspirations of audiences in a seamless world of entertainment. And we will continue to move forward with confident, determined steps, to make the most of future opportunities,” asserted Chandra.

The network has maintained a steady progress across all quarters and reported revenue of Rs 48,837 million (Y-o-Y growth of 10.4 per cent) with EBITDA of Rs 12,538 million (Y-o-Y growth of 4 per cent) and net post-tax profit of Rs 9,775 million (Y-o-Y growth of 10 per cent). “Despite pricing challenges, and increasing costs, we were able to maintain a healthy net margin of 20 per cent. This outcome indicates that our operations were based on a prudent strategy, and bear testimony to our know-how and expertise. We are confident that we will be able to continue on the path of augmenting shareholder value,” said Zeel MD and CEO Punit Goenka.

According to Goenka, the implementation of digitisation (phase I & II), despite a few delays, has resulted in the creation of new opportunities throughout the media value chain.

“During FY 2014-15, we took many steps towards this very end. We expanded aggressively in the American, European, APAC and Middle East markets. We launched new channels with a clear view on rich and engaging content, customized to specific audience groups. We are also investing in further training our existing talent, together with nurturing new people across diverse competencies,” informed Goenka.

The key elements of Zee’s strategy going forward will be to consistently invest in growth opportunities to safeguard and grow its leadership, in a competitive environment. “We will concentrate on the opportunities that digitisation presents and seek to maximise revenue from this, while operating in a prudent environment. We will consistently seek out newer markets globally, and fortify our existing ones. And through all of this, we will maintain the highest standards of corporate governance and ethics while creating superior value,” he said.

Zee is also geared to offer its entertainment content through ‘Now Media’ i.e. through digital tools and over the top (OTT) platforms, among others. It is also adopting cutting-edge, advance formats like ‘high definition’ and ‘4K’.  The network foresees these formats transforming the viewing experience in the near future. It also predicts that content producers will have to be nimble-footed and geared up to address the technology paradigm, in addition to the content quality. The demarcation between ‘on-air’ and ‘online’ is rapidly disappearing, with almost all devices getting backward and forward integrated using the internet.

Zee aims to become a global content company and in keeping with this launched Zindagi in India and Zee Hiburan in Indonesia, last year. “This helps us remain the preferred entertainment provider to a large audience across the world enhancing our revenue and visibility. The future will see further empowerment of the viewers, and we are investing in making ourselves relevant to this trend,” the company said in its annual report. 

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