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The focus will be on identifying new opportunities

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On a macro perspective, one of the biggest challenges that Zee will have to face is the current national as well as international political and economic scenario, which has resulted in a steep fall in both marketing and advertising spends. However, on the other hand, the growing competition in the domestic market is also one of the key challenges on our hand, which we will have to overcome to regain our lost grounds.

At the same time, we will have to continue to seek newer opportunities to ensure better business efficiencies, create value for our shareholders and ensure better practices. In the past few years, because of both organic as well as inorganic growth, the corporate structure at our end had become multi-layered and complex.

The restructuring exercise undertaken by the Group highlights our continued commitment to create value for our shareholders and ensure better practices.

     

"It is critical that we go into a system of programme benchmarking so that our eyeballs translate into viewer decisions to buy into the channels"      

We will continue to seek opportunities to ensure better business efficiencies through reduction of inventories, better management of working capital, exit from non-core businesses, rationalisation of business processes and disposal of non-essential assets, amongst others. The revised corporate structure at Zee would result in better utilisation of resources besides being simple and efficient from the point of view of tax, accounting practices and legal compliances.

Despite the regulations being eased in 2001, DTH still carries several entry and operational restrictions. However, at the same time, with the passing of the Conditional Access System Bill, the power will be in the hands of consumers in terms of viewership as well as revenue. It is critical that we go into a system of programme benchmarking so that our eyeballs translate into viewer decisions to buy into the channels. The implementation of CAS will allow broadcasters to secure revenues for subscription services by prohibiting signal theft.

Zee's strategic programming initiatives like Thursday Premieres, Sunday Programming and Live Online draws for three State Governments are expected to help us to improve our share in the advertising revenues market.

Our subscription revenues from the domestic as well as international markets continues to grow at a healthy rate, which will provide an increasing broad basing of revenue stream in the days ahead. During the year, initiatives like the alliance between Zee & Turner for distribution, the acquisitions of ETC and Padmalaya, uplinking of Channels from India and the launch of separate encrypted beam for international markets have already started paying dividends.

Besides driving programming excellence, the focus will also be on increasing shareholder value and on the unique multi-pillar channel approach. In the current market environment it is important not to lose sight of issues, which in the long term will deliver real, sustainable shareholder value. We will remain committed to our viewers and will continue to ensure that we offer them what they want to see.

(The author is the chairman and managing director of Zee Telefilms. The ideas expressed here are his personal ones and indiantelevision.com need not necessarily endorse them)

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