Zee creates special committee to audit business verticals

In a bid to rescue struggling financials after the Zee-Sony merger collapse, the board of Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEE) has institutionalised a structured Monthly Management Mentorship (3M) Programme, which hopes to achieve the 20 per cent EBITDA margin committed by Goenka to investors. In a nutshell, the 3M programme is expected to do critical re-evaluation of Zee’s business verticals. Advising certain verticals to focus on performance metrics and return on investment.

Informing the exchanges of this programme on Tuesday, the release noted that the 3M programme is a firm step undertaken by the board to protect the interests of all stakeholders of the company. 

To drive the 3M Programme, the board has formed a Special Committee to review the management’s business performance and provide the required directional guidance. The Special Committee comprises of ZEE Chairman,  R. Gopalan and Uttam Prakash Agarwal, Chairman of the Audit Committee.

The special committee has conducted the first set of extensive review sessions with the management to evaluate business vertical plans, enhance the revenue according to the press note. 

Phase 1

Gopalan, speaking after the completion of the first phase of the 3M Program, said, “After completing a detailed set of 33 meetings with various business verticals, corporate functions and leaders of the management team; our confidence and belief in the potential of the company to deliver the targeted results, has certainly strengthened. The businesses are well-aligned and focused towards the set goals for the future. The committee has provided its independent, neutral and fresh views to the business leaders enabling them to further improve their efficiency and performance.”

It appears that there could be further layoffs and attrition in senior management of the firm as the board has also advised the MD & CEO to further simplify the management structure and optimise the utilisation of the human capital, according to Gopalan. 

The 3M Program Special Committee has also identified business verticals that require a critical assessment. The same include: Margo Networks (Sugarbox); Teleplay & Zindagi; Hipi; Weyyak; and English Cluster of Linear TV Business. The special committee has advised that the identified business verticals substantially reduce losses and enhance their performance levels.

The 3M Program Special Committee also conducted  a detailed analysis of the Technology and Innovation Centre (TIC), which had incurred an expenditure of approximately ₹600 crore in the last year. The committee has noted that the TIC has developed a substantial level of technology and tools; however, it has highlighted the immediate need to focus on Return on Investment. TIC looks at newer verticals like gaming and product development. The comittee noted that a lot of these projects have reached a maturity level and TIC should focus on content development in particular. It has also advised that the management should leverage the TIC’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) tools to gain a deeper insight into the consumer profiles. It also expects TIC to reduce its expenditure by 50 per cent in FY24-25.

The Music business of the company was also audited and the comittee has advised its leadership team to enhance the monetisation avenues



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