MIPCOM: Head of Indian Conglomerate Zee Boss Says Future Success Lies In Collaboration

The fast-pace of change in the business means execs will have to innovate to stay abreast and even partner with competitors to succeed.


CANNES -- Executives in the media business will have to keep their "eyes and ears open" constantly and take on collaborations and partnerships with erstwhile competitors if they want to succeed in the new broadcast arena.

So advises Punit Goenka, the CEO of India's Zee Entertainment conglomerate.

The soft-spoken, reflective Goenka was interviewed onstage Tuesday for a Media Mastermind keynote during Mipcom in Cannes.

Zee is one of South Asia's biggest media companies, with currently 675 million viewers across 34 domestic channels and 29 outlets beyond the sub-continent.

Outside its home base, Zee caters mainly to the Indian diaspora in the Middle East, Russia and Malaysia.

Goenka told the attendees his goal is to reach one billion eyeballs globally, but that to do so he doesn't allow his company to invest in ventures that don't quickly become profitable.

His U.S.-owned off-shoot, Veria, provides mostly wellness programming and other nonfiction fare via satellite.

The Indian exec reiterated several times his belief that "fragmentation" and "segmentation" of the market were only going to accelerate as viewing becomes more digitized and niche.

To cope with these developments, he suggested that media companies need to "diversify their content portfolios" and "innovate, innovate, innovate."

Stock options for highly talented staff doesn't hurt either.