Farid Kureshi, who had quit Times OOH as COO in February 2008, has decided to set up his own venture, Via OOH. Via OOH would have Shamik Talukder as Founding Member, who would be based in Mumbai. Kureshi would be based in Delhi. Via is operational now in Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore, and has signed on important assets in key markets.
Commenting on the new venture, Kureshi said, “Our vision is to be a leading out-of-home company in India by delivering quality assets across high growth segments and markets. To begin with, Via will be a small team of about 10-12 people and will focus on key markets of Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore.”
Via would build a network of premier OOH properties in Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore in the first phase and other Tier II cities in the second phase. The company would have owned properties as also marketing tie-ups for other properties. Via also proposes to consolidate and build a network of billboards, street furniture and transport through marketing tie-ups, tendering process and partnership with infrastructure players.
Giving his reason for venturing into this business Kureshi said, “The OOH market in India is still in its infancy. Outside of a few organised players coming in, who control 15 per cent of the market, nothing much has changed at the ground level. It is still very fragmented, and asset qualities are still an issue. The biggest challenge for the industry is human resources with majority of the people having little or no knowledge of the media landscape.”
He further said, “The market today provides an opportunity for us to build a portfolio of assets, backed by a strong team with expertise in media, marketing, sales and asset creation.”
Kureshi had joined the Times of India Group as National Sales Head for Radio Mirchi in 2001 and was part of a seven-member initial team, and was appointed COO in 2005. During his stint at Times OOH, the company had won some of the biggest contracts in India, including the Mumbai and Delhi airports, Patel Bridge, and the DND Expressway. Prior to the Times of India Group, Kureshi was with STAR TV in various roles. He worked across all genres, was part of the team that launched cricket ad sales in India, and was VP, India, Star Movies, in his last role before joining the Times Group.
Farid Kureshi quits Times OOH as COO