Farid Kureshi, who had quit Times OOH to set up his own venture Via OOH in April 2008, has joined Zee Group as CEO of their OOH company. Via OOH would now become a subsidiary of Zee Group. The process of Via becoming a subsidiary of Zee has already started and would be completed in due course of time.
Commenting on the development, Kureshi said, “I was in talks with the management of Zee for quite sometime. Since I had started my own venture in OOH, the modalities took time as I wanted to ensure that the new beginning is viable and beneficial to both Zee and Via.” Kureshi will be based in Delhi.
He further said, “Via, a start-up, is less than a year old now. While it was doing good, funds needed to expand and take the business to the next level was tough in light of the liquidity crunch and private equity virtually drying up. Zee Group today is the largest media conglomerate in India, with interest in all major domains of media. Getting into OOH made eminent business sense for the Group. They liked the team at Via and decided to take over the company and bring us in. It made perfect sense for us as well as we will be now working for the largest media company in India, have access to funds, management talent, resources and domain expertise across various functions.”
Speaking on the way ahead, Kureshi said, “My aim is to develop, build and sustain quality OOH assets in India and abroad, ensuring viability, growth and profitability. I want to make the company a well-known and respected player in the OOH space. I want the company to complement and enhance the value of Zee/Essel Group in the media domain.”
“Via’s small team is already there, we are now looking at hiring key people in various markets as per requirement. Evaluation of various opportunities is on, albeit in the new light of a cautious environment,” he added.
Farid Kureshi leverages domain expertise through ‘Via OOH’ venture