The radio sector is abuzz with action following the FM Phase 2 licensing and Radio Mirchi is ensuring that it is strong on its people power front. Following two key people movements in the last quarter of 2005, when Prashant Panday was made Deputy CEO and H S Bhatia, CFO, it has now enlarged the portfolios of the existing senior management.
Consequently, Nandan Srinath, Regional Director for North, has become COO, Radio Mirchi. Sharath Chandra, hitherto EVP-Marketing and Brand Development, has become COO-International Operations. The new roles are effective February 1, 2006.
Confirming these changes, A P Parigi, MD and CEO, Entertainment Network India Ltd (ENIL), said that these promotions were a signal to the growth that was expected in the sector and from Radio Mirchi. Last year, Panday was elevated from COO to Deputy CEO for Radio Mirchi, while Bhatia was promoted from Finance Controller to CFO for all ENIL operations.
“These changes are a run-up to the expansion and growth plans of Radio Mirchi, 360 degree and Times OOH and to acknowledge the contribution of key people,” said Parigi. “However, the leadership in waiting got into the next level of responsibility consequent to the pan-India expansion of Mirchi, which is internally now referred to as the ‘Mirchi Republic of India’.”
Elaborating on the implications of the management restructuring, Parigi informed that Srinath would move to Mumbai to take charge of Radio Mirchi as COO. Chandra would continue to handle the responsibilities of marketing and brand development for Mirchi, while the overseas operations come as an additional responsibility.
It may be recalled that in the draft prospectus that Mirchi had filed with SEBI, it had indicated that certain overseas plans were under consideration. Chandra’s appointment for international operations is a step in that direction.
Consequently, Sameer Soni now becomes Regional Director (North and West) – North being added to his domain. Romen Sood gets additional charge of the Western Region. All these executives will continue to report to Panday.
The offices reporting to Parigi continue to be Company Secretary-Legal, HR, CFO, Deputy CEO and EVP-Regulatory Affairs. In addition to this, the heads of the two divisions of Times Innovative Media, a subsidiary of Radio Mirchi, also report to Parigi. As is known, the two divisions are 360 degree, which is headed by Sumit Chatterjee, and Times OOH, headed by Farid Quereshi. Qureshi has been elevated from EVP to COO, Times OOH.
“The task of the team is to steer the growth of Mirchi Republic of India, which got independence on April 1, 2005 – the milestone date when the revenue sharing regime was made effective,” said Parigi.
Elaborating on the reasons for using the term ‘Republic’, Parigi said, “To have 13 key towns (2 million plus) and then adding some very important markets under our belt – we are quite the Republic!”
The other markets, he pointed out, included Jalandhar in Punjab, Varanasi in addition to Kanpur and Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh, getting the only allotted frequency of Patna, and winning all nine stations in the West that it had bid for. “There is much more happening and we are, as you can see, excited and prepared,” said Parigi.