With a new structure and a new head in Probal Gaanguly, STAR News is looking at widening the kinds of clients it targets as well. The channel intends to accentuate focus on regional and retail clients now. Consequently, it has set up a separate unit catering to local players, with Nilesh Thakkar as the head. Thakkar quits his responsibilities at Alpha Marathi for the new assignment, where he would be reporting to Gaanguly.
Citing a reason behind the new unit, Gaanguly says, “STAR News has been looking at the regional business but this segment is growing at a very fast pace and it needs a much focussed approach. These clients have to be dealt differently in comparison to a corporate client and hence need an exclusive team. Nilesh would be heading this unit for the West region and once he is on board, in consultation with him, we would strengthen the team further at various levels.”
Thakkar joins from January 21, 2005 as Sr Manager. He brings with him 13 years of experience including print and television. Being involved with the Alpha channels from their inception, he left the channel as Assistant Vice President, Sales. For him, regional business is a sure way to generate revenue for any channel, “The market here is huge and largely untapped and offers its own benefits.”
As per Thakkar, these clients work on advance payment and hence improve collection, there is always a replacement due to the number of players and they are ready to spend. Adding further he says, “in the case of STAR News, the benefit I have is that the channel is the leading player in the Maharashtra market and that is something we can tap on.”
The division will start operations from Mumbai and move on to other parts of Maharashtra and Gujarat.