Gearing up for regulatory procedures which would gear a new phase of bidding and expansion, Radio Mirchi is making quite a few changes in its upper echelons. Naveen Chandra, erstwhile Pune Sales Head, is being made National Head (Sales) for the station. Meanwhile, Farid Kuereshi, who was handling this mandate earlier, would be looking into group initiatives for Entertainment Network India. Kuereshi's designation would continue to remain Executive Vice-President, Sales.
AP Parigi, CEO, Entertainment Network India Ltd, said, "We are trying to fine tune strategy towards new projects, and time taken to market these. This is why Kuereshi with all his expertise is being shifted to a new arena. Prashant Panday and I did have a tug of war over this. He wanted Kuereshi to stick on to his existing position for a while more, and I needed him to take on new responsibilities right away. But it's all worked out well. Chandra is the right man to take off from Kuereshi."
What exactly are these new projects that Kuereshi is looking after? Parigi said, "I wouldn't be able to comment on all the new projects that the group is getting into, but we have chalked out 4-5 areas where we would like to make our presence felt. As for the other senior level changes that we have made in recent days (within Mirchi), it just goes to show that we are gearing up for regulatory provisions which would positively impact private FM players and our immediate requirement would be to capitalise on these and establish the Mirchi footprint in other markets."
The station plans to extend itself to a lot more markets, and is setting its house in order before it gets on with the expansion plans. In recent days, Sameer Soni (station head Mumbai) has been promoted to Regional Director (Western Region) and is responsible for Ahmedabad and Pune markets in addition to home turf. Meanwhile, Nandan Srinath (currently station head, Delhi) is now heading the Kolkata operations as well under the designation of Regional Director (North and East.). Romen Soodh is made Regional Director, South. Earlier he was station head in Chennai and was also looking after the sales operations in Hyderabad and Bangalore
Meanwhile Prashant Panday, COO, Radio Mirchi said, "Naveen Chandra is the new National Head (Sales for Mirchi) and we are sure that he would do full justice to the job at hand. He would be reporting into Kuereshi. We believe that Chandra has the right skill sets required for the position, and he would aid greatly in taking the Mirchi footprint further."
Kuereshi has been associated with the group, since the start up phase of Mirchi. He carries with him precious experience from print, the internet and the electronic medium, and has had successful stints in organisations like Star TV, Chitralekha, Indian Express and Indya.com.