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ZEEL to shift CFO Mihir Modi to Margo Networks, plans scale up of tech start-up

MUMBAI: After acquiring 80% stake in Mumbai-based Margo Networks, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL) has decided to guide the operational functions of the technology start-up.

ZEEL will be moving its chief financial officer (CFO) Mihir Modi to spearhead the subsidiary company, a source familiar with the development said.

Margo, which has the technology to help boost digital content consumption, will be scaled up significantly. ZEEL has acquired 80% stake in Margo Networks for Rs 75 crore.

mihir-modi“Modi will move to Margo in July. ZEEL is in the process of hiring a new CFO,” the source added.

TelevisionPost.com could not ascertain what designation Modi will have in Margo. The technology start-up already has a CEO.

With ZEEL’s investment infusing capital in Margo, the plan now will be to scale up the company. If required, ZEEL will pump in additional investments to fund Margo’s growth.

ZEEL’s Rs 75-crore investment values Margo at Rs 95 crore. Explaining the rationale for the acquisition, ZEEL had said that “the technology developed by Margo has strong synergies with the current business of the company”.

Margo has developed a technology to set up a server and complete infrastructure to enable digital consumption. This has the potential to drive up digital content consumption. The company is developing a next-generation push content delivery network “which intends to set up Edge Servers as close to the delivery destination as possible”. The plan is to optimise high-speed delivery of content to end consumers by using Big Data methodologies, analytics, microservices architecture, caching algorithms and machine learning techniques.

Margo Networks was incorporated on 17 August 2016. Its authorised share capital is Rs 10 lakh and its paid-up capital is Rs 1 lakh. Directors of Margo Networks are Ripunjay Mukesh Bararia, Devang Yogesh Goradia, Rohit Suresh Paranjpe and Mehul Dinesh Patel.

ZEEL has a larger ambition of growing its digital business big. The company has digital properties that include over-the-top (OTT) service dittoTV and advertising-led video-on-demand (VoD) platform OZEE.

As reported first by TelevisionPost.com, ZEE incorporated a global digital outfit named Z5X, which is to become the hub of the company’s digital properties. Chamli Tennakoon has been appointed chief executive officer of the new organisation, in addition to his existing role of chief digital officer, Essel Group. Among many other changes, dittoTV business head Archana Anand has been made digital head of Z5X (India).

Recently, Zee roped in Tarun Katial to lead the TV content production business at Essel Vision Productions Ltd (EVPL) and original content for digital.

Katial continues to be the CEO of Reliance Broadcast Network (RBN), which runs the television broadcasting and FM radio business of Anil Ambani.

In November 2016, Zee Group agreed to acquire the TV and FM businesses of RBN through two separate entities and is awaiting regulatory approvals to complete the transactions. ZEEL would acquire the general entertainment broadcasting business of Reliance Big Broadcasting, Big Magic Ltd and Azalia Broadcast Pvt Ltd, all part of Ambani’s Reliance Group, through a scheme of demerger and definitive agreements. In a separate transaction, ZMCL would acquire 49% of Ambani’s radio network Big FM, with the option to buy out the remaining 51% after a three-year lock-in period.

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