Zee Plans To Cut Workforce By 15%; Eyes Lean Structure To Boost Growth

Zee says the core business units of the proposed structure will include broadcast, digital, movies and music
Zee Plans To Cut Workforce By 15%; Eyes Lean Structure To Boost Growth

Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd. plans to reduce its workforce by 15%, after recent job cuts at its technology hub, as the company aims to achieve a lean and streamlined management structure as well as reduce costs and boost productivity.

Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Punit Goenka’s proposed move to the board is in line with his strategic plan focused toward achieving the targeted goals for the company, Zee said in a stock exchange announcement.

The Indian media and entertainment company said the workforce rationalization will prune the staff strength across the company and lead to a streamlined team that would be sharply focused on the set goals for the future.

Zee didn’t disclose its latest total number of employees.

The company employed a total of 4,577 people at the end of March 2023, according to its annual report for FY23. Its employee benefit expenses stood at 675.3 crore rupees ($81 million) during the financial year, the report showed.

“The streamlined team at Zee will maintain a sharper focus on targeting higher levels of productivity to drive growth in order to generate value for all our stakeholders going forward,” Goenka said.

Key highlights of the proposed move are:

  • The proposed structure aims to achieve a cost-effective operational model and enable the company to chart higher growth by maintaining a keen eye on performance and profitability.

  • The proposed organization design will be based on the three key tenets -- frugality, optimization and sharp focus on quality content.

  • The proposed lateral structure will elevate certain team members across businesses to provide them higher level of responsibilities and accelerate the decision-making process in order to boost productivity.

  • Goenka will assume direct charge of the critical business verticals, leading to cross-functional collaboration, quick decision-making and higher productivity levels.

  • The lateral structure will focus on a more collaborative environment across the core business segments to leverage synergies in terms of creativity, technology and revenue generating opportunities.

Zee said the detailed composition of the new operating structure will be announced after seeking the required approvals and guidance from the board.

The core business units of the proposed structure will include:

  • Broadcast: The linear business will continue to be a strong growth driver for the company with a vast portfolio of channels across genres, catering to the consumers’ every entertainment need.

  • Digital: The digital business will be a core area of focus for the company, combining the best of content and technology to deliver a compelling value proposition for the consumers.

  • Movies: The movies business will continue to play a strategic part of the portfolio and aim to emerge as the leading pan-India film studio.

  • Music: The music business will focus on fortifying its stronghold in the market and further enhance its monetization avenues through the prism of profitability.

Zee Chairman R. Gopalan said the board is in the process of discussing the proposed lean structure, which is in line with the strategic guidance provided to the management.

The development follows resignations of some key executives -- Punit Misra, Nitin Mittal and Rahul Johri -- from Zee recently. Goenka also voluntarily took a 20% pay cut, in line with the larger strategic and frugal approach implemented across the organization, according to Zee.

Zee’s management is implementing several measures across verticals to optimize the costs and enhance productivity following the collapse of a $10 billion merger deal with Sony Group’s Indian units.

Note: $1 = 83.3521 Indian rupees

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