Kartikeya Sharma acquires majority in Barun Das’ Cent Percent
By A Correspondent
Kartikeya Sharma, MD of ITV network, has inked a deal with Cent Percent to buy a majority stake in the company. Set up by Barun Das, until recently CEO of Zee News, and Amit Tripathi, formely sales head at Zee News., Cent Percent Media Solutions is on outsourcing adverting sales organization with its core focus on regional and niche TV brands.
Mr Sharma has embarked on an aggressive journey to make ITV a robust and successfuly news network. Last year, he acquired English news channel News X which he plans to relaunch soon. The ITV network has another six channels including India News. Leading news anchor Deepak Chaurasia is the new face of India News, having joined the channel from ABP News.
Commenting on this acquisition Mr Sharma said, “Barun and his team have tremendous track record in managing news television business in the highly competitive genre. Given the proliferation of niche and regional channels that I foresee, riding the digitization of Cable distribution, Cent Percent is an extremely exciting proposition.”
Said R K Arora, CEO of ITV network, “We have the largest number of news channels for any network in the HSM markets. Our thrust is on content and marketing strategy, which has already started showing results.”
Said Barun Das, “Kartikeya has a great vision for his media business. The fact that he found value in what we have set out to do, augments my confidence many folds. Regionalisation and digitization are the primary growth drivers of TV media, where so far the profitability has been the prerogative of only a select few. With capacity growing exponentially due to digitization, Indian TV industry is poised for the next big leap. In a country of 1.24 billion people with 22 official languages, niche and regional language channels would realize their true potential, now. I expect more 200 new channels, mostly regional and niche, would be launched in next 3-5 years. Cent Percent would be a one-stop shop to meet the advertising revenue challenge of all niche and regional channels who may not find it viable to build a strong national sales team”
Highlighting the plans for the company, Amit Tripathi added, “We will have a strong national team with about 70 leading sales professionals. Our initial plan is to build a bouquet of regional news channels which would be the biggest and most effective one from the point of view of national advertisers. Within the first fortnight of its operations, Cent Percent has signed up with seven high potential regional news channels. We are confident that before the new financial year, we will be setting up a bouquet of 10 regional news channels. Our primary bouquet will have a channel each from leading regional TV markets of India. We will carefully handpick those channels.”