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The Anil Ambani promoted Reliance MediaWorks, which runs film and television studios and multiplexes ó which is now planning to delist from the stock exchanges ó is currently looking at paring its debt. Venkatesh Roddam, CEO, Reliance MediaWorks, joined the company in January 2012 and had worked with the preceding CEO Anil Arjun for eight months. In an interview with FEís Anand J, he says that the company is looking for private equity infusion to reduce its debt burden.
What will be your focus area for the next 12 months?
We have made investments for the next three to five years across verticals in terms of technology, infrastructure, creating a network of cinemas till 2010. We have been consolidating from 2011, regrouping the various businesses and launch a growth phase which we are witnessing now. We are today ensuring that we are a profitable business across various verticals.
Have you not lost market share and mind share to PVR and Inox in the industry?
I would not disagree with that at all. But the market share is only an acquisition away. If I look at our presence in smaller towns, we are still the dominant player. Irrespective of othersí growth, we have largely retained our market share at 10%. And if you look at comparable properties across comparable towns, we have shown a better growth. They have streamlined screens under one brand. Innumerable local chains have collection of properties with who we are in talks with. That will fall somewhere in between an organic and inorganic growth path. There are multiple players who have screens in range of 25-50. I am not in the race of number of screens. We are looking whether these screens can complement our retail efforts.
PVR and Inox have been making profits, which you have not done for the past few years now.
The kind of investment that RMW has done is unparallelled in the market place. The sourcing could be parent company funding and external debt. Creating a global infrastructure following a debt route is unheard of in the industry. But the value we created makes the debt look insignificant. We have created a perfect platform for external equity for growth capital and debt reduction. We donít see ourselves as a loss-making company.
Which were the areas where your investment went wrong?
For instance, the equipment rental business ó cameras, lights, lens, etc ó used to be a core