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Question mark over Raj Nayak's Aidem ventures

With Raj Nayak taking over as the CEO of Colors, the big question doing the rounds within the media industry is what happens to his company Aidem Ventures and its clients.

Anusha Subramanian | April 19, 2011 | Updated 19:33 IST

With Raj Nayak taking over as the CEO of Colors, the big question doing the rounds within the media industry is what happens to his company Aidem Ventures and its clients.

Currently, Aidem handles ad sales of NDTV Good Times, Sahara's three channels (Sahara One, Filmy and Firangi), Sri Adhikari Brothers' Mastiii, Dabangg and Dhamaal, BAG Films and Media's News24 and E24 and Live India and Mi Marathi.

When BT spoke to Group vice chairman and MD Markand Adhikari of Sri Adhikari Brothers, he said: "We are evaluating options. We will sort out the matter professionally within the next day or two." 

Anuradha Prasad, CMD of BAG Films, also said the airtime sales arrangement would be reviewed. "Since Raj is no more with Aidem we will be definitely reviewing the contract. We are working out a plan". BAG Films had signed a contract with Aidem for three years. As per the contract BAG had to be with Aidem for a minimum of one year which Prasad says has been completed. And since the contract was dependent on Raj, they will now review the future course of action on this contract.  All attempts to get in touch with Nayak proved futile. 

Raj Nayak, a media veteran and founder and MD of Aidem Ventures, has been roped in as the CEO of Colors, the Hindi general entertainment channel from the Viacom 18 stable. Nayak will replace Rajesh Kamat, who from June 2011 will join Peter Chernin Group's CA Media as its India CEO.

As the CEO, Nayak will be responsible for driving the Colors brand and the business towards profitability and growth. He will be reporting into Viacom18 Group CEO Haresh Chawla.

Colors very recently cut its advertising time by almost 40 per cent to return to the top position in viewership ratings after nearly a year, replacing Star Plus. The channel's gross rating points (GRPs) jumped from 231 four weeks ago to 300 in the week that began on 27 March, ahead of Star Plus' 261 points and Zee's 194 in the same period, according to data from television ratings firm TAM Media Research Pvt. Ltd. GRP is the total of television rating points (TRPs), which reflect the percentage of viewers watching a programme at a particular time.

Announcing the appointment of Nayak, Chawla said, "Given Raj's extensive experience and a proven track record, we're confident of him charting out and leading Colors' next phase of growth. Raj will be singularly focused on consolidating Colors' dominance in the GEC space."

Last year, after parting ways with NDTV, Nayak formed Aidem Ventures, an independent media consulting and sales & marketing company. Nayak along with some of his associates had held 26 per cent in NDTV Media. NDTV and Nayak then entered into an agreement, under which the media house bought back the shares of Nayak and his associates in NDTV Media.  Nayak when launched Aidem had aimed to grow the company in years to become a major media player in India and overseas.

Prior to forming Aidem Ventures Nayak was CEO of NDTV Media Limited for a period of over seven years. He also spent 10 years at STAR TV Group, where he was the Executive Vice President, Sales & Marketing, and was responsible for strategy, packaging and marketing for all STAR Channels and also the revenue for the Group. He was also on the Board of Vijay TV and Indya.com.

Nayak has had close to 25 years of experience in the media industry and in these years he has handled some of the biggest media brands in India like ESPN STAR Sports, STAR TV Network, NDTV and many more.


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