Dear Shareholders,

Media & Entertainment industry is going through an exciting phase. We are seeing discontinuous changes in all aspects of entertainment and for the consumer, freedom of choice, enhanced connectivity and multiple screens, have given new dimensions to overall entertainment consumption. The attention spans of the consumers have shortened, and the conventional boundaries of content creation have been breached. In this competitive environment, the need for innovation and creativity is certainly at its peak. In our journey of delivering extraordinary entertainment content across platforms, our Company has been at the forefront of driving change and setting trends for the industry and we are gearing-up for success in this evolving landscape. Our strong and consistent operating and financial performance give us room to invest in future growth opportunities.

The media and entertainment industry have always been dynamic, fuelled by the innovation and imagination of creative fraternity. However, the pace of evolution has accelerated due to the changes in technology which have diminished boundaries for creators and democratized access to content.

India continues to be the fastest growing economy despite the volatile conditions. While the impact of structural reforms will take the required time to settle, a few issues in select sectors of the economy are affecting the growth in the short-term. That said, with the new government at the centre, backed by a strong mandate and positive outlook, there is an expectation that the implementation of the steps needed to rectify these issues will lead to a quick reversion to the earlier growth trajectory.

Content consumption continued to showcase an accelerated growth, irrespective of the momentary slow-down in macro-economic growth. India’s spends on entertainment are insignificant compared to the overall size of the economy and the income levels, which explains the limited impact on content consumption growth, despite the mentioned slow-down. Our per capita content consumption is still comparatively lower, with a substantial room for growth. India’s Media & Entertainment industry is growing at more than twice the global average, driven by the long-term narrative of the content growth story.

The Media & Entertainment industry has always been a dynamic one, fueled by the innovation and imagination of creative fraternity. However, the pace of evolution has accelerated due to the changes in technology which have diminished boundaries for creators and democratized access to content. This has given a huge boost to both content creation and consumers’ access to content. While video has always been the dominant medium for entertainment, thanks to technology, it is finding new use cases and taking share from other media. The consumers are now exposed to a surfeit of video content across new formats which is driving strong consumption growth and leaving them yearning for more. This growth in demand and content creation has set in motion a virtuous cycle.

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Content consumption experience has been another key driver for the overall exponential growth. Series of technological developments and innovations have made it easy for consumers to access content while also enabling interactivity and personalization. The viewers are no longer restricted to consume content within the confines of time and place. They are empowered with multiple options from around the world, at a device, place and time of their choice. This has given ‘content discovery’ a whole new meaning, paving way for multiple solutions to emerge which are making it further easier for consumers to access relevant and customized content. The immersive content viewing experience enables the viewers to not just view, but to also interact and share, enhancing the overall engagement levels. Technology is not only enabling a personalized experience but is also making it possible to serve customized content to smaller audience segments. As this evolution continues, we will not only be limited to creating content for mass audience but it will be imperative for us to give a personalized entertainment experience to the viewers.

In the evolving media landscape, along with the changing relationship between the viewers, content creators, and distributors, we are also seeing a set of new players emerge. While the existing players will cede some ground to the new entrants, the explosive growth in content consumption is providing enough growth opportunities for all players in the value chain. The incumbents are able to expand their addressable market by creating new touch-points while the new players are thriving on niche or untapped opportunities. While content will remain fundamental to the proposition of entertainment, technology is playing a much more influential role. As an industry, we will have to be agile to adapt to changes, develop new skills, and accelerate the pace of innovation to benefit from these new opportunities. Consolidation will certainly follow this phase of hyper-growth. Constant innovation and incessant efforts to satisfy the consumers’ needs will be critical for survival in this new landscape.

Financial Year 2018-19 has been successful for our Company. Our strong operating performance is in line with the trend over last several years. The investments we made over a period of time are showing results, helping us grow ahead of the market. Our decision to strengthen our focus on regional television markets has yielded results, reflected in our strong competitive position in each of the territories. Zee Keralam is our latest step in this direction which would help us consolidate our position. In a short time, ZEE5 has been able to establish itself as one of the leading digital entertainment platforms in the country. It has learnt from the success of our television business, and has a really sharp focus on regional markets. ZEE5 will certainly be the vanguard of our growth in the coming years. Our movie production and music publishing businesses are getting strengthened every year. While Zee Studios continues to build on the success of the last two years, Zee Music Company is rapidly scaling-up its music library. The International Business is entering a new phase of growth with the addition of ZEE5 to its portfolio. While ZEE5 will be launched across the globe in coming months, the broadcast business will continue to focus on increasing its reach. Zee Live is now expanding its footprint in the organised events space and we expect it to become a strong player in this segment. Our strong operating performance is reflecting in our financials. 12% revenue CAGR and 16% EBITDA CAGR over the last five years is a result of the careful execution of our strategy.

At ZEEL, we have been always cognizant about our responsibilities towards the society. Our content revolves around stories from the varied social, cultural and economic milieu of our great nation. These stories not only serve to entertain, but also help our audience subliminally find inspiration to achieve the extraordinary, build empathy for fellow human beings, and bring about a positive change in the society. Extending our brand philosophy of ‘Extraordinary Together’, we launched the Dibba Lautao and Revive Odisha campaigns to encourage citizens across the country to contribute to relief efforts for the natural calamity affected states of Kerala and Orissa. Our programming initiatives and on-ground activities are making a conscious effort to mitigate the impact of drought in some parts of Maharashtra. With Project Prerna and the Kisan Abhiman initiative, we are constantly working to bring small improvements in their lives of the farming community. As a responsible organization, driven by a rich value system, we remain committed to bringing a positive change in the lives of our audience.

I am grateful to all our stakeholders for their constant support and the trust reposed in us. We are working to strengthen our value proposition and I hope that we will be able to bank on your support in the future as well.


Subhash Chandra

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