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Essel Group's ZEE Appoints New Chief Business Officer

Essel Group's Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEE), a pioneer of India's television entertainment industry, has recently appointed its new chief business officer (CBO). Sunil Buch, who joined the company on November 3, will be responsible for fast and effective "implementation of prioritized strategic initiatives across the organization," according to a report by Indian Television.

Buch will report directly to ZEE CEO and Managing Director, Punit Goenka. Speaking on the appointment of the new CBO, Goenka said: "We are extremely happy to have Sunil join us as the chief business officer. As we work towards accomplishment of our Vision 2020 goals, we want to undertake enterprise-wide strategic initiatives that focus on not only enhancing business performance but also bring in operational excellence and efficiency across the network. We are confident that Sunil's high degree of consumer connect, his creativity and communication skills coupled with his sharp business focus and ability to manage a wide spectrum will enable us to gain significant competitive advantage."

On the other hand, Buch also expressed enthusiasm about his new role. He said he looked forward to joining the organization at "this exciting juncture."

"The path is challenging yet filled with immense opportunity and I hope to contribute positively to this growth," he added. Buch has over 20 years of functional and general management experience across various industries, including advertising, media and entertainment, and telecom retail.

ZEE, a leading television media and entertainment company in India, belongs to one of the country's most prominent business conglomerates: Essel Group ('Essel'). Since its humble beginnings as a commodity trading and export firm in 1976, Essel has successfully built and expanded new businesses for the last three decades.

Today, Essel is known for its strong portfolio of numerous entertainment and news channels, catering to millions of consumers in India and worldwide. ZEE alone, for instance, reaches more than 730 million viewers across 169 countries, and is considered one of the strongest Indian media brands worldwide. Among ZEE's well-known brands include ZEE TV, ZEE Cinema, ZEE Premier, Ten Sports, Ten Action, Ten Golf and a lot more.

In August, Essel signed a major new content deal with audio social media company, Audioboom (AIM: BOOM). Audioboom, dubbed as the Youtube digital audio version, is working with companies and brands across Essel Group, such as ZEE TV, DNAIndia and India.com. Through this partnership, Audioboom will provide over 30 new channels that will allow embedding and sharing of content by users across websites, social media and applications. Aside from targeting the estimated 100 million plus smartphone users in India, they aim to reach an estimated of more than 750 million feature phone users who access news and entertainment content via WAP and IVR systems.

"We are delighted that Essel and its many global media properties are partnering with us. This gives us the prospect of reaching hundreds of millions of smart and feature phone users, providing them with free and paid for news, sport and entertainment audio content and providing content partners and advertisers with the technology to reach this important market," Audioboom's CEO Rob Proctor said in a statement released August. "This is a significant deal for Audioboom; it establishes our brand in the Indian sub-continent with a major media partner, creates immediate operational scale and establishes a clear path to monetization, " he added.

Audioboom is a London-based digital social media audio company widely known for its software-as-a-service spoken word audio platform. The only social media company listed on the London Stock Exchange, Audioboom works with over 1,200 content partners such as the BBC, Guardian, Premier League, Universal Music Group and more.