Farid Kureshi deserts Essel Group ,VIA OOH

Farid Kureshi has left the Essel Group after a stint of about five months. Kureshi sold his out of home venture, VIA OOH, to the Essel Group in October 2008 (announced in January 2009), and stayed on as chief executive officer, taking on additional responsibilities as head of ad sales of the group’s Internet ventures.

“OOH requires a substantial amount of investment and is a business that sucks in a huge amount of money upfront; it’s not a business that can be done in Rs 10-20 crore. So, looking at the current economic situation, the group felt that it could not focus on OOH for sometime, which is why I decided to move on with VIA,” Kureshi said.

Kureshi’s exit also signals the end of the arrangement between VIA and the Essel Group. The Essel Group bought over out of home media company VIA (Vehicular, Infrastructure and Airports) OOH with plans to re-launch it as a subsidiary of an existing Essel Group company or a new company by itself.

Kureshi admitted that the decision to sell VIA to the conglomerate was prompted by the need to fund its expansion. It made sense for VIA to work with the large media company and have access to funds, management talent, resources and domain expertise across various functions.

Kureshi’s plan now is to keep a low profile with the OOH company: “Logic says to lie low till the economic situation gets better but we will go on with VIA’s existing portfolio.”

Kureshi has more than 20 years of experience in the print and entertainment industry. Before setting up VIA OOH in 2008, he was COO at Times OOH (a division of TIML) since 2005.

Source: Bombay Adclub

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