AP Parigi, managing director of TIML Golden Square Ltd (TIML), a wholly owned subsidiary of Times Infotainment Media Limited (part of the Times of India Group) spoke to Campaign India on the background and future of Virgin Radio which they bought last week.
Speaking to Campaign India from London, Parigi insisted that the "real architect of the deal is Vineet Jain."
"We have been looking at expansion through geographies for the past five years. However, Mr. Jain insisted that we reject all single station offers and look for reasonable scale. We were offered the Virgin Radio business in January and found it a great platform for entertainment, thanks to their strengths on the Internet and on the mobile."
He added, "We looked hard at the product, which had a popular brand name, great infrastructure and a critical mass of audiences. In addition, they had a digital audio broadcast connectivity, were available through BSkyB and on FM and AM throughout the UK. Great people was another compelling reason to look at the offer."
"For success, you need a marriage of what I call A3 to C3. We create Awareness, allow Access and make sure the product is Affordable. The consumer needs to find the product Convenient, and he needs to have Choice and Control. With this buy, we believe that we have a happy marriage."
When asked if the Mirchi brand would be used for the stations, Parigi made it clear that this would not happen. "This is already a global brand with global consumers from the UK, from the US, from Australia. We will create a new brand that addresses and attracts the global consumer." When asked if TIML would get into print forays abroad after this victory, Parigi said that they would take things "one step at a time. It is too early to talk about other forays."
After five years in the hunt, TIML has finally bagged the prey.
A prey which was defined , five years ago, by Bennett Coleman & Company Ltd's (BCCL) Managing Director Vineet Jain as "a critical entry point which gives us adequate scale for future growth."
Picture (Left to right): Donnach O'Driscoll (CEO, TIML Radio), Adrian Robinson (CFO, TIML Radio), Clive Dickens (COO, TIML Radio) and A.P. Parigi (Director, BCCL and MD, TIML)