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The digital assets of the Essel group are being restructured and group company Digial Media Convergence Ltd (DMCL) has laid off around 30 people, Mint had reported yesterday. According to their sources, the company might become a subsidiary of BSE listed group company ZEEL, to “serve as a back-end resource” for Zee TV channels. Around 30 people from DMCL were asked to leave in July, and former and existing employees are awaiting salary clearances.

MediaNama spoke to Vishal Malhotra, CEO DMCL on the restructuring, and the state of some of the companys projects. Malhotra took over as CEO of DMCL from Ishwar Jha around two and a half months ago. Over the past three years, DMCL has launched websites like MyPopKorn, Page3Flicks, and mobile initiatives ISee and SunoZee.

Malhotra declined to comment on specifics of the Mint article – particualrly the layoffs and the salary payments, but said that there is an equity participation taking place and DMCL will be raising funds. The company has invested in

a Digital Asset Manager (DAM), that has been implemented by IBN, which will take the broadcast feeds in and allow quick repurposing. At the press of a button, content can be delivered in multiple formats – mobile, online and broadcast. The content is annotated and metatagged, and the DAM allows a realtime online archiving facility as well as online editing. Malhotra said that the plan is to digitize the content of the entire Zee Group. ZEEL has participated in investment for the Digital Asset Manager, which is the reason behind the restructuring. “We had a number of editors putting up content online, and that has since been automated.” As of today, DMCL employs over 80 people.

It appears that of the projects that DMCL launched over the past three years, only MyPopkorn.com remains. Malhotra said that the voice portal business SunoZee is not available anymore; the mobile video initiative ISee “cannot do well at present, because there isn’t enough bandwith for quality video, and we’ve put in on hold for the tme being.” Page3Flicks has not been operational for two quarters, and the content has been integrated with MyPopKorn.

MyPopKorn, he said, did 30 percent higher in terms of views last month because of a cross-association with YouTube. The videos and the video player have also been integrated into Zee group sites. Malhotra didn’t think it was odd that MyPopKorn was the only of the DMCL products to survive – “In this (Internet) space, you just tend to concentrate on what works well. It’s just a matter of realigning your business policy.” Malhotra declined to comment on the products that the company is planning to launch, or share further details of the fund raising.