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Saregama CEO Surya Mantha Resigns; Planning Entrepreneurial Move

Saregama LogoAfter a year or so at the helm of music major Saregama India, its CEO Surya Mantha has resigned. Confirming to MediaNama that he is moving on Mantha messaged MediaNama to say that he is “looking at something more entrepreneurial.”

Prior to joining Saregama, Mantha was a Venture Capitalist with the Omidyar Network, before which he was the CEO of Network18’s Internet business Web18. We’d checked independently, and learned that his move had already been reported by Radio and Music yesterday.

At Saregama, Mantha made some pretty interesting moves: firstly, he rightly switched the focus of the company from phyiscal sales to digital, so that Saregama would focus largely on digital rights, and brought in a team with experience with both digital and music: Avinash Mudaliar, who was instrumental in building gaana.com was brought in from Times Internet, and Keshaw Sinha was brought in as CTO from Web18. Both had worked with Mantha in the past.

Under Mantha’s watch, Saregama’s profitability improved in what appeared to have been a tough year for the music business, particularly with the decline in VAS:

– For the quarter ended March 2013, the company reported a net profit of Rs 2.32 crore, a significant improvement from Rs 7.42 crore loss in the same quarter the previous fiscal, and revenue grew to Rs 47.95 crore.
– For the quarter ended June 2013, Saregama reported profits of Rs 1.83 crore for the quarter, down 27.4% from Rs 2.52 crore profit in the same quarter last year and down 21.1% from Rs 2.32 crore in the previous quarter.
– For the quarter ended September 2013, the company reported Rs 2.49 crores in profit, on revenues of Rs 45. 53 crores.

Saregama operates both in the Films and TV serials and Music segments, but music accounts for a majority of its revenues.

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