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Mahindras review media, entertainment biz

November 29, 2010 13:00 IST
HappinessMahindra Partners Division, a $500-million (Rs 2,300 crore) division that manages the Mahindra group's new and non-automotive businesses such as retail, logistics, engineering, chemical products and media and entertainment, is in the process of revising strategy for its 'not-so-profitable' media and entertainment arm, Mumbai Mantra.

"It (slow growth of Mumbai Mantra) is just a pause in the strategy.

"We do believe that media and entertainment has a great opportunity and we are in the middle of evaluating it," Zhooben Bhiwandiwala, executive vice-president and managing partner of MPD, told Business Standard at a management conclave at the Indian School of Business here on Friday.

Mumbai Mantra has produced eight movies -- Sorry Bhai!, Acid Factory, Sab Se Peeche Hum Khade and Mumbai Chakachak in Hindi, Antaheen and Shukna Lanka in Bengali and Hum Bahubali and Chandu Ki Chameli in Bhojpuri.

"There were movies for which the response was not good. One of our Bengali movies won the best film award last year.

"So, we also had some critical success in a mixed bag. We have not really finalised anything and it is a bit premature  to comment upon right now, but we will be in a position towards deciding our next steps in this business, probably in the next two quarters," he said.

Other business

Bhiwandiwala said their infant and maternity care products chain, Mom & Me, which entered the domestic retail sector two years before, went slow on expansion in 2008-09,
like other organised retail companies, because of recession.

"From seven stores at the beginning of this financial year, we already are a 31-store chain.

"We had one of the fastest store rollouts in the retail sector across the country this year. We will be opening two-three stores a month, and are targeting a Rs 100-crore (Rs 1 billion) revenue by the end of this fiscal," he said, adding that Mom and Me was not looking at entering into other retail formats for now.

MPD, said Bhiwandiwala, was looking at establishing on-grid solar photovoltaic units. The company was one of the selected 37 for the first bunch of power purchase agreements the National Solar Mission had awarded recently.

"As part of this, we have got a 5-Mw allocation in Rajasthan, which will be our first project. We are also exploring some other projects and hope to ramp up this activity in the next year," he said.

K Rajani Kanth in Hyderabad
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