Ekta Kapoor-backed content production house Balaji Telefilms Ltd is selling its new media and training divisions. In a notice to the BSE, the company announced its intent to sell them. It is learnt that the sale will occur this month.
The company sustained a loss of Rs 2.74 crore in launching its New Media and Education businesses, which consists of mobile content production, artist hiring portal Hoonur.com and ICE training centres.
Balaji’s mobile VAS division produced audio and video content for mobiles and partnered with telcos such as MTS, Virgin, Idea, Aricel, Airtel, BSNL, Idea, Reliance and Loop Mobile for devotional, humour and mythology related content. In May, the division launched a mobile ‘audiosodes’ series called Kriminal Kaun on Aircel networks.
It also had an iPhone app, which has pre-recorded stories in Hindi delivered by professional voice artists and Bollywood playback singers.
Hoonur.com is a classifieds jobs portal for the entertainment industry with a social twist, allowing users to follow celebrities, read news and receive updates on auditions. Launched in 2009, the website was created as a solution for the fragmented Indian entertainment industry. It was a platform to connect TV and film production houses, media companies, advertising, radio and fashion industries on the one hand with aspiring actors, scriptwriters, choreographers, directors
and models on the other. As of October 2010, Hoonur.com’s database had 1.19 lakh profiles. K Sera Sera Productions’ Kmediatalent.com is also present in this segment. The company also has another jobs portal called Klogtalent.com.
Its education business is a network of training centres in Mumbai, Delhi, Calcutta and Hyderabad called ICE – Institute of Creative Excellence, for media aspirants. A sum of Rs 3.7 crore was invested in establishing the four centres, which kickstarted courses only in September 2010. The ICE division has witnessed an investment of Rs 5 crore overall.
In the July-August-September quarter, Balaji invested Rs 1.44 crore in the new media business. Balaji also has a youth-focussed business ALT, which it launched in February, 2010. There has been a buzz of Star selling its 26% stake in Balaji Telefilms since 2008, but no development has taken place.