After failing to merge with Sony, Zee Entertainment Managing Director Punit Goenka says he aspires 18 to 20 per cent EBITDA margin with 8-10 per cent CAGR revenue growth by adopting a frugal approach. This includes cutting spends, tightening of manpower, reducing the number of new content properties, and a complete re-evaluation of their sports portfolio. 

“Frugality”, “Optimisation”, and “Sharp Focus on Quality content” were the three prongs laid out by Goenka. The Zee promoter promised that purse strings will be tightened with a crystal-clear focus on quality and output. “Over the last three decades, Zee has been recognised for its fiscal prudence across the industry, and going forward, there will be a sharper emphasis on frugality, with a crystal-clear focus on quality and output,” Goenka said in an investor call. 

Goenka, however, deferred from answering questions related to the merger, citing the matter to be sub-judice. Despite questions from investors seeking specifics on the conditions that were not met, leading to the merger breakdown, Goenka chose to look at the future instead.


While Goenka’s plan included recalibration of cost structure for businesses like OTT or the implementation of content and tech strategies to drive revenues certain outputs of the firm will also need to be curtailed in the attempt to improve revenues and margins. 

For instance, the number of new originals by the firm will reduce as the firm cuts costs while focusing on quality content. Goenka added further that tightening of manpower is to be expected also while clarifying that large scale layoffs are unlikely. A recalibration of the OTT cost structure will be an integral part of this process. Across verticals – including technology, content and marketing, the company is implementing steps to optimise spends and enhance the return on investments. 

Zee’s burgeoning sports portfolio, which the firm re-entered in anticipation of the merger could also be economised. Goenka added that the overall portfolio will be relooked at as well, to see which properties provide dividends and which don’t. In 2023, Zee entered the sports content business after selling Ten Sports to Sony five years ago by  broadcasting the International League T20 (ILT20)  on its linear channels and streaming platform ZEE5. 

While Goenka dismissed concerns of minority shareholders due to the failed merger with Sony, he said he remained confident that Zee’s fundamentals remain unmatched across the industry, and the company is well-equipped to compete as a major player in the sector.