HVL declares interim dividend; ‘NXT Digital, IMCL on target’

HVL-LogoHinduja Ventures Limited (HVL), the Holding Company of Grant Investrade Limited (which has given India its first worldclass Headend In The Sky (HITS) platform that I&E Minister Arun Jaitley dedicated to the Nation in August last year) and also of one of India’s largest integrated media companies i.e. IndusInd Media & Communications Limited (IMCL), has declared an interim dividend of 175% for the financial year 2015-16 . The interim dividend will result in a payout of over Rs 43 crore (4,329.52 Lakhs) inclusive of dividend distribution tax.

Ashok-Mansukhani-HVLHinduja Ventures Limited is spearheaded by its Wholetime Director and one of India’s most respected veterans in the domain, Ashok Mansukhani, with Anthony (Tony) D’Silva as CEO of all Media ventures of the Hinduja Group including their NXT Digital HITS Platform.

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Tony D’Silva with a NXT Digital COPE unit

Grant Investrade Limited (GIL) announced its HITS Platform brand name, NXT Digital, to India in mid-July last year, and since then, has been in the process of seeding set top boxes in the Phase III markets in line with its business plan. A significant number of GIL customers have already installed the Cable Operator Premises Equipment’ — COPE in distribution parlance — which is a pre-requisite before the set top boxes are connected to the network.

In the case of set top boxes, while the seeding has been making good progress, some of the State High Courts have given a stay on the digitalization programme temporarily based on petitions filed by cable operators in those states. This has resulted in the deadline of 31st December 2015 for digitalization not being adhered to by the markets.

“Considering the number of COPES which have already been installed, GIL is confident of meeting its targets for customer acquisition.,” an HVL statement has said.

IMCL too has started seeding set top boxes in the Phase III markets in line with its plan and expects to meet its targeted customer acquisition, despite a temporary slowdown due to certain High Courts having given a stay on digitalization.

The expansion in the Phase III markets is on the backbone of the HITS delivery platform of its associate Grant Investrade Limited.

On the existing operations, IMCL has been successful in further improving its collection mechanism by extending the “Prepaid” mode of payment to more markets. It has been upgrading its backend to improve customer viewership experience and better customer care.

With over 100 million analog TV homes awaiting government-mandated conversion to world class digitally addressable format of content delivery, FY 2016-17 promises tremendous growth for HVL, considering it has the India’s first cable MSO, and also a truly international class HITS platform that has the entire country as its footprint.

Significantly, as a delivery pipeline to Indian TV homes, the Hinduja HITS platform of NXT Digital overcomes several disadvantages of primarily the Direct To Home platforms and also the other pipelines of delivery, and is decidedly better as a business proposition for the distribution fraternity of thousands of Last Mile- and Local Cable operators across the country, who can not only afford the platform, but are also saved the tremendous investments in setting up their own Digital headends to continue to provide DAS of content delivery, to say nothing of the dearth of technical talent required to keep all systems up and running. You can read a perspective here.

For how the NXT Digital HITS Platform is better technically than all other pipelines of delivery, await my next post.

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