HOOQ appoints Zulfiqar Khan as India chief

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Pan-regional streaming service HOOQ has appointed Zulfiqar Khan as managing director of its Indian operations, replacing Salil Kapoor who left the company in  February.

Khan previously worked with rival streaming platform Eros Now and prior to that had a 16-year stint with Star India.

“Khan is a familiar and respected name in the industry with immense knowledge of the business,” said HOOQ CEO Peter Bithos in a statement.

Kapoor, who worked with Dish TV before HOOQ, is expected to join a Tata group company soon.

Launched in 2015, HOOQ is a joint venture between Singtel, Sony Pictures Television and Warner Bros. Based in Singapore, it operates streaming services in Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia, in addition to India, where it has partnerships with telecoms operators Airtel and Vodafone.

Like most streaming platforms, HOOQ has been foraying into original content with investments into both movies and TV series. It recently launched a pan-regional script competition from which five ideas were selected and produced as pilots for TV series. One of the pilots, Bhak, about two aspiring Bollywood filmmakers, was written by India’s Arjun Chatterjee and Shreyom Ghosh from Big3 Media.

India’s streaming space has become intensely competitive since Reliance Jio launched 4G services that significantly reduced data charges in late 2016. Global streamers such as Netflix and Amazon are now fighting for market share with local players including Hotstar, Voot, Sony Liv, YuppTV, Eros Now and ALT Balaji.