Rafiq Razali takes on Media Prima group operations as Iskandar Mizal relinquishes group MD title

Media Prima group managing director Iskandar Mizal Bin Mahmood will be stepping down from his role to focus on his other commitments. Iskandar took on the role last year effective 1 April 2020 to replace Kamal Khalid who is ending his tenure on 31 March 2020. Iskandar has been with the company since October 2019 as group executive director, assisting the group in its transformation and turnaround initiatives.

Iskandar’s departure comes shortly after Media Prima promoted Rafiq Razali as group executive director, reporting to Iskandar. Rafiq first joined the Group in 2016 as CEO of REV Media Group, formerly known as Media Prima Digital. Media Prima said Rafiq will lead group operations until further notice. Media Prima also previously said that Rafiq was instrumental in the Group's strategic acquisitions and expansion of its digital asset portfolio. These included the purchase of Rev Asia Holdings in 2017 for RM105.0 million. Meanwhile under his leadership, REV Media Group also inked partnerships and licencing deals with global digital brands such as Mashable, IGN, and Technave.

Meanwhile, Iskandar brings with him over 30 years of experience across a multitude of companies ranging from multinationals to government-linked companies, spanning from investment banking to the technology sector. He currently also serves on the boards of Theta Edge and Globetronics Technology. From April 2017 to January 2019, he served as the group CEO and a board member of Granatum Ventures, the holding company of Khazanah Nasional’s creative and media sector. Granatum Ventures has a portfolio of operations including Iskandar Malaysia Studios, content creation and content financing/investment.

According to a statement from Media Prima during his appointment to the role of group managing director, the company said that Iskandar had played a key role in turning around the company and bringing international content production companies into Iskandar Malaysia Studios in 2018. He was one of the key figures in the production of Paskal The Movie, one of Malaysia’s highest grossing box office movies, where he was one of the executive producers. Iskandar also worked at Pos Malaysia, DRB-HICOM, Manipal Education Malaysia, and Malaysian Biotechnology Corporation.

According to its Q4 2020 financials, Media Prima anticipated that the group will continue to face challenging operations in 2021 given the economic uncertainty amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, consumer varied content consumption pattern, shift of advertisement spend to digital platforms and increased competition in the media landscape. Due to the above challenges, Media Prima said it intends to embark on targeted initiatives where revenue visibilities are clear and in line with known mega trends while continuing to solidify the defense of its traditional businesses.

Nonetheless, with the rise of home shopping last year and consumers shift towards eCommerce, Media Prima’s Home Shopping saw a 33% increase in revenue compared to the previous year. The consolidation of digital properties within the Group also contributed to a 21% increase in segment revenue in FY2020 against the comparative year. However, a lower adex during FY2020 contributed to a 21% reduction in revenue compared to FY2019 and lower OOH occupancy during the year contributed to a 27% decrease in revenue compared to FY2019.

Its content creation arm too saw a decrease in revenue primarily due to the reorganisation of the television production unit which was consolidated under the broadcasting segment in FY2020. However, the decline was cushioned by higher demand for advertiser content production during the year. Publishing FY2020 revenue declined by 31% against FY2019 as a result of lower newspaper advertising and circulation sales during the current year.

Prior to Iskandar’s reign, Media Prima was led by Kamal Khalid who served the group in multiple capacities since 2009. These include roles as CEO, Media Prima Television Networks; COO, group shared services; COO, business development; and international and head of content distribution. According to Media Prima, he played a pivotal role in completing the first phase of the group’s business transformation efforts, Odyssey, which focused on revenue diversification across three key areas — digital, commerce, and going beyond Malaysia.

 

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