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Five Balaji heads quit, CEO denies blame

Five department heads quit Balaji Telefilms, CEO Puneet Kinra insists he wasn’t the reason for their exit. Read on.

tv Updated: Aug 20, 2010 18:05 IST
Hiren Kotwani

Ekta Kapoor’s Balaji Telefilms continues its success story at the box office with Milan Luthria’s

Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai

. But five department heads from the company have recently resigned. Vikram Malhotra (COO), Neeraj Joshi (Vice-President, Marketing), Anku Pande (Chief Development Officer), Shivaji Dasgupta and Sheel Nimbalkar (both Vice-President, Development and Production) have bid adieu to the company, reportedly following differences with group CEO, Puneet Kinra.



Our source at Balaji reveals that Kinra’s political manipulations have demotivated many. “Several employees are upset over the way he’s been behaving with established filmmakers like Kunal Kohli and Madhur Bhandarkar. Once, at a project discussion with Kunal at hotel JW Marriott, Kinra strolled in, was told that the project would cost Rs 50 crore and immediately dropped it. Lot of filmmakers don’t want to work with Balaji if Kinra’s around,” adds the source.



Ekta Kapoor

Bhandarkar approached Kinra for

Dil Toh Bacha Hai Ji

but following to differences over creative rights, the director moved on to another producer, Kumar Mangat. “Punit argued with Madhur that Balaji would retain all the rights as producer, which included deciding whether to release the film after it was complete,” our source informs, adding that Bhandarkar left in a huff after this shocking demand.



When contacted, Kinra says that the company brought in a couple of supervising producers on contract for

Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai

. “They left after the film released. Vikram has joined Studio 18 and I wish him luck,” he says.



When asked about the ‘meetings’ with Kohli and Bhandarkar, Kinra clarifies, “I haven’t met Kunal but I met Madhur a year ago, very briefly. These rumours are baseless.” Ekta Kapoor dismisses the reports as “rubbish” and says that Kinra has the right attitude and is doing his job well. “His work has brought us profit. ”