How do you define your organization in today’s entertainment scenario?
Akash: We are quality content aggregators. We pick content from across the globe and choose specific ones that are relevant to India. We believe that the TV industry in India is seeing a boom and thus there is a huge demand for good quality content.
Ramit: We believe in expanding our presence on prime time. With ‘Paanchvi Paas’ we believe that television has seen a larger than life program.KBC was a hard core game show but ‘Paanchvi Paas’ is built in fun.
Tell us about how the license for ‘Are you smarter than a 5th grader?’ was attained and the conceptualization process?
Ramit: I can officially state that we were the only Indian company to be invited by Mark Burnett to make a proposal.
Akash: On April 15TH 2007 we signed the India exclusive rights for the show and in April 2008 we developed the concept to have Shahrukh Khan host it.
Ramit: It was a mutual decision between the broadcasters and us to have Shahrukh as the anchor.
Why Shahrukh Khan and why not an Aamir Khan or Hrithik Roshan?
Ramit: Shahrukh is just the perfect fit. He always keeps looking for something new and he is an international youth icon. He simply drives the youth.
Akash : People say that Shahrukh is overdoing it but people simply can’t get enough of Shahrukh. Trust me; there couldn’t have been someone better than Shahrukh for ‘Paanchvi Pass’. Shahrukh is just so hardworking and creative as well as innovative with every single episode of the show. He is such a go getter. He is tireless, a creative genius, always upbeat. I can just go on and on. Shahrukh believes that while blogger’s blog, we should just focus on television( drawing references to Aamir Khan’s blog).
How do you see the IPL V/S ‘Paanchvi Pass’ scenario?
Akash: The fact that a TV show is being compared to cricket –the religion of India ; speaks for itself.
Yet another Superstar of Bollywood enters this season with the Indian format of ‘Power of ten’ with the creative genius being provided by Synergy Adlabs. How do you react to that?
Ramit: We do understand that Salman has a huge following but ours is an 8pm show and I suppose theirs is 9pm. We are more centered towards the family audiences.
Akash: I’m sure synergy will assign enough man power to both the shows and we are glad that the television viewing in India is going to get a face lift.
Tell us about the rumours linking you to several other reality formats and the projects in the near future?
Ramit: It’s true that we have are soon going to have the Indian version of the much successful ‘America’s next top model’ hosted by Tyra Banks in the US and ‘Germany’s top model’ hosted by Heidi Klum in Germany.
Akash: But we really can’t reveal on which channel we are going to carry ‘India’s next top model’ and who the celebrity host is going to be. We are very close to having a formal announcement soon.
Ramit: We are also in the process of providing India with its first ever reality soap which has already seen success in over 13 countries; originally titled ‘Nuevo Rico Nuevo Pobre (New Rich New Poor)’ with the first ever male protagonist.
Akash: We feel great to be associated with the rights of Mark Burnett’s ‘Amnesia’. It an amazing feeling being associated with a wonderful personality such as Mark Burnett, especially if you realize that Mark Burnett is to television what Speilberg is to cinema.