The Savvy Queen Of Television Content
After claiming the top slot in TV content and exploring the movies business, Ekta Kapoor is all set to make waves through web series
Photo Credit : Umesh Goswami
Often hailed as the content maestro of the Indian television industry, the 39-year-old Ekta Kapoor, Joint Managing Director of Balaji Telefilms, is pushing the envelope in the digital content arena through its recently launched arm ALTBalaji. Of course, strengthening the well-established television content business and driving the movie production and distribution business remains a constant priority for Kapoor. Born and brought up in a family belonging to the Hindi film industry where her father actor Jeetendra ruled the silver screen for decades, Kapoor has been a change agent in the Hindi language television content business, a journey that virtually overlaps with the advent and expansion of cable television revolution in India that started in 1991-92. Under Ekta, Balaji as a production house has won almost every major television industry award since 1994 when she first ventured into TV content production on Zee TV with a weekly thriller called Mano Ya Na Mano and a comedy series called Hum Paanch.
By 2000, Ekta and Balaji Telefilms had produced most popular shows which dominated Star Plus — Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, Kahaani Ghar Ghar Ki and Kasautii Zindagii Kay. Enthused by the successful TV business, Kapoor entered the film production business in 2001 and thereafter in 2008, she ventured into the film distribution business. Now, the company is experiencing the fruits of venturing into the digital content business via its over-the-top (OTT) platform ALTBalaji.
Balaji operates in content production with no connect to the end consumer and no IP ownership (which is owned by the broadcaster). Digital provides an opportunity to break this cycle and own the consumer as well as the content feels Kapoor. This is because the digital opportunity is now for real with 25 million households spending an average of Rs 600 on digital entertainment with the high speed mobile Internet throwing up a $3 billion annual opportunity. ALTBalaji was launched on 16 April 2017 and has seen over 10 million downloads and counting. Plus, the company claims to have over 5 lakh paid users, a universe that seems to be growing by the week. The platform has over dozen original and exclusive shows. Going forward, Balaji Motion Pictures will explore co-production model with other leading production houses to share risks and costs.