Endemol India is one of the leading television content production companies and has produced shows such as Bigg Boss, Khatron ke Khiladi, Laughter Challenge and Jo Jeeta Wohi Superstar. The company is a 51:49 joint venture between the world’s largest independent television production company Endemol BV and the Asian investment arm of The Chernin Group (TCG),CA Media. It recently appointed Sameer Gogate, who was with Viacom Motion Pictures earlier, as the business head of its films division. Also, it has tied up with Eros International Media to co-produce three feature films and undertake original programming for television. In an interview with FE’s Anushree Chandran, Gogate speaks about Endemol remaking Vidya Balan’s film Kahaani in Tamil and Telegu, TV show formats that it is looking to convert into full-length movies and why Star’s deal with actor Salman Khan is a game changer for the industry. Edited excerpts.
Why has Endemol decided to enter the film production area?
Films is a logical extension of our television business. Endemol has been evaluating this space for a long time but we wanted to tee off with the right projects. My experience at Viacom really shows that the right projects can do wonders for this business. Kahaani is a fitting example. Viacom believed in the project and the rest, the audience delivered. So that was one of the first rights Endemol acquired. And we are now producing it in Tamil and Telegu. We are doing another project called Revolver Rani, which has actress Kangana and actor Veerdas in it. At any given point, we have at least 4-5 projects every year. We are open to taking gambles, but these will be calculated risks. We will probably do a Marathi or Bengali film next, but that will be a year or two later. Regional cinema today accounts for nearly 30% of the $2 billion revenue of the Indian film industry while 60% comes from Bollywood.
How is the Endemol role different from your previous gig?
It is much the same. I was with Viacom Motion Pictures earlier. If you look at all our movies, movies from Tanu weds Manu to Kahaani, we’ve had a great many successes. Viacom was not averse to backing a lot of smaller projects — Pyar Ka Punchnama, Shaitaan—and there were a lot of learnings that I got from these small films. We had our big films too such as Son of Sardaar (SOS) and