Just when she thought that she had done it all, Ashvini Yardi, co-founder of Grazing Goat Pictures returned to television recently with her new serial Jamai Raja on Zee TV. Yardi, who had quit as programming head of Colors, the Hindi general entertainment channel in the Viacom18 stable, in 2011 to start her film productions company with actor Akshay Kumar, has recently launched a television division which will be producing serials. At the same time her films production division is busy co-producing Singh is Bling featuring Akshay Kumar with Pen, in addition to creating another movie in association with Karan Johar’s Dharma Production. In a conversation with FE BrandWagon’s Anushree Bhattacharyya, Yardi talks about what brings her back to television. Edited excerpts:
You left television in 2011 to start your own film production company and now almost a year after starting Grazing Goats Pictures with Akshay Kumar, you have returned. What brings you back?
By the time I was leaving television I had spent 20 years in the industry and at the time I thought that I had done it all. It was only after reading the script of Oh My God! I decided to make movies. As far as getting back to television is concerned, as a production company we always wanted to expand but I did not want to return till I had an interesting concept. After I heard about the concept of Jamai Raja, I decided it would be an apt story for my television comeback.
Where does your partner Akshay Kumar fit in the scheme of things?
Akshay does as many as four films a year, so I don’t think we can expect him to be sitting in the office every day. Nonetheless, he comes to office twice or thrice a week and we discuss everything. While he is aware of everything that is happening in the company, I am in charge of the day-to-day functioning. As matter of fact, one of the reasons we made Punjabi and Marathi movies initially is because Akshay, being a Punjabi, understands the dynamic of the market and provides essential inputs while I being a a Marathi, understand the demands of the Marathi people when it comes to watching movies.
How many films do you intend to make in a year?
We released Fugly in June this year. The next film that we plan to release is Singh