beginning as a private broadcaster
had a highly creative atmosphere in those early days and,
being a new company, was less corporate. It was like 'Do it
first, Understand later'.
Chandra was not just involved as chairman but also in every
single thing because that was the beginning. He was practically
there to give directions and guided us in major things.
was the time when the whole country was getting liberalised.
So I think that was also on his mind: that the Indian economy
was opening up and Zee should start looking at the aspirations
of the young people and the new society. We wanted Zee to
be modern, young and aspirational.
movie production efforts
was also part of the launch of Zee Cinema in 1995. There were
lots of legal issues because there were many claimants to
the movie library. So we had to be careful and bought rights
directly from film producers.
there was a joint venture arrangement between Star and Zee,
both of us were acquiring movies and they were pooled together.
Zee already had a library of 2000 movies and Star also had
acquired certain movies.
I did my MBA from IIM, I joined NFDC because there were no
private broadcasters at that point of time. I was very keen
on cinema, so I started to make movies on my own. Zee also
funded one of the films, Gadar. Though the movie was a box
office hit, Zee never got the kind of returns it should have.
Only the satellite rights gave Zee the true value.
India, movie making is still not as organised as in other
countries. Zee was not in film distribution, so in 2005 I
tried facilitating that. I came as a consultant since I was
running my own company at that time and we tried getting into
distribution through a joint venture with Rajshri.
Zee did not make much progress in movie production? That is
because Zee was focusing more on the television business (it's
a 30 channel network today); the film business took a backseat.
Zee floated a motion pictures arm in between but it did not
work since it required a different kind of culture and organisation
as compared to television.
Subhash Chandra the visionary
dares to dream and he actually converts them into reality.
I think he also created a platform for the next generation
of media leaders to take the company global.
Chandra has given freedom to his CEOs; he curbs their wings
also depending upon how they perform. He won't allow them
to mess up with the company that he has built over the years.
he has passed on the baton to his son, he is very much guiding
him and us. He continues to be passionate about media despite
venturing into other growth areas like infrastructure.