Television

Production house Ventures Direct crosses Rs 70 million

MUMBAI: Ventures Direct, the seven year old production house has crossed the Rs 70 million turnover figure and presently has 50 slots across several terrestrial and C&S channels.

Speaking to indiantelevision.com, Ventures Direct CEO Rajan Guha says: "Nearly 90 per cent of our programmes are created, conceptualised and marketed by our teams in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bangalore. We are a marketing driven production house and have our own marketing teams across the country."

Ventures Direct has also bagged a slot on Fashion TV (ftv) and has plans to launch a travel show. This is in addition to the two hour slots on Doordarshan's DD Tamil and DD Telugu which the company recently acquired. Several C&S channels have approached the production house for sponsored programmes but the main focus is still DD.

Ventures Direct has a one and a half hour slot on DD-Bangla with programmes such as Dinar Sheshe (11-11:30 pm every day between Monday and Friday) and Shaat Sakale (7:30 - 8:15 am). The programme has various segments on health, fashion and even news. Prominent Bengali personalities such as director-producer Shakti Samanta, actor-director Rahul Bose and singer Abhijeet have been interviewed.

On DD Gujarati, Ventures Direct has a programme called Shringhar which is telecast twice a week (Tuesdays and Sundays at 9 pm with repeats on Friday and Monday). It also has Vyapar Samachar, Avo mare Saathe and Gupshup. Gupshup is a half-an-hour celebrity chat special wherein Gujarati celebrities such as comedian actors Satish Shah, Tiku Talsania, Deepshikha (Kittie Party fame) and writer Sanjay Chel have been featured.

On DD Punjabi, Ventures Direct has Take One - a film and music based shows. The production house has plans to invite celebrities to chat on the show.

On DD1, Ventures Direct used to have business updates earlier and the same concept is being extended to the regional DD channels. "

The company has invested Rs 10 million in infrastructure. Ventures Direct has full fledged production facilities complete with non-linear facilities (Delhi) and shooting teams in the four cities mentioned above.

Currently, advertising revenues also seem to be on the upswing as compared to the slump in the last few years when the divide between C&S channels and terrestrial channels widened. "I believe that the national channels will go through a phase of fragmentation as compared to a consolidation phase for the regional channels. This trend is reflected in the increased advertising revenues garnered by the regional channels," Guha adds.

The categories of advertisers who had forsaken DD and its regional channels such as tyre companies, shoes, garments and petroleum products have started returning. "There are companies such as LG Electronics and Samsung which have realised that the metro markets have been saturated. Advertising on DD's regional channels helps them to make inroads into the interiors of India - places such as Asansol and Durgapur."

There are also other categories of advertisers such as Parle Products which target different markets for different products. "Some of the biscuits of Parle Products are strong in markets such as Bengal. Diet Pepsi is strong to fitness-health conscious Punjabis. Therefore, these companies use DD's regional channels in these states."

Ventures Direct's experiment of presenting regional business capsules in the regional channels has also paid rich dividends. The content is a fair mix of different consumer-related issues and news.

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