Zee's 'Business Baazigar' to debut on 1 January '05

MUMBAI: With reality shows garnering better ratings for Zee TV, the channel is all gung ho about its next big thing.

Business Baazigar - The Next Big Entrepreneur launches 1 January 2005, after the grand finale of its talent hunt Cinestar Ki Khoj.

A big publicity blitz through television promos, press, outdoor and road shows is planned for the entry phase. The ground promotions have already begun at busy malls across the country and other such community places and has also unveiled an on-air promo campaign on Sunday, 14 November.

Although the concept might sound like a niche, targeted at SEC-A market, the treatment that the channel has planned is decidedly SEC B&C- its core audience. A clear indication is the promo campaign that has Zee TV's chairman Subhash Chandra talking about his ambitions and achievements, a decidedly aspirational promo campaign meant to touch a cord.

Channel officials have chosen to remain tight lipped about the reality show, but sources say that about 30,000 entries have already been received. About 125 of the best entries would be short listed for the television event.

While the channel has dismissed rumours about head honcho Chandra hosting the show, they would essentially be looking at a heavy weight personality to anchor the show.

As has already been reported, Business Baazigar will screen participants with smart business ideas and then give them the money they require to start a business based on these ideas. Channel sources inform that the prize money would be essentially in the form of venture funding and different winners will get a different amount depending on their business idea. But the two main winners will have their big dream fully funded.

The channel has already set up a 24-hour call center and web site to facilitate viewer participation. Boasting of participation from the who's who of India Inc, the show will include glamour element from visiting celebs, yachts, helicopter rides for participants on completing tasks.

As for the actual screening process, the applicants will first have to go through a screening process comprising a small test (four-five questions) to test their common sense and logical skills. After a manageable size of applicants are selected, they will be then asked to submit their business ideas.

The business ideas sent by applicants will be evaluated on the basis of their workability, scalability and originality and 125 of these will be selected for the semifinal round. The screening of this 125 will form the reality show.

The participants will be given tasks that will test their intelligence, their strategic skills and their ability to think on their feet when time and money both are at a premium.

Tasks each week will incorporate various aspects of business: sales, marketing, promotions, charities, real estate deals, finance, advertising pitches and facilities management.

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