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Care World TV gets into wellness products home shopping

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MUMBAI: Seven Star Satellite managing director Ajit Gupta was watching home shopping channel Star CJ Network a few months ago when suddenly an idea popped up his head: "Why don‘t I extend this vending concept to even the health care segment in the channel I run - Care World TV?"

Come 13 June and his idea will fructify into reality when he launches the Wellness Mall, a three hour programming block on India‘s first healthcare channel Care World TV. A website providing information about preventive, curative and nutritive products is also being launched on the same day dovetailing with the launch of the programming block.

Additionally, on that day a three day exhibition called the Wellness Expo will be flagged off in Mumbai‘s Andheri West suburb, showcasing the range of products that will be hawked on air.

"There‘s very little knowledge and information about traditional, natural and alternative medicine in India," he says. "We don‘t know what benefits these age old remedies can offer us. We don‘t know where we can get them. Hence quacks on the streets tend to step in and make a quick buck while duping the innocent."

The Care World Wellness Mall will display products across six broad categories: beauty care, fitness and slimming, health and wellness, food and beverages, rejuvenation and alternative therapy. Gupta says non-disclosure agreements prevent him from naming the vendors who are getting onto the mall.

He will, however, be working with experts in various fields who will feature in short episodes five to seven minutes long or longer ones which are of 30 minutes duration. "We charge anywhere from Rs 5,000 for a five to seven minute slot of programming to as much as Rs 20,000 for a half hour slot. We will also produce the programme for any of our partners at a cost."

Producer Gajendra Singh‘s brother Ashok Singh has been with the channel as creative director from inception, churning out TV shows for Care World TV and he will also be producing TV content for the Wellness Mall.

"We will be selling only FDA approved medicines," he says. "The idea is a viewer watches our programming block and is then directed to call a toll free number to get advice from our experts. He can also go to our website to get more information about the cure which he is seeking. Only after he is made aware about all the benefits of the medicine and its side-effects, can he make a decision to buy it."

Gupta reveals that the Wellness Mall has not involved a great deal of investment. But he may require big money if the experiment works well and he decides to launch a 24 hour wellness home shopping channel.

Gupta has been in the TV industry for quite a while having worked with channels such as Aastha, Zee TV before going onto partner cable TV operator Atul Saraf to launch Care World TV.

The company is extremely entrepreneurial and seeks to explore any revenue generation opportunity that comes its way.

Turnover is in double digit crore is all that Gupta is willing to disclose. "We have been funding the channel through internal accruals only," he says.

"It gives us great pride that a small company like us has managed to impact the lives of so many people in India," he says with a smile. "Viewers have been interacting with us through popular shows like ‘Ask the Doctor‘ and ‘The Psychology behind Love‘," he points out.

The channel is available in about 45 million homes nationally, and on most digital cable networks.

"The wellness sector is booming," says Gupta. "It is expected to touch Rs 950 billion by 2014. And the key driver is expected to be the 40 plus age group. We will be targeting tier 1, 2 and 3 cities, anyone whose annual income is more than Rs 2,00,000."

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