Television

The Optimistic Trio

Maybe the new saying should be "A company is known by the men that run it.

" The camaraderie between Optimystix‘s trio - Rajiv Vyas, Sanjiv Sharma and Vipul D Shah seems so endearing that you are almost tempted to call it an ideal marriage. Correction - Courtship.

Indiantelevision.com‘s Trupti Ghag met up with the format show specialists over an elaborate brunch to talk about their company, its future plans and more. Excerpts from the freewheeling conversation that followed...

‘We are optimistic --- really, even our blood group is B+,‘ Optimystix‘s CEO Rajiv Vyas jokes. But pun on the quirky coincidence aside, the trio is indeed excited about the future of the company.

And why shouldn‘t they be? Besides bagging the co-production assignment for Fremantle Media‘s bestselling format American Idol, the production house is also upbeat about its plans to expand.

"We are going to launch a post production facility soon. We are currently scouting for locations for the studio. In addition, we are also looking at upping our strength in the next few months," Optimystix director Sanjiv Sharma offers.

The year 2004 has certainly been an eventful year for the company that was founded by Sharma and Shah in October 2000. In a move to ‘derisk‘, the production house took a leap into the fiction arena with a Yeh Meri Life Hai and now is in close talks with a European broadcaster to produce a show.

"Despite what other people say, we didn‘t quite enjoy being known as just the format show specialists. As a professional agency, we need to grow and hence when the opportunities came by, we grabbed it," Vyas says as a matter of fact.

The quaint company, located in a scenic Mumbai suburb Versova, was launched with the objective of bringing quality and entertaining software to the television industry.

"But we wouldn‘t cross out a foray into the Hindi film industry too," both Vyas and Sharma sing out in unison.

Right now, the trio and their core team of chosen seven have their hands full with six shows on hand, two of which are already on air and four more set to launch. In their next six months agenda they have two Zee shows and two kids shows. The trio is hush-hush about the kiddie show though.

Its my life... "It makes you feel very proud, especially when the supposed elite of society laud the show." But doesn‘t the latest Yeh Meri Life Hai have an urban milieu? "Thanks to television‘s penetration, the urban market is growing. Any place where you get satellite television, the audience has an urban mindset," Sharma says.

Shah, however, has a different take on it: "The show can‘t be really typecast as an urban show. The show depicts a constant struggle between family values and the aspirations of the protagonist."

Wasn‘t it piggy back riding on ‘Jassi‘s model? "Yes and No. It is an underdog story alright, but Pooja is a very believable character, not a superwoman. She makes mistakes, she lies to save herself," says Shah.

But why a fiction show? Sharma, pointing to Shah, says, "We have got a Mr Fiction here. He has produced Dekh Bhai Dekh. I have directed Lekin for Sab TV."

"We were given a mandate to do something different and looking at the current demographics of India, it was a no brainer that a youth oriented serial will have greater acceptance," Sharma says, about the reasons behind the conceptualisation of Sony‘s Yeh Meri Life Hai.

"It is Gursheel Walia‘s concept and idea. Initially we thought it would be a story of seven friends, but then during a brainstorming session with Tarun Katial (Sony‘s executive V-P programming and response), we (Sharma and Vyas) thought that we need a protagonist. If the story is narrated through her eyes, it would be a great identification," Shah offered in explanation.

"Besides making a television soap, we are also doing our little bit for the young generation as a whole," Sharma says.

Is the role of a producer ghost written by the channel? "If you think you are being pushed around, then nothing can convince you otherwise. But I don‘t think that you are ever being asked to make changes," Sharma enunciates.

"As a producer you put in effort and money. But you‘ll need a buy in, while at the Hollywood level, it is a studio or financiers, at the television level you have a broadcaster. You are using their platform to showcase your product and, therefore, you need to be in conjunction with that platform. There has got to be some points where minds have to meet," he adds.

What about the fickle TRPs not being kind during the last couple of weeks? "One of the ways of getting feedback is TRPs. So you pretty much know what is working well and what is not. While you stick to your convictions, which is your story idea, you tailor it in a way that it becomes more palatable. But if you really look at the serial, it has stayed consistent with the story. There might have been some tactical changes," Vyas offers.

So it is all about trust, really. "Sometimes you are asked to make changes, but they are within the boundaries of the basic story," Shah says.

"A professional production house is never asked to do something. All that the broadcaster does is share the research. Since the broadcaster has already appointed research bodies, instead of duplicating the exercise, a production house has to rely on a broadcaster‘s research mechanism. And once the research is formatted, you know what direction to take," Sharma elaborates.

Vyas has a different take to it. "A large part of the feedback comes from the type and quantum of advertising and part of it comes from subscription revenues. So, any programming is designed keeping in mind what is the most acceptable and what is the more marketable product. So when you see that there is a gap in a market place, we were asked by a broadcaster to make a few changes."

So it‘s advertising that plays a huge role. "Advertising does plays a huge role but it is, in turn, supported by what they feel is acceptable by the people. The vehicle that will carry the product to the target households. And, of course, the freshness of the subject and the ability of the production house to actually go out a deliver what has been envisaged," he is quick to clarify.

What about the BIG ONE Indian Idol? "It is a formula that has succeeded in over 60 countries and with the ‘big promotional push‘ from Sony it cannot but succeed," Sharma asserts. As an afterthought, he adds, "But India is a different ball game altogether."

The production house is obviously charged about it and is all set to ensure that the production is slick and befitting its reputation. The format and the set are similar to the original, they insist. "We are not going to introduce changes just for heck of it. The show is definitely going to adopt some cultural changes though," Sharma says.

As for the future, the company hopes to increase its profits twice over...

Latest Reads

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2016/09/30/sports2.jpg?itok=sekA6qNk
Sports recognised as infrastructure sector, eligible for private investment

NEW DELHI: Alarmed by India's performance in the recent Rio Olympics, the Government appears to have pressed the panic button: which may help sportspersons on the ong run.

Television TV Channels Sports
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2016/09/30/Salman-Khan-Dabangg-2.jpg?itok=AcTOfo1o
Salman Khan backs Indian Army strike & Pak artistes

NEW DELHI: Bollywood superstar Salman Khan says TV and film artistes from Pakistan should not be treated like terrorists and art and terrorism should not be mixed.

Television TV Channels People
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2016/09/30/Poster-2-300X300.jpg?itok=8E6ZZbg3
Unearth Sanghavi's secrets on Raj TV

MUMBAI: After a successful launch of the mystical-thriller series Kaakha Kaakha, Raj TV is all set to roll-out another show. Titled Arundathi, the show will hit the TV screens from 10 October 2016 every Monday to Saturday  at 8 pm. The show is s mystery series based around this character called...

Television TV Channels GECs
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2016/09/30/Untitled-1_22.jpg?itok=bftCAtGF
CNN News18 to salute 'Agents of Change'

CNN-News18 is all set to air a special half-hour show on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti. Titled Agents for Change, the show will air on 1 and 2 October. In this special, the channel salutes the citizens who are being the change they want to see.

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2016/09/30/Untitled-1_18.jpg?itok=m7MHoIF9
Sony Pix to air best films from James Bond franchise

Envy him for his sophisticated gadgets or love him for his charming attitude, you definitely cannot ignore this iconic secret agent, who will sweep you off your feet with his impeccable style and wit. The name’s Bond…James Bond – the panache that remains unparalleled since 1962. Catch the most...

Television TV Channels English Entertainment
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2016/09/30/Untitled-1_15.jpg?itok=nyQJpnvM
Sumner Redstone pushes for CBS-Viacom merger

The maverick Sumner Redstone, not letting age dim any of his business acumen, is at it again. Earlier this week he sent a strong message to investors and potential takeover tycoons that he fav

Television TV Channels GECs
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2016/09/30/Untitled-1_9.jpg?itok=hp_rU7bR
MTV Brand Studio to create music festival for Amazon India

Amazon.in in association with MTV is all set to welcome the festive season with an exciting content marketing initiative.To break the clutter around the festival season, Amazon has upped the ante where customer engagement is concerned by creating a one-of-its kind musical experience in association...

Television TV Channels Music and Youth
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2016/09/30/Untitled-1_7.jpg?itok=PugxJ9R0
Aishwarya Rai, leading singers to felicitate Clean India champs at Safaigiri Awards

The India Today Group announces the 2 edition of the India Today Safaigiri Awards 2016 - a platform that will showcase and felicitate the pioneering efforts of those who are leading the change in cleanliness. This is in continuation to the first edition that was launched in 2015, one year after...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2016/09/30/Rishtey%20Cineplex.jpg?itok=y5UWcri6
Viacom18’s Rishtey Cineplex now in Europe, N America

Viacom18 has announced its plans to launch its Hindi movie channel, Rishtey Cineplex’ in the international markets.

Television TV Channels Movie Channels

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories