We want Zee Khana Khazana to be a destination channel: Amit Nair

MUMBAI: Food as a genre, in the recent years, has grown concurrently with the rise of interest in culinary art. Food has always been an interesting topic of conversation, but its importance has grown much more than what existed in the 90s when a Tarla Dalal or Nita Mehta cookbook were hot-sellers at bookstores or a 30-minute Khana Khazana on Zee TV.


It was only in December 2012, when Khana Khazana launched itself as a 24-hour food channel encouraging women to move from their kitchens to living rooms. The channel catered specifically to the art and science of food-making, with a wide spectrum of shows and novel concepts that explored different aspects of gastronomy.


Almost after a year, the genre witnessed a new entrant in FoodFood.


Zee Khana Khazana has gained the distinction with a consistent record at the TAM TV ratings chart. It has surpassed all its competitors and registered the number one spot and recorded an average of 1,799 GVTs of 10 weeks.


Followed by FoodFood that noted 1,060 GVTs, Fox Life with 824 GVTs, TLC with 622 GVTs and NDTV Good Times with 175 GVTs.


In a conversation with, Zee Khana Khazana business head Amit Nair talks about the reason behind the success, plans for the festive season in terms of content, how is the channel moving towards travel and food reality shows and marketing initiatives which led the channel to top the chart.


Last year, the channel started off discussions with its core TG to decide what they wanted to watch. What we found was that people today want interesting solution recipes; it is not the regular stuff but using the regular ingredients and adding a twist to it and make it interesting,” says Nair.


The channel also looked at niches across the food genre. “One of our findings showed that cooking for kids was a major concern for mothers. So we launched Bacha Party and it turned out be a major show for us which not only fetched us good ratings but it also won a packaging awards at recent Indian Telly Awards,” adds Nair.  


Moreover, shows like Breakfast Express and Jain Jalsa also added to the success kitty. “All of these have resulted in helping us reach the pole position,” informs Nair.


Like other channels, Nair also felt the need to engage more with the audiences and hence, it got on-board a special segment called ‘Tips & Tricks’.


Another series christened ‘Home Made’ teaches viewers how to make dips and sauces. “These kind of programmes stuck a cord with the audiences. We have content that makes their lives much easier,” reveals Nair.


The channel also walked towards lifestyle segment with ‘The Great Indian Rasio,’ the first food and travel show.


“Unlike other travel series where people just go and eat, this one takes a much deeper look into the Indian cuisine and how the kitchen has evolved over a period of time,” he says.


Nair wants the channel to be the first destination when it comes to food and lifestyle curated segment where interesting food stories can be told.


To further expand its content portfolio in the food reality and travel space, it is set to launch three new shows in the coming months. Come 15 September, it will launch Health Bhi, Taste Bhi, which will bring to table the skills required to give the favourite meal, a healthy makeover by cutting the calories without compromising on the taste. Hosted by Chef Ranveer Brar, it appeals to both urban and non urban audience.


The first week of October will see the launch Eat Manual which will appeal not only to the kids but also mothers who would want to see what their kids like to eat. It will be hosted by one of the finalists of Junior Masterchef, Emanuel Chauhan, who will also present his own tips of cooking.


By the end of October the channel will bring to the viewers a show called ‘Chef on the Wheels’.


This is not the end, Khana Khazana plans to add more to its kitty by the year end and early next year, when it will add two more shows for its viewers.


Nair also expresses his joy at the distribution front. The reach and sampling of the channel has increased manifold. “Last year, we were a subscription based channel. We had to chase subscribers more than viewership. We faced a lot of issues on the distribution front, as we were not available on many DTH and cable platforms. It was the first thing that we resolved early this year.”


Currently, the channel is available on four DTH, plus across all digital cable platforms. “In terms of viewership, we have seen a tremendous growth in last six-eight months.”


From this year onwards, the channel has taken the ad-revenue route. “In terms of our marketing initiatives, we are very serious about the genre. We want to stay as a top player in this space.”


To maintain its numero uno position, it did a lot of effective advertising. In the month of March, the channel did a lot of TV burst supported by an outdoor and digital buzz. “This helped us to firmly implant into the viewers’ mind and this effectively laid the ground for further acceptance of shows.” To keep the buzz alive, it did a lot of ATL and BTL as well.


Advertisers’ response towards the channel also has been very encouraging. Early this year when the ratings started growing, the channel did a couple of road shows with major agencies, clients and created the buzz.


Current FMCG products like HUL, P&G and Nestle are advertising on the channel and going forward it is looking at other categories as well.


Revealing the growth in terms of revenues, Nair believes that the numbers are very ambitious in nature. “Month-on-month we have broken all our set targets and moved far ahead on what we had started off earlier this year. It looks like an exciting year for us,” concludes Nair.

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