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Zee looks for a winner in Rs 110 mn 'Business Baazigar'

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NEW DELHI: Now Mumbai denizens need not worry about cleaning their countless shoes at home or go looking for the friendly neighbourhood cobbler. A shoe laundry, like a dry cleaner’s shop for clothes, will take care of all the shoe needs.

The shoe laundry is a dream come true for a young woman entrepreneur who was in need of funding the idea. Zee Telefilms came to her help with the initial money. Though the girl and her idea failed to make it to the last round of Zee TV’s soon-to-start reality show Business Baazigar, she is busy shaping her business venture.

“The shoe laundry is already operational for about four months and the young woman will be coming back to us with a progress report,” Zee TV business head Punit Goenka told Indiantelevision.com on the sidelines of a press conference here, to announce the launch of Business Baazigar where the underlying theme is: "idea lao, paise le jao" (bring an idea and get funded).

And, that’s the magic of the reality show, as Zee funds innovative ideas of people who have been eliminated during the show.

Business Baazigar is a journey of 250 participants who will eventually be scaled down to 50 finalists. Among them, the final 20 will be put through gruelling tasks that will test their business acumen and team spirit.

After every task, the jury, comprising Zee Telefilms non-executive chairman Subhash Chandra, himself a rags-to-riches success story, will decide the fate of the contestants. Eventually, one participant will emerge triumphant and will have Zee Telefilms funding his/her business venture.

An expensive show with high-decibel marketing

Business Baazigar is also one of Zee TV’s costliest shows to be mounted. At Rs 110 million, this 25 FPS-produced 24-episode programme attempts to what other game shows have failed to do for Zee Telefilms’ flagship channel, Zee TV --- deliver ratings and viewer ship.

“This show promises to entertain the audience with its intense reality drama and unique concept. We have given our best and hope the audience likes it,” said Goenka, the eldest son of Chandra.

While admitting that an ongoing game show Kam Ya Zyada failed to live up to expectations, Goenka added that it’s Zee TV’s endeavour to give the audience what it likes, but “sometimes ideas click, while at other times they don’t.”

“So, in deference to viewers’ preferences, we take off programmes that fail to tickle the viewers,” he added, hinting that Kam Ya Zyada will be phased out after its present run.

However, the network is leaving very few stones unturned in promoting Business Baazigar, which is also hopeful of a second season.

Apart from the traditional cross channel promotions on various Zee channels, which are likely to attract a diverse profile of audience, the new reality show will be promoted via outdoor, print and some innovative initiatives on the Internet. Cellular phones, too, would be extensively used for promotion.

“We do have some new marketing initiatives (costing a packet) lined up that’ll unfold from Thursday. The aim is to arouse curiosity amongst viewers of all hues,” Goenka said.

Concurring with Goenka was 25 FPS managing director Alankar Jain who said that marketing is an important tool to write a successful TV show. Especially one like Business Baazigar as the ramp up time is small.

“We are hoping that the show connects with the people in its early episodes only as the whole series is time bound, ending with the 24th episode,” Jain added.

Business Baazigar debuts on 31 March, airing one-hour episodes on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm.

Apart from Chandra, the jury consists of Passionfunds CEO Mahesh Murthy and Prof. Anil Gupta of Indian Institute of Management. Cyrus Sahukar will host the series.

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