Big Synergy's Rajiv Bakshi diversifies content slate on multiple platforms & languages

The company is focusing equally on broadcast and OTT.

MUMBAI: Rajiv Bakshi, the media veteran who has witnessed the growth of the Indian media and entertainment industry from close quarters, took up the mantle of CEO of Reliance Entertainment’s Big Synergy Media Ltd last December. Within six months, he has clearly set his mandate to turn Big Synergy into ‘a comprehensive production creation development house’. His vision is directed at having diversity at the company’s content plate.

“My mandate is clear. We should be a comprehensive production creation development house where we have a full range of shows across all platforms, broadcasts and OTT; I mean multiple genres, whether it’s fictional or non-fictional biopic, game shows, talent shows and in multiple languages from Hindi to Odiya,” Bakshi says.

The company is focusing equally on both broadcast and OTT. Though he did not reveal the number of shows in the pipeline for FY 2020, he mentioned that there is activity for both OTT and TV and in multiple languages. He also added that they are focusing on creating a slate of diverse stories ranging from humour to crime and everything else in the middle including drama, thriller and biopic.

Under the content strategy, the company is prioritising association with talents – writers, directors or creators, to reach a level that meets the standards of today. “We, of course, want to have a very strong team with which can execute and creatively direct all the shows. So pushing the team to deliver creative vision and best content for the client is the strategy,” he added.

Bakshi also noted that the content variety has picked up with the entry of OTTs which means one can do a lot more varied work across genres and not necessarily for the same audience.  The content creators have different buckets of audiences and they can make content for each respective audience.

He mentioned that there is no challenge for OTT and it’s only an opportunity from the creative producer point of view. When asked if broadcasters have changed their content strategy to face OTTs, he said, “I think broadcast in India is already growing right. So there need not necessarily be a response or reaction to OTT by itself. Broadcasters have been growing and if I see recent results of various broadcasters, they all seem to be growing at high per cent. With the different offering, I think broadcast has a stable future in India. Of course, they redefine, redesign and refresh the content in the presence or absence of OTT.  I am sure they will continue to do the same.”

According to him, the production and scale of the shows have tremendously jumped. Bakshi added that the cinema experience on the small screen through OTT is refreshing and attractive for audiences across India, be it urban households or rural villages. He said that audiences across the country are getting the same kind of cinematic treatment and quality on small screens. 

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