Television

This is not the time to think of loss or profit: SVF’s Mahendra Soni

The production house had to suspend several of its works in production.

https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/smartcrop_800x800/public/images/tv-images/2020/04/20/Mahendra-Soni.jpg?itok=JRbpRw6R

MUMBAI: The unprecedented COVID-19 crisis has thrown a spanner in the works of both large companies as well as small and medium enterprises. SVF, one of the biggest production houses in East India, is also not an exception. Although its over-the-top platform Hoichoi has fared well, its massive film and TV production business, which had seven daily soaps going on, has come to a halt. SVF co-founder and director Mahendra Soni acknowledges the crisis but he thinks it is a time to support the fraternity, rather than overdoing the loss count.

In an interaction with Indiantelevision.com, Soni spoke on wide-ranging topics including the impact of the crisis in the Bengali market, on SVF and the way forward.

Edited excerpts:

What will be the overall impact of the crisis on the Bengali industry?

If we take the financial year 2020-2021, I think there will be at least 30-40 per cent drop than the last year for sure, if it opens before May end or around that period. So, I think August will be a very important time period in the Bengali market because by that time people should start coming back to theatres and we can have a few footfalls by Durga Puja. But if we continue beyond that (May end), then it becomes difficult because the whole cycle is stuck. At this moment all I can say is that it’s not about loss or profit, it is about at least looking after the people that work there, daily wage workers, etc. Honestly, we are not also thinking beyond that.

How does this crisis impact SVF's overall finances as well?

No one was prepared for it. It’s not the time to be thinking about balance sheets. I am not listed on the share market so I am not worried about that. We know that we have a pool of great creative talent and whenever it opens, we will bounce back stronger. At this moment our priority is to be safe and make sure that everybody stays in their home and also reach out to everyone who can help in any way. In fact, I would like to appeal to others in the industry to be strong, support your people, stand by them and not think of losses.

How many projects of yours are stuck and how many were in the initial stage?

We were working on almost seven new films. Six were already shot or in the production/post-production stage. Apart from that, there are six-seven films that we were planning from April to December, all those films got stuck.

How much impact are you seeing on TV production?

To be honest, TV is a daily loss. As it has stopped, we are not making any money or any content. So that’s revenue-wise more impactful and the team size is also bigger there.

Since you have a robust movie library and you have worked along with Bengali Star Jalsha, Zee Bangla, are you planning to offer some of your movies to the channels?

So we spoke about that but almost 80 per cent of my library is already with Jalsha.  I also feel that TV broadcasters are a little reluctant to invest in new content. At least, I can say from the regional perspective because the advertising revenue has definitely gone down. I had some discussions about monetising that content with a couple of channels but I feel that also has been stuck because of their budget issues and cash flow issues because they also have to look after so many people they have already employed.

How are you focusing on the development part of the projects currently?

We have divided the teams into two-three groups. Everybody is working from home and we use Microsoft Teams to connect. One team speaks to directors. A lot of creative things are happening because the scenario would change a lot after this even when we come back; how people feel, how people see things, how we're going to change ourselves so that’s also going to create a lot of content that we create every day. So those discussions are happening. We are going back to also thinking what all we have done and what has gone wrong so we should not be doing those mistakes again.

So, we do one meeting every week to figure out what they have watched and from there we would pick up at least seven-eight ideas that can be developed or looked into.

Once things resume, how much time will it take for you to go back to normalcy for your production?

I don’t think we will take even half a minute to go back to normalcy. We are paying our dues, we are supporting our people, we don’t see any reason for a delay of anything.

Are you expecting any support from the government?

Again it's not the time to ask that. It is the time to get past through it. I am sure the government also would be supportive but at this moment we should support our government to just make sure that the poor people, the homeless people, the medical fraternity should be looked after well and whatever we can do for them is more important than doing for our business.

Latest Reads

https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/09/25/photogrid_plus_1632577716267.jpg?itok=kHtUEapn
Sun TV regains top spot in week 37: Barc

Mumbai: Sun TV has regained the top position in week 37 replacing Star Maa which was the most viewed channel last week, according to Barc data. The Tamil GEC clocked 2722.56 weekly AMAs in week 37 (11 September to 17 September). The figure for week 36 when it was at the third position stood at 2789...

Television TV Channels Viewership
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/09/25/photogrid_plus_1632561599690_0.jpg?itok=81R7VGKd
Disney Kids Network bags 12 awards at Promax India 21

Mumbai: The Disney Kids Network in India won 12 awards at the recently concluded Promax 21 held on 24 September.  The media network secured eight gold and four silver across various categories including for the interactive DIY show, "Disney Imagine That."

Television TV Channels Kids
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/09/25/photogrid_plus_1632557742634.jpg?itok=EhOSqB49
Discovery India launches travelogue promoting Uttar Pradesh

Mumbai: Discovery Communications India, in association with the Uttar Pradesh government, is all set to launch an exclusive travelogue "Heritage Trails, One District, One Product."  Releasing on Discovery channel and discovery+ on 25 September, the documentary highlights the states’ rich culture,...

Television TV Channels Factual
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/09/25/photogrid_plus_1632556915945.jpg?itok=A9iA-Ygj
Man Utd vs Newcastle was most viewed PL match in last 5 years: Star Sports

Mumbai: The match between Manchester United and Newcastle United on 11 September, which marked the return of Portuguese football star Cristiano Ronaldo, garnered four times the reach of an average Premier League match this season, according to data by Star Sports. It became the most viewed game of...

Television TV Channels Sports
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/09/25/photogrid_plus_1632556162951.jpg?itok=sxc25Itu
WarnerMedia opens new regional hub in Singapore

Mumbai: Global media company WarnerMedia on Friday opened a new regional hub for Asia (excluding China and Japan) in Singapore.   The office was officially opened by Singapore’s minister for communications and information (MCI) Josephine Teo and it signals the full integration of WarnerMedia’s...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/09/25/suntv.jpg?itok=MsUEIjeC
J Ravindran resigns from board of Sun TV

Mumbai: J Ravindran has resigned as independent director of Sun TV Network board, according to a company filing with the BSE.  He submitted his resignation at the closing of business hours on 24 September.  "At present he is unable to devote time to the company and there is no material reason for...

Television TV Channels Regional
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/09/25/fox.jpg?itok=GmYb0mnQ
Fox Entertainment launches Unscripted Format Fund to identify IP for global market

Fox Entertainment and in-house studio Fox Alternative Entertainment launched an international unscripted format fund to look for Intellectual Property (IP) for the global marketplace.

Television TV Channels Viewership
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/09/24/photogrid_plus_1632487623579.jpg?itok=hWgYs4UR
Colors Gujarati announces new show 'Maru Mann Mohi Gayu'

Mumbai: Gujarati general entertainment channel Colors Gujarati has announced a new show “Maru Mann Mohi Gayu” that premieres on 27 September at 7:30 p.m from Monday to Saturday. Produced by Kalp Media, the show is an adaption of Colors Marathi TV series “Sundara Manamadhye Bharali." It features...

Television TV Channels Regional
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/09/24/photogrid_plus_1632479904325.jpg?itok=gETiP-n3
TV ad volumes saw 17 per cent growth in August: Barc data

Mumbai: TV ad volumes saw 17 per cent growth in August as compared to the previous month, according to the Broadcast Audience Research Council (Barc) India data. The month recorded the highest ad volumes on TV since the second lockdown in April with 158 million seconds.

Television TV Channels Viewership

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories

* indicates required