Starting his career as management trainee with Unilever India in 1995, Ajit Andhare worked across several Unilever businesses from Feeds to Detergents and was posted to Unilever Thailand in 2007 as Regional Activation Director in Hair care for Asia Pacific region. He founded Colosceum Media in 2007 successfully building it into one of India’s leading content development & Production Company with landmark shows such as Wheel Smart Srimati series, Splitsvilla franchise, Jai Shri Krishna & Masterchef India.
To start with, I would like to know the start up idea of Colosceum Media.
It was combination of two to three factors. Having worked in a large corporate and I realised the opportunities that is there in growing India. Inspired by various enterprises being floated by young entrepreneurs, I thought of building something for which I am not that experienced. The only corporate in this sector was Endemol, which is a MNC and therefore I thought that there is a clear scope. My focus was to create a multinational company. I really got an opportunity for Indian content market. I was looking at the size of the production in India. How it is spread between various categories like fiction category, animation and then I looked at how these companies evolved during the period of time. I understood the market structure and players.
What kind of hurdle you faced during the start-up phase of the company?
We started from the scratch and we had no background in this industry. We needed to build contacts and also faced competition from already established companies. The other hurdle was that people’s perception was that we are related to Network 18 and we had to make them understand that we have our own independent operations. We had to convince them the Network 18 is only a part of venture capital. We have been trying to overcome these perception issues and now we are dealing with the industry.
What are the changing trends that you are seeing in the industry?
The industry was becoming more professional than it used to be and the relationships now play less important role than they used to play earlier. Additionally, budgets are becoming bigger, scope programming and productions are also getting bigger. We are also seeing a lot of interaction from the people who are out of this industry and they are filling the gap.
Did you ever think of giving up?
If you are passing through hell, just keep going. Tough times are always there in everyone’s life and if you continue to ride on it you will come out of it.
What are the upcoming shows that we can see in the near future?
We are currently producing some contents. We will also be going to US to shoot ROADIES. We are going to San Fransisco, Los Angeles and Vegas, so that is something which is coming up. We are also planning to produce episodes Jaanbaaz (a reality show). There are three to four shows on the regional fronts that are in the pipeline.