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April 20, 2009

Why Corporate India flops at the box office

Businessworld has an article on why corporate India's repeated attempts at film-making have fallen flat.
M&M isn’t the first business group unable to gauge the quicksand of Bollywood. Attracted by the glitz and glam of the tinsel world, the past 6-8 years have seen many corporate groups enter a business quite removed from their core competence. They have ended up burning their fingers and very often exited as fast as they entered.

...Is the film industry resistant to corporates, or do the corporate groups fail to get the Indian film formula right? According to Madhu Mantena, the young producer of the Aamir Khan starrer Ghajini, and head of Saregama Films, corporate groups have wrongly interpreted the relationship between the studio, the film-maker and themselves. “The corporate group creates the studio platform but not the movie; it is the film-maker and his creative team that creates the movie. The studio provides the platform, then carries the movie forward through marketing and distribution.”

According to Sanjay Bhattacharjee, a film consultant who earlier headed UTV’s film division, “Many of these corporate groups don’t know the value of the products and stars, and end up overspending.”

Arun Natarajan is the Founder & CEO of Venture Intelligence, the leading provider of information and networking services to the private equity and venture capital ecosystem in India. View free samples of Venture Intelligence newsletters and reports. Email the author at