That Rajesh Kamat was 1st CEO of Endemol is not a coincidence: Deepak Dhar

27 Apr,2012

By Shruti Pushkarna


Deepak Dhar has been responsible for Endemol’s operations since he joined the company in 2006. Dhar has produced popular shows for Endemol such as Bigg Boss, Laughter Challenge, Fear Factor – Khatron Ke Khiladi, Jo Jeeta Wohi Super Star, Wipeout, Chottey Miyaan, operacion Triunfo and Mission Ustaad. Prior to Endemol India, Dhar worked with Star TV as group head, programming. He was instrumental in producing shows such as Pop Stars and The Great Indian Laughter Challenge. Before joining Star where he worked for around five year, Dhar was senior producer at MTV for three years. Deepak Dhar has been Managing Director of Endemol India since 2007 and he will continue to lead the company post the alliance with CA Media, as CEo. Excerpts from an interview with MxMIndia:


From what we in the media knew, Endemol India was the wholly owned India arm of Endemol in the Netherlands. So why go to CA for 49 per cent stake?

We entered into this, largely from a strategic point of view…we had ambitions to go in the film business, and when we started talking to CA Media, they had strategic insights into the business. So this is more of a strategic investment than a financial one.


Is the balance 51% owned by Endemol, Netherlands?

Yes, the controlling stake is with Endemol and the balance with CA Media.


Is there a possibility of further liquidation?

I don’t think so.


Any investor likes to cash out at some time… is that something that has been discussed? How much of a window is CA looking at?

Well it’s too soon to talk about exit. We’ve just taken our company from being a TV production company to a content production company, so we are not looking at exits at this point.


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It’s interesting that CA in India is headed by Rajesh Kamat who was the first CEo of Endemol India? Coincidence or did that help in this?

Rajesh brings in a huge strategic insight. So no, it’s not a coincidence. With this investment we have put together the power of Endemol and his insights into the business.


Endemol is essentially known as the Bigg Boss and owner of assorted reality show formats. That’s possibly an unfair comment. What next?

Bigg Boss was only one part of our business. A huge amount of our content is also fiction, we produce around 900 hours of fiction. So fiction is our next focus area, we will also look at regional, we will look at digital very seriously. More importantly, we will look at movie production business.


How much will CA have a say in operations of Endemol? For instance, that x person should be the guest in Bigg Boss?

None at all. They are controlling the business but the operational control is entirely with Endemol.


You are looking at expanding to regions: so where next? And what will you take where?

We are already there in the Southern market, we have shows in Telugu and Tamil. Now we are focusing on Marathi. We will also look into Bengali, very soon you’ll hear announcement on regional players.


There are networks like Zee which have not been buying international formats…?

See that depends on the channel’s philosophy. A lot of broadcasters are picking up formats but there are still those who don’t pick up formats. So it clearly depends on an individual channel’s philosophy.


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