Jaldi 5 with Kevin Vaz: Blockbusters to boom Bengal

12 Dec,2012

Having gained an unmatchable reach and popularity with its brand Star Jalsha in Bengal, Star India is also set for the launch of a new movie channel titled Jalsha Movies. The launch is in line with Star Jalsha’s philosophy of Chalo Paltai (let’s change) that aims at delighting viewers through contemporary stories from their surroundings.

 Kevin Vaz, President and General Manager – Star Jalsha and President – Ad Sales at Star India Pvt Ltd tells MxMIndia what viewers can expect from the new offering and why the channel is already a winner in the already buzzing Bengal television market.


01. The third Bengali movie channel, and the second launch in close succession. From the sales point of view, is Bengal the new ‘hot’ market?

I can’t comment on it being a hot market, but Bengal is definitely growing very fast. It has become a Priority One market for most brands today be it across telecom, consumer durables, FMCG etc. Most importantly, it is not the national clients but the retail business that is growing rapidly here. So whether it is jewellery stores or saree shops or biscuit manufacturers… a lot of local interest is gaining prominence here.


As for the launch, Bengal is a huge consumer of Bengali cinema irrespective of the channel that it gets played on. Star Jalsha has always been offering quality movies to its audiences and has achieved a TVR as high as 12. Keeping these trends in mind we thought it was right time for us to launch a Bengali movie channel. According to us, there is nobody right now offering blockbuster movies regularly and that is what Jalsha Movies will stand for.


02. Star Jalsha has been a huge success whereas at least one of the channels from a well-pedigreed media company has shut down. What’s the secret of the success with Jalsha?

When we launched Star Jalsha, we were very clear that we had to be different. In fact within a few weeks of its launch it was a clear leader and has been so for the last four years with our GRPs totalling 500 compared to our closest competitor at 400 GRPs or so. More importantly we attained that position by redefining the market and the storyline that we do. With such a benchmark, we said that we clearly expect Star Jalsha to be leaders within the channel. I see that we have the necessary content that will help us deliver that promise.


a. How fast do you hope to be on top of the pack?

If we get into something we clearly look at become leaders at once. So the answer is: as early as possible.


03. We see that you’ve stitched up quite a few alliances with film companies.  Will we also see any international/Indian movies dubbed in Bengali in future?

We’ve got a great library of Bengali movies and the reason to launch a regional channel is for people to consume it in their own language. So we will be going ahead only with Bengali movies as of now.


04. How has the response been from advertisers and media agencies?

We’ve got a great response from them. Vivel has already come aboard as the channel partner. Going forward you will see a whole lot of clients who will be associated with us. In fact, most of these advertisers have seen Jalsha operate in the last four years and know the kind of mileage we offer to them. So most of them are excited enough to partner with us from day one of operations.


A market like Kolkata is counted in as part of the extended HSM. Do you think with three Bengali movie channels, the Hindi movie channels will get impacted?

I wouldn’t like to call Bengal as an extended Hindi Speaking Market and has rather reached a stage where it holds its own. At one point in time it was considered an add-on market but for most brands it has become a priority market. Also, if one were to see Star Jalsha delivers higher ratings than any other Hindi GEC or channel by a distance. So to reach out to the masses is our number one priority. If I may add here, Bengal is witnessing a huge surge in retail advertising and more and more brands are hopping on to be a part of the association with us.


05. Tell us more about Vivel being the Channel Partner? The performance of this partnership could open the floodgates for many more?

As I said, Vivel has come on board as the channel partner but it’s not we have closed our doors to the others. Probably as the numbers start to trickle in people will want to make bigger commitment to the channel. That will be an ongoing effort but a few brands have come based on faith and seeing potential in what we have to offer them. Jalsha has a very strong equity in the market with its advertisers and it is purely on that front that many have partnered with us.


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