Saturday, March 12, 2005

Subhash Chandra to launch Apprentice Show in India.

New Delhi , March 11
IT'S makeover time once again for Zee TV, the flagship channel of Zee Telefilms Ltd.
If Sony's quest for an Indian idol had viewers glued last weekend, Zee is now betting on a new business reality show. So will Subhash Chandra's Business Baazigar match real estate tycoon, Donald Trump's search for the best Apprentice?
Speaking to Business Line, Mr Abhijit Saxena, President, Zee TV said, "We are looking out for people with ideas that can be translated into good business. It is not just the viability of a business proposition but the capability of individuals to see through the ideas is what we are looking for."
The channel had initially called for responses and the ideas vary from workable to bizarre. "There are people who have ideas about the kabbadi business, others want to mass produce rotis. However, the commercially viable ideas would receive financial support from the company," he added.
The show will be based on elimination process where 50 contestants would be asked to perform various tasks testing all aspects of entrepreneurship with limited time and money. Finally, three big ideas would receive either direct funding or Zee could take an equity stake in the venture. The amount of money invested by Zee would depend on the requirement of each project, Mr Saxena added. Aditya Birla Group and LIC have already signed up as sponsors and others are expected to follow suit.
Besides, Zee is also planning to rejig its programming by introducing new shows. "We want widen our viewership base and make our channel a completely mass entertainment channel. There will be slots for kids, women and family," he said.
The channel is not only targeting the smaller towns but also people belonging to B, C and D segments. "Advertisers are also willing to enter into exclusive deals with the channel," Mr Saxena said.
Plans to rebrand regional channels
SEEMS like the regional language channels from the Zee Telefilms stable will have to have traverse the alphabets - from the Greek Alpha to English Zee.
The broadcaster is toying with the idea of rebranding its regional language channels - Marathi, Gujarati, Punjabi, Bengali and Telugu channels - by prefixing Zee. According to Mr Ashish Kaul, Vice President, Corporate Brand Development, Essel Group, "The proposal to rebrand the regional channels is under consideration. It is still at the drawing board stage. A final decision will be taken soon."
He said that the company's research and feedback has indicated that rebranding the channel would be good, as this would create synergy between the various channels.


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