Reality shows focusing on entrepreneurship and business acumen are set to become a new genre of television programming. While Zee is launching its Business Baazigar in January 2005, in far off USA, FOX 50 channel is launching Entrepreneur in the same month.
Ashish Kaul, VP, Corporate Brand Development Group, Zee Telefilms, says: “We did not follow any global trend while coming up with this reality show. This idea belongs to our chairman Subhash Chandra and our concept has been registered. Moreover, the concept may be similar in different countries, but then the audience is very different, so it hardly matters. The show aims to create Indian entrepreneurs and it is unique for the simple reason that a business reality show has never happened before on Indian television.”
On how this idea germinated, Kaul says: “It was Chandra’s idea. He made it big in life starting with just 17-odd rupees. He wants to facilitate all Indians to carve their destinies with the big business idea.”
Kaul informed that Chandra will be one of the panelists on the Baazigar show, adding, that “the company staff wanted him to anchor the show.”
“The show has been given prime time slot and will replace India’s Best Cinestar ki Khoj,” says Kaul. Business Baazigar is a 36-episode real life drama in which candidates from all walks of life--executives, students, housewives and even retired persons--will compete against each other to give that one ‘big idea’. So, what kind of business is Zee talking about? “Anything and everything,” says Kaul, adding: “It just needs to be a good idea. Even if it is a Rs 100-crore proposal, if it is brilliant and innovative, we will give the contestant an opportunity to convert this business idea into reality.”
Asked whether they are targeting a niche viewer audience with a reality show on business, Kaul said, “It is not niche at all. Anybody from a housewife to a student can participate and give a brilliant business idea. Everybody wants to be the master of his or her destiny. We are simply providing them an opportunity to make it big with their big idea.”
Incidentally, Sony also is not ruling out the possibility of introducing more reality shows next year. Said Tarun Katial, Executive VP, Programming and Response, SET, “Reality shows really work well. You might see more shows next year and, yes, we will be experimenting with genres. Indian Idol will go on for more than a year but after that we will experiment with more genres.” Will that be business? “No,” says Katial.
Bob Winstead’s brainchild Entrepreneur is a reality show that is on the lines of Zee’s Baazigar. In Entrepreneur, contestants participate in various projects, ranging from idea to operation. Like all reality shows, this too has all the masala with well-known host, various twists, conflicts, group mergers, challenges, cameos from local millionaires, business executives, and celebrity guests, the elimination process, the “Real Time” creation of an international business and the grand prize choice.