Endemol N.V. has announced the launch of its first subsidiary in Asia – Endemol India. The entity officially launches on January 2, 2006 and will be based in Mumbai. Rajesh Kamat, who was previously Senior Vice-President and Executive Committee member of STAR India, has come on board as Managing Director.
While Endemol is currently in negotiations with several Indian broadcasters to produce local versions of its formats, Endemol India will open with a two-year production link deal with Sony Entertainment Television (SET).
Commenting on his new appointment, Kamat said, “I am happy to be part of the Endemol family. Endemol, with its formats OperacionTriunfo, Night Fever, and Deal Or No Deal, has already developed a strong bond with Indian viewers. Having demonstrated the strength of the intellectual property, the task is now to demonstrate our production expertise by providing Indian audiences with interesting and innovative content.”
Endemol India will launch with eight full-time local staff, consisting of both production and creative Indian talent, in addition to freelancers from Mumbai’s extensive local pool.
Joaquim Agut Bonsfills, CEO of Endemol, said, “We are excited to announce the launch of Endemol India, which will play an important role in India’s vibrant entertainment industry. Our formats have already proved their quality with broadcasters and viewers around the globe and we are delighted that Indian viewers will now have the chance to watch our groundbreaking shows.”
Replying to why the decision to come in India, Endemol, Manager, Corporate Communications, Jeroen van Waardenberg said, “Endemol’s overall strategy for the coming years is to continue its focus on profitable growth and market leadership, by further maintaining and expanding is position. Therefore, exploiting the company’s intellectual property to the Indian market is in line with our international expansion strategy. We are happy to grow our business in the second most populous country in the world.”
Waardenberg asserted that Endemol India would produce local versions of existing Endemol formats in the short term, and develop and produce new formats in the mid and longer terms, “just like all other Endemol subsidiaries over the world.”
The SET deal follows the success of Endemol formats, Operacion Triunfo (aired as Fame Gurukul), and Deal Or No Deal (broadcast as Deal Ya No Deal), which have significantly increased SET India’s market share in their respective timeslots.
Commented on the tie-up, Tarun Katial, Executive Vice-President and Business Head, SET, said, “With Endemol coming to India, we are happy to cooperate with them to provide our viewers with programming that has never been experienced or seen on Indian television. We look forward to a long and fruitful future with Endemol and their world-renowned catalogue as well as their local production expertise.”
The company plans to exploit Endemol’s intellectual property within the Indian market in line with its international expansion strategy. India will be the 23rd country that Endemol operates in.