Collaboration is the way ahead in the digital landscape: Rahul Sarangi, TVF

Rahul Sarangi, Global Head, Business and Content, The Viral Fever, Sagar Kochhar, Group CMO, Rebel Foods & Chef Kunal Kapur tell us about new show 'The Royal Palate - Culinary Secrets of the Royals'

e4m by Priyaankaa Mathur
Published: May 16, 2019 3:48 PM  | 7 min read
The Royal Palate show

TVF play launched its new show 'The Royal Palate - Culinary Secrets of the Royals' in association with Behrouz Biryani. The show will see the celebrity Chef Kunal Kapur introducing India's royal culinary heritage to the viewers.

We spoke to Rahul Sarangi, Global Head - Business and Content TYF, Sagar Kochhar, Group Chief Marketing Officer, Rebel Foods and Chef Kunal Kapur to know what's the show has in store, its concept, partnerships, collaborations and the way ahead!

With so many culinary shows, what makes this show unique?

Rahul Sarangi said "If I have to give you one line about the show ‘It is the secret of the royals plus the ugly truth behind delicious food’ since a lot of food has been discovered because of the wars. So there is every kind of a food show, and having worked in the international market and that’s what my role is, but I can assure you that you must have not seen this kind of a show anywhere in the world."

Could you tell us about the Brand Partnership between The Viral Fever and Behrouz Biryani?

Sagar Kochhar emphasised, “Our intent was very clear that Behrouz Biryani being the digital-only biryani brand and a royal brand wanted to do content that would help boost the brand persona and strengthen our association with royalty. So the way we have brought back the age-old recipe of biryani to the fore in the brand, now with this show we have come about with the content which talks about rare dishes which have a back connect with the royalty.

What is the role of food in the content category?

Sagar Kochhar explained, "The existing food shows are very documentary oriented and so in that way we have tried to strike the right balance of not going very serious and having a decent balance of information and at the same time light entertainment there. So it’s the right food show for the millennials too."

Would Behrouz also combine the royal recipes with the brand's menu?

Sagar Kochhar," Well not at this point of time, but yes maybe in future, since at the root of it we have a very strong connection with the royal heritage with the Behrouz recipes.

How has the journey been from being a chef to a television anchor?

Chef Kunal Kapur explained, "I think for me the journey of a chef starting from my own humble kitchen to going to a catering college to going to different hotels and restaurants in and out of India it's been a learning curve. Television has pushed me out of my comfort zone as to exploring and becoming a food researcher myself. Hosting different shows has a different fun element but the biggest take away is to bank a good knowledge and at the same time I love to part it with others."

What were the hidden Royal Indian culinary treasures did you find while shooting this show?

Chef Kunal Kapur says " I think the biggest treasure is that it has put me in a spot to ask the questions that if we eat some food or use certain ingredients today, why do we eat them and where do these come from? why do we believe that certain things are good to eat or use in our food and so where did the origin exist? There are certain things like tea that British introduced to us, but we drink here in India thinking that we own it, while the fact is that unless British came we never had tea in India and Indians used to drink kahwa or certain spices 'masale'.So the show gives you these kinds of insights inside the history of food in a very interesting way!

Which all royalties have been covered in the show?

Rahul Sarangi,“ We have shot all across the country from Murshidabad, Lucknow, Cochin, and Murshidabad is something that has never been seen on the Indian television. The other thing that is about the show is the rare types of delicacies like the ‘ghuntwa kabab’ that has never been shown on any food show and we are fortunate to have the royalty cooking for us and showing us the royal recipe books that are over 1000 years old and are very tender to be handled with care, but they are phenomenal!"

What is the TG for the show?

Rahul Sarangi: “TVF’s core TG for the show is 18-35, this show is for everybody but mostly made for the youth and the Instagram generation."

What experience does the show promise?

Rahul Sarangi: “So it is not a Nat Geo kind of a show nor is a typical travel show, it’s a fun, easy to go format with no jargons, that all says how royal food has percolated with the masses as part of the pop culture."

What has been the most intriguing part of the show?

Rahul Sarangi: “There are a lot of things you believe in and then you come to know that it's not true. So we found something like the Scotch egg that we believe it to have come to us from the Britishers, but we found while doing this show that scotch egg is actually a delicacy from Lucknow, and while it was going to London on the way the recipe got lost, so it became scotch eggs as the British called it. It’s interesting to find that a lot of Awadh cuisine is there what you get both in France and in India."

From Television to mobile apps, how has the consumer experience changed?

Rahul Sarangi " So the audience can watch the content anywhere, anytime, they can comment. Today democratisation of content has happened in the case of the mobile apps, while in the case of TV you watch what is shown. Digital gives the power to say what you want, watch what you want and at whatever time you want, unlike TV.

What are the key trends in content consumption and consumer behavior in India in the app space?

Rahul Sarangi "There are almost 35 apps in India. We as TVF have an advantage over most of them because we are early starters so our hit rates are very large. So we bring a slice of life that is relatable to people and small-town stories will always work according to our belief." Who are the key partners and influencers on the show? Rahul Sarangi," So we have Chef Sara Todd, Binapsha, choreographer Melvin Louis, Actors Barkha Singh, Kunwar Kumar, and Ahsaas Channa and a lot of them."

How have Netflix and Amazon impacted the digital ecosystem, is it more challenging for other apps to thrive or you do see opportunities?

Rahul Sarangi said," Well they are at the top of the pyramid, in the middle part there is Voot, Hotstar and TVF are partnering with everyone from Amazon, Netflix, Hotstar, Sony LIV, MX player. So we are collaborating with everyone since our content is so good.

How does collaboration help?

So collaboration is the way to go. It is also good for us to collaborate and we do it only if it is strategically important to our content and environment.

Any partnerships with telecom companies?

Rahul Sarangi stated, "Yes we are in talks with two of them that are still under wraps."

What is your Media strategy for the show?

Rahul Sarangi explained, "We will do a lot on digital and push it through influencer marketing."

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