For GECs, good stories & powerful characters will make the difference: Nina Jaipuria

Nina Elavia Jaipuria, Head – Hindi and Kids TV Network, Viacom 18, talks on her new role, challenges and shares plans for 2019

e4m by Sonam Saini
Updated: Dec 26, 2018 8:39 AM

Nina Elavia Jaipuria was recently given a new role at Viacom18. After establishing the kids cluster successfully, she was appointed Head – Hindi and Kids TV Network.

In a conversation with exchange4media, Jaipuria talks about her new role, challenges and shares plans for 2019.




Transition for new role


It has come a full circle for me. In my career, which spans over two decades, I have worked with housewives at many occasions as I had been associated with different brands earlier. I also worked with a GEC a decade ago. Hence, I have gone from housewives to kids and now back to housewives. It doesn’t seem like that I didn’t know this genre because even for kids channel, we are talking to the gatekeepers--mothers and fathers. Therefore, I have come back to something that I did a decade ago. We find a lot of synergies in kids and GECs. There is a lot of co-viewing on our channels.


Hindi GEC space


The Hindi GEC space has evolved a lot. We have challenger brands and people are innovating. Also, a lot of new genres are coming into light. Colors has done a lot of shows from social drama perspective-- Udaan, Shakti and Balika Vadhu. And I think we have pioneered the fantasy genre with Naagin. Viewer preferences and habits have changed with time. But at the end of the day, it's all about aspiration, emotions and storytelling. That doesn’t go away, that's the DNA of what we do. We tell stories, of course the fabric and circumstances may change. India has come a long way from the stage when we hardly had mobile phones to today, when Jio has revolutionised internet usage in the country. You now have OTT players too. It has become fiercely competitive.


The challenges


India being a one-television household will always be a challenge. And in this one-television household, the remote passes on from kids to mother to the gentleman. Catering to a family will always be a challenge. There will always be that challenge to understand how time spent on television is distributed. But writing good stories and developing powerful characters will make the difference. Today, the viewer is the king, and there are a plethora of choices. Therefore, you have to up your game. What you write should connect with the audiences. For me, the challenge is how you tell the story and develop a character that creates a bond with the consumer.


Year 2018 for Colors


2018 has truly been about ups and downs. There has been FTA, and movie channels continue to do well now. But GECs are still the staple for viewers and that is not going away. And therefore, GECs have seen a whole lot of premieres and new genres. In Colors particularly, we have experimented with a newer genre with shows such as Tantra and Sitara.  Naagin’s Season 3 has been our best season so far. It has done beautifully well for us. But there has been ups and downs. The last quarter has been fiercely competitive and we really have not been up there. And therefore, you will see these launches. It's an attempt to bring the channel back where it belongs. We are coming back with five shows in January 2019. A good start is always a great finish.


Key focus areas in 2019


The key focus will be to make sure that we get the viewer’s pulse. We will make sure that we are connected and engaged with the consumer. We will continue to have a great bond with the viewers, which will come through our great story telling and good characters. We want to ensure that Colors is there preferred channel.


Predictions for 2019

It's going to be a lot more transparent because of the new tariff order. I think the viewer will enjoy more content than ever before because there are lot of people who want to tell stories and the viewer is ready for binge watch today. The third thing I see is internet and digital creating a whole new landscape.

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