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AgTalk | When creative and insight meet: Miditech's Niret Alva

Niret Alva, Co-Founder, Miditech, calls himself the "creative" unit of the well-known Alva Brothers stronghold. Humble and a leader with a strong foresight, he talks about DTH, regional content, niche channels and understanding the Indian viewer in an exclusive conversation with Adgully. Excerpts:

Adgully: What are your expectations from Miditech's latest launch Guinness World Records on Colors?

Niret Alva: It is a great and an unique format. It is something that has been possible with a lot efforts that our team put in, our team has been constantly in talks with the Guinness World Records officials over the past six months. Ashivin Yardi has been a great support as she has been a believer in this. We expect the show to do well, its a brand that is so well-known the world over. Moreover there is no subjectivity involved in this show, we are also looking at having international face-offs. So we have an Indian contestant competing with an international contestant for the same record.

Ag: How competitive is the TV production industry today?

NA: The competition is very fierce and people are fighting for formats, ideas and channels. However Miditech has been able to establish itself across a wide range of verticals like documentary, entertainment, reality, kids entertainment, events, business shows, regional programmes, corporate films etc. We are planning a massive reality show on a major GEC in sometime. We will be coming out with Survivors for Star Plus soon.

Ag: Do you feel that the regional TV market has more potential?

NA: Regional is the biggest explosion. We have conceptualised shows across Bengali, Tamil, Kannada and Malayalam. India is like five or six European markets all in one country. I personally think a lot of very dynamic work is happening in the regional TV market and the content is much more ahead of the curve. I think there is a lot of scope in Kannada and the Kannada market is really growing.

Ag: In November last year the Alva Brothers owned Real Lifestyle Network made the big announcement about FOOD first, so do you think it is the right time for niche channels in the Indian TV market?

NA: In terms of the market there is a huge disposable income that our consumers have and Indian consumers are also spending a lot of it on things that they are interested in. This is a stage in evolution in every TV market across the globe. Initially TV markets start with broad General Entertainment Channels and then gradually special interest channels follow. In many markets globally there are three or more weather channels operating at the same time. I think there is scope and it is only going to grow. Especially with DTH getting good traction and gaining ground we can now measure how many people are actually watching outside the TAM people meters.

Ag: So you feel that DTH will help measure reach better?

NA: India as always is doing its own thing and in its own way, it is impossible to predict a trend. We always thought DTH was an urban phenomenon but now it has spread its reach in the smaller towns and rural markets across the country. So, I think DTH will be great measurement of reach as its penetration increases and the reach of a channel will not be based on just ratings.

Ag: How do you think will the advertisers benefit from the slew of niche channels entering India?

NA: A lot of advertisers are skeptical to advertise today because they do not have a channel which is specifically niche in its programming. Advertisers are rightly skeptical because they fire their message in a broad space and it does not reach the target audiences very effectively. Moreover traditional advertising is not the only end of all things, today you can have advertiser funded content etc. thus promising a better reach.

Ag: Is there any specific kind of content that you are really looking forward to work on?

NA: We are used to making content according to the time in India. However internationally TV content more or less can be watched in a non-linear fashion. So as the technology advancement catches up in India people will watch TV content across various screens. I would want to work with content where the viewer is directly shaping the content and making what they want to watch in real-time. I personally have a weird urge to make heroes out of common people and I feel that TV can be a very big catalyst in our country to make that happen.

Ag: What are the creative targets that you have set for Miditech?

NA: To make sure great ideas find acceptance and are brilliantly executed.

Ag: Any advice for the new production houses entering the space.

NA: Decide your core competence, get the right talent to back it up. Always start with a single idea single show thinking and give it your best and never worry about the money for atleast the first two or three years. | By Prabha Hegde [prabha(at)adgully.com]

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