Bollywood actor Shreyas Talpade’s OTT venture Nine Rãsã gains traction

Shreyas Talpade wears may hats. Not only is he a renowned theatre artist, actor, producer and director, he has now entered the start-up ecosystem as an entrepreneur with the launch of his OTT platform – Nine Rãsã. A platform exclusively designed for theatre and performing arts, Nine Rãsã is carefully developed to bring forth a unique blend of nine emotions, to thereby engage with, entertain and enrich the viewers.

In conversation with Adgully, Shreyas Talpade, Founder, Nine Rãsã, speaks about his journey from Bollywood to being an entrepreneur, his key learnings of starting his own venture, need for theatres to be online and much more.

Also read: Shreyas Talpade to be a part of the master talk for 9th Jagran Film Festival

Nine Rãsã aims to re-ignite the offline theatre experience through the digital platform. The idea is to make theatre available and accessible by anyone, anytime and anywhere. The platform believes that the show must go online, and thus makes its way to smartphones and the living rooms of the audience. The platform is created with a strong tech support to create an un-interrupted viewing and browsing experience.

Speaking about his motivation to start his own venture, Talpade said, “This journey has been pretty exciting. What motivated me was essentially the pandemic. When the lockdown was announced and when it was extended, we were really concerned about how can we help the theatre fraternity and that is when we thought, when everything was going online, why not theatre? Right now, it is pretty much the need of the hour, we can do some shows online, generate some revenues, and pay all the people. The more we thought about it, we realised that there are people across the globe, who are interested in Indian Theatre, but do not have access to it, so why not create a platform dedicated solely to Theatre.

Nine Rãsã offers content in multiple variations, including plays, skits, storytelling, stand-up across genres. The platform is available in multiple languages, including Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati and English, and plans to regularly introduce other languages to match the preferences of every audience set.

Every new idea has certain resistance as well, speaking of which Talpade said, “There were some sections in the fraternity who were sceptical about whether theatre could go online. They consider theatre to be a live performance. We had to fight for that and tell them that we have kept theatre only limited to auditorium, whereas theatre is one of those platforms which needs to reach out to the people, people need to know what is the magic of a theatre performance, they need to know how real those performances are, so that was the major hurdles initially. But if you are convinced in your mind and heart, nothing can stop you. So, we moved on and started collecting content.”

Where digital has made everything easy, to understand technology sometimes is a challenge in its self. “Everything was happening online, virtual meetings, even the tech team is based out of Israel. I was one of the most tech-challenged people, so understanding technology was a big obstacle in a way for me,” he further added.

Starting a business involves a lot of paperwork and funds. Speaking about the funds, Talpade informed, “This is a completely self-funded venture, I and my wife have put in our own money into this for now. However, since the day of the launch, there have been a lot of enquiries from potential investors who want to be a part of Nine Rãsã. But for now, we have funded the entire venture because we went ahead with our own conviction, we wanted our own vision to see the light of day and that is the reason we felt let’s put in our own money and see how it goes.”

Watch the entire conversation here:

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