Television is here to stay, we are moving towards an era where both theatre and OTT will work: Markand Adhikari

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Updated: August 20, 2021 3:02 PM

Adhikari is presently focusing on expanding the group's digital division. Furthermore, the production of another major big-screen project, Thank God in association with T-Series and directed by Indra Kumar has resumed.

Expressing his views about the impact of the pandemic on the Bollywood industry, he feels that Hindi cinema has transitioned from theatres to OTT platforms due to the coronavirus.

Speak about the Indian media and entertainment sector and Markand Adhikari’s name rings the bell! Recognized as the ‘patriarch of Indian Media & Entertainment segment’, he is an Indian media veteran and pioneer. He is presently driving and managing Sri Adhikari Brothers (SAB GROUP), the leading conglomerate in the sector as its Chairman and Managing Director. He also overlooks the content production of Happii Digital and Broadcast Pvt. Limited, the content production and digital vertical of SAB Group.

Markand Adhikari incepted SAB Group in the year 1981 in association with his brother Lt. Gautam Adhikari. In the present times, it is one of the first publicly-listed television production companies in India as it has been listed by both NSE and BSE.

Sri Adhikari Brothers Group has played a vital role in the Indian Television Industry. Their journey has indeed been a rollercoaster ride yet a fulfilling and exciting one. They have seen the best of both worlds right from the days when people owned black and white TV sets to the present times’ OTT platforms. Throughout their presence of over four decades, they have seen technology progressing and playing an important role in the Indian media growth.

Under Markand’s supervision, SAB Group has flourished significantly and has marked its presence in diverse verticals ranging from DD sponsored programs, Satellite commission programs to creating around 10 successful channels in the Broadcasting sector. He considers SAB Group entering the GEC market and carving a name for itself in the industry by launching SAB TV as one of its remarkable achievements in its journey so far. The channel has now become a global brand and savors the title of being ‘the world’s most-watched comedy channel’.

Along with this, SAB Group also has an extensive presence across movie production and distribution as well as VFX studios domains. It is due to Mr. Adhikari that the brand has a noteworthy presence in the digital space amongst the news and current affairs arm via its venture, Governance Now and is also heavily engaged with OTT platforms. Markand Adhikari has played a pivotal role in transforming the group into a legacy! Analyzing the potential in the regional channels’ market, he launched regional channels as well that emerged to be a success in the industry. These include channels such as Mastiii, Dabangg, and Maiboli that have gained popularity over the years and are known for their innovative content.

Since Markand has tested waters and enjoyed success in various other domains, how could the production field be left behind! He has forayed into this mainstream industry as well and has so far produced more than 10 famous feature films for the big screen. These include box-office hits such as Dheet Patangey, Total Dhamaal, Missing, and Great Grand Masti.

Markand Adhikari says, “These four decades seem to have passed away in a jiffy. We have seen a lot all these years. From black and white sets to tech adoption, from appointment viewing to movable infinite viewing on mobile phones and entertainment or the merging of news; the Indian media and entertainment sector has boomed at a significant pace over the period of time. Having seen it all and pioneering various trends in the industry, I have had a satisfying journey so far. As far as SAB Group is concerned, we have flourished and have gained prominence across sectors and will continue to innovate and proliferate in the times to come. It’s thrilling to see that the risks we took and the hard work we put in have been paid off. “

Sharing his thoughts on the Indian media and entertainment landscape, he adds, “Television is here to stay and it is going to survive in India in the times to come. It would be surprising for many that even now 30% of Indian households are without a TV set. To tap this market is the immediate target of the industry players. Our family culture still prefers conventional television viewing and specifically appointment-based viewing still holds value. As far as the Indian cinema is concerned, its future entirely depends on the mutability of virus, speed of vaccination program and people’s COVID appropriate behavior. However, I strongly feel that theatres will remain relevant for larger-than-life movies in the times ahead whereas small good quality films will make their way to the OTT platforms.“

Expressing his views about the impact of the pandemic on the Bollywood industry, he feels that Hindi cinema has transitioned from theatres to OTT platforms due to the coronavirus. Since multiplexes were shut down, lakhs of people were left jobless. Various directors and producers also had to postpone their releasing dates and were waiting for theatres to resume operations. This is when OTT stepped in a saving grace for the industry and has helped businesses survive amidst these turbulent times. However, he is also of the view that we are soon moving towards an immersive era in the creative space wherein both theatre and OTT will work complementarity and will sustain as two sides of the same coin.

Markand Adhikari, Chairman and Managing Director, Sri Adhikari Brothers (SAB GROUP)

SAB Group is operating seamlessly on multi-lingual, multi-genre content. Adhikari has spearheaded the SAB Group not just to make it a profitable firm pioneering trends in the Indian media and entertainment sector but a globally recognized leading brand!

Adhikari is presently focusing on expanding the group’s digital division. Furthermore, the production of another major big-screen project, Thank God in association with T-Series and directed by Indra Kumar; starring Ajay Devgn, Rakul Preet, and Siddharth Malhotra has resumed. The group will soon be establishing SABTNL as a media conglomerate with a widespread presence in publishing, content production, broadcast, and filmmaking verticals.


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