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Creative Eye ropes in former Sab TV biz head Anooj Kapoor, plans new verticals

MUMBAI: Former Sab TV business head Anooj Kapoor has joined Creative Eye to grow the production house’s existing business and move it into new areas such as digital and animation content. Movie production is also on the radar.

Kapoor, who quit Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI) in January, will look after the company’s four verticals—television, movies, animation and digital.

Confirming the news to TelevisionPost.com, Kapoor said that he has joined Creative Eye as its business and creative head. “My focus area will continue to be television—except this time around I will be on the other side of the table, creating shows with the help of my creative experience. Apart from television, I will also be exploring verticals like movies, animation and digital.”

Creative Eye, which has been lagging behind top-tier production houses like Balaji Telefilms, will create web series to tap into the burgeoning over-the-top (OTT) market. India has seen several launches in the OTT space, including Amazon Prime Video, Netflix and ALTBalaji. Besides, broadcasters like Star India, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL), SPNI and Viacom18 have launched their own OTT platforms like Hotstar, Ditto TV, OZEE, Sony Liv and Voot. The demand for original digital content is on the rise and Creative Eye wants to get a slice of that market.

“We have umpteen digital platforms that are creating web series and it is available through various formats like mobile, tablet, television and more. So, we will be initially creating content for others. In the future, maybe we will venture into creating our own platform,” Creative Eye founder-promoter Dheeraj Kumar told TelevisionPost.com.

The company will also enter into creation of short-form content with graphics and animation for digital.

According to Kumar, Creative Eye’s core strength lies in mythological content, which is why it will be creating content based on the Panchatantra stories or stories about Ganesha. “These will be mini stories for the digital space but in graphic or animation format. We will not do live-action animation,” he said.

Movies is another area the company would want to explore in the future. After its maiden venture ‘Aabra Ka Daabra’ for kids, the company had stayed away from movies. The company, however, is not too bullish on the movies front.

Kumar expects Kapoor to guide the company to growth. “He has vast experience in growing Sab TV. He has done wonders as a creative person with serials like ‘Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah’. Also, in a short span he has done moderately well for Sony Pal. So, we hope that his vast experience and business acumen would help Creative Eye. We hope that with him coming on board, there is some added energy into the company’s vision.”

In FY17, Creative Eye reported revenue of Rs 17.32 crore, up from Rs 5.10 crore a year ago. The company posted net profit of Rs 5.1 million compared to a loss of Rs 1.41 crore in FY16. With the new verticals added, Kumar expects the performance to improve substantially.

Creative Eye had started out by producing television content for public broadcaster Doordarshan in 1986. It has since created around 9,500 hours of television content, of which 4,200 hours catered to the mythological genre.

“Our USP is simple: we own the IP rights to our 4,200 hours of content,” Kumar summed up.