What do NRI's generally invest in when it comes to home turf? Real Estate, gold, stock markets, healthcare, hospitality! Don’t be surprised, investing in Bollywood is a lucrative option for the diaspora who desire to keep their roots thriving for posterity, want to remain connected with its people and culture, have the money and time and anyways are looking for the right spot to hit to jackpot.
Taresh Anand is one such NRI, handling diverse businesses worth 150 million dollars, with his next generation ready to take flight, wants to be embedded in his soil. While he heads a mid-size IT Consulting Company, he is also associated with four other companies in India based out of Bangalore and Hyderabad. One such company in Hyderabad is into disruptive technologies within IOT (Internet of things) which has more to do with data analytics and data sciences, software and hardware products.
Taresh has a diverse portfolio. The family owns and runs a successful restaurant business with two restaurants in San Franciso, one Malaysian and one high end Indian fine dining. He is into Hospital Management system with deployment in more than 82 centers worldwide that is majorly looked after by his wife. He has offices in United States, United Kingdom, Canada, United Arab Emirates, Australia, Philippines and India. Taresh is the President of Cerratek Dimensions Inc, CEO of ATS NGEN and also sits on the board of many companies.
But what struck the Anand couple most was an idea to be a part of the Bollywood industry which inadvertently pulls investors into its space. With investment sector in India looking up after the demonization of Modi government, Indian film industry has veered towards corporatization. Money no longer comes from the infamous underworld as things have got more transparent. Big corporate houses like Reliance, Viacom 18, Eros are driving the industry to cleaner sources of funding. NRI's are finding it the time to make the right moves.
Anand has his hands full. He has been organising Bollywood shows in San Francisco on regular basis from organisational aspect. In last 2 years he has been instrumental in organising musical shows 7 to 8 times a year where singers like Kailash Kher, Pankaj Uddhas, Vishal Shekhar have performed. Staying close to culture, Taresh is also involved in the Ganesh Utsav in San Francisco Bay Area, which saw a footfall of 35,000-40,000 over a two day celebration in 2016. The Utsav showcases the rich and deep cultural heritage of India and showcases a 15 feet Ganesh idol.
With his pull towards diversifying Anand has turned an investor into Bollywood movies. With a trusted team in place, which he gives utmost importance to, Anand has ventured into the glamour industry without the fear of financial viability. He says, 'the reality is 8 out of 10 movies flop, as long as one has a small and simple content, no longer hyped up sequences, it works. The content is the king, anything that brings out a social message, eg Masan, Dil laga ke Haisha, Lunchbox were basic, subtle, yet had strong social message. Storyline is more important. Big star movies fail because they have no content. Akshay Kumar, Ajay Devgan, failed because the content was weak. Kabil on the other hand had a good message but was a directional flop. Director seemed confused what they wanted to bring out. Clarity is required, not too much money is needed for what you want to do. You could do it small but right.'
Remember the 'Fashion' famed award winning lyricist of 'Ye Jalwa, fashion ka hai ye jalwa, Sandeep Nath! Nath is a well known face and screen play writer of many a successful Bollywood films. Collaborating with Taresh Anand, the duo have come together to deliver projects that they boost of having the ingredients of a great production. Asked about their survival in a heavily polarised industry, Anand says, 'Yes there is immense competition in Bollywood and survival is difficult but Sandeep Nath is a proven individual with incredible ideas. His passion for his work and his belief in himself is what has got us together. Sandeep's love for films, music, creativity is immense. Our films will be something we can relate to, either comic, social economic message, something that was never told this way.'
Sandeep Nath Productions Pvt Ltd is in the process of making a series of films, from a small budget like 'DNA mein Gandhiji' to medium and big star big budget ones. Anand says, 'I am happy to work with my team in all our future projects. Risks are a part of the game and best of films fail too for many many reasons. I have a good team and we are coming up with films that have a message, are socially acceptable and above all can be viewed with the family.
'DNA mein Gandhiji'....you could call it a political satire with a social message, a comedy, promises a wholesome clean entertainment to the audience. Set to be in its post production stage and in theatres anytime it is the first of the many projects in the pipeline by Sandeep Nath Productions Pvt Ltd. Being a marketing honcho, Taresh Anand, does not want to leave any stone unturned to see his film being publicized well. How much has been spent on the film making? Close to USD 1.2 Million, quipped Anand. He wants to see it raking a mollah but is also prepared for the worst and will wait to see the outcome.
Films anyways even remotely associated with Gandhi name take no time causing flutter. Are you prepared for any flare up with the use of the name Gandhi, and Anand says he is. Although he says, 'I am sure the film does not have any provocative content or scene that may cause a flare up.'
Sandeep Nath Productions Pvt Ltd is on the roll with four to five films in their neonatal stage.
With the NRI investment in India pegged at 60 million dollar in 2017, Bollywood is proving to be fertile grounds for major revenue generating options as it offers the premise of a very high risk-high return philosophy.Indian expats are more than ready for it.