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Bollywood glimpse dazzles US B-school students

The school is looking forward to opening shop in India either on its own or through tie-ups with IITs, IIMs.

india Updated: Jan 06, 2006 23:08 IST
Indo-Asian News Service
Indo-Asian News Service

A half-hour long programme about the evolution of India's entertainment industry, presented by award-winning filmmaker Romesh Sharma, was held in Gurgaon on Thursday.

It was attended by the students and faculty of the Darden Business School, University of Virginia.

The school is looking at opportunities of opening shop in the country either through tie-ups with The Indian Institutes of Management or the Institutesof Information Technology, or on its own.

The school, rated second in the 2005 Financial Times survey of US business schools, is on the India leg of a Global Business Exchange educational tour during which they will interact with corporates and government officials in New Delhi and Hyderabad for answers to the key question: Why is the world heading towards India?

Sharma's crisp documentary on Bollywood, in which he travelled the road from the early 1900s to the present day, packing within 30 minutes the romantic heroes of the 1970s, the larger than life Amitabh Bachchan, and the cinematic grandeur of blockbusters like Lagaan and Devdas, was highly responsible for making the show click.

Marc Modica, a faculty member, said, "I've learnt how you turn a creative endeavour into a business endeavour and we've learnt much about how we might turn a business endeavour into a creative endeavour. I definitely am going to delve into the mysteries of Bollywood."

"You made 900 movies last year?" asked an incredulous Jonathan England. "Did all of them make money?"

"It's like this: maybe one in six movies made instant money. The others made money over time. Then, a lot of money comes in by marketing the music, explained Sharma.

"Don't also forget that in a country of a billion plus, it's not only Bollywood where movies are being made. There's a huge regional market and it's doing pretty well. Overall, everyone is happy," added Sharma, who has made the critically admired "New Delhi Times".

"What makes bollywood click is a question of aesthetics. Western cinema largely goes by Aristotleian aesthetics where everything has a beginning, middle and end. Then there is the Bollywood aesthetics where you are dealing with nine different emotions like anger, humour, fear and jealousy in one work," Sharma maintained.

He also painted a rosy picture of the future, contending that Bollywood was poised to go global thanks to the vast Indian diaspora and that satellite TV, Internet broadband and digital technologies would push the process.

"I've been hearing about Bollywood but hearing it firsthand was mind blowing. It's given me such a different perspective. The dances and music are fantastic and I can't wait to see a full movie," said Mariel Palma, a student.

A little over 40 Indians, the largest foreign group, are currently enrolled for MBA programmes at the 600-strong Darden School.

First Published: Jan 06, 2006 23:08 IST