Zee kicks off new biz with reality show
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Zee kicks off new biz with reality show

The channel believes its new reality show, Business Baazigar, has the potential to grow into a movement.

india Updated: Apr 29, 2006 15:34 IST

Zee TV is trying to change the concept of reality shows with its newly launched programme Business Baazigar, which has improved the channel's TRP ratings.

On Friday two contestants on the show, Prakash and Leena, posing as Bunty and Babli, were given one rupee to survive on the streets of Mumbai for 24 hours.

"It's not an easy thing to do," Ashish Kaul, Zee's senior vice-president, told IANS.

"But then Business Baazigar (BB) isn't an ordinary reality show. We believe it has the potential to grow into a movement. BB isn't a television programme. We see it as a revolution. It will change the face of the country. We expect many industrial houses to start their own BB. This is a show that empowers you to change your life and those around you," added Kaul.

"So far TV is known as the idiot box because it just keeps talking to you without doing anything worthwhile. BB, in its two-month existence, has made a significant dent.

"The ratings are quite mind-boggling for a serious business show. Our surveys had told us we should expect 230-250 entries. But on the first day, when we opened our doors to the entries, we had over 2,000 entries."

So what is the actual impact of Business Baazigar?

"We have had both on-air and off-air impact. On air we have seen 200,000 business proposals come in. We were so overwhelmed that we had to create an entire cell at Zee to sift through the entries. It seems to have changed the concept of reality TV and life," Kaul said.

"On Friday we see two contestants surviving on one rupee. Off-air we have funded many business ideas, for example Vimi from Mumbai, who had a mind-blowing idea of a shoe laundry. Unfortunately, she was eased out for underhand practices".

"Damodar Mishra from Rajasthan had a great idea for a substitute for cotton. Such concepts were good. But ideas and the capability to implement those ideas don't always go hand in hand. BB bridges the gap between wanting to do business and actually doing it."

Zee is flooded with business ideas from every corner of the country.

"We have decided that out of the 20 finalists, one person's business idea will be funded by Zee. But one of the other 19 semi-finalists will get another chance on a segment called Mini BusinessBaazigar. This is a new idea suggested by our viewers for the eased-out contestants," Kaul said.

The panel of judges on Business Baazigar comprise Zee's head honcho Subhash Chandra, Anil Gupta, a scholar, investor and Padma Shri winner, and Mahesh Murthy, a well-known investor.

Meanwhile, Johnny Lever's Johnny Ai La Re starts on Zee in May end.

"Preparations are on for a weekday weekly telecast. Johnny will be the mainstay of the show. But there will be other artists supporting him on the show," said Kaul.

First Published: Apr 29, 2006 15:34 IST