For us, the kids' genre will be a very big rain maker: Swaroop Banerjee

Event Capital, the specialised intellectual property events-centric business venture of Laqshya Media Group, has aggressive plans lined up in the verticals of Lifestyle, Music and Sports.

Swaroop Banerjee, who recently took charge as the CEO of Event Capital, is charged up about the new properties and acquisitions line up. Prior to joining Event Capital, Banerjee was IP Director at Tribe Asia.

In this freewheeling interaction with AdGully, Banerjee talks about his plans to grow the different verticals and IP properties at Event Capital, new tie-ups and acquisitions lined up and more. Excerpts:

You have just taken charge as the CEO. What is your vision for Event Capital?
Event Capital, backed up a powerful house like Laqshya, has been an aggregator of intellectual properties, these are a bunch of properties that they have bought and there are a bunch of properties that they have partnered with, and other side of it is their own creations – whether it is the Bike Festival of India with MS Dhoni or whether it is edutainment, whether it is the PR Awards. So there are a bunch of creations and there are a bunch of aggregations. In the entire current market between OML, Percept, Viacom18 and Event Capital – the focus is largely the youth, whereas at Event Capital, the mix of genres is very huge. The first thing we are doing is segmenting it right, so we will host a segment under kids for which we have the India Kids Fashion Week, and we will add another property to the kids genre because for us this genre will be a very big rain maker. We’ve had celebrities associating with the Indian Kids Fashion Week; Karisma Kapoor and her children, Sonali and her children have walked on this ramp, and it is quite successful the way it is going.

We already have sports under which we have the India Football Forum and the Bike Festival of India with Mahindra Singh Dhoni, who is very kicked about this property. The only thing is that when you are attached to an athlete, his days are something you can’t really work around. The Bike Festival in December will showcase Dhoni’s passion for bikes in the way the country has never seen.

Each of these categories is in their nascent stages and we are very clear that each of these will grow, so instead just going out and buying or acquiring new properties we will develop these and invest a lot of money in these properties, and the right collaborations.

Besides, I am adding a music vertical right from scratch, which is going to be one of our largest. We are going to do something in the Bollywood space. However, I am not at liberty to give further details right now because a lot of talent is being blocked and the market is a little volatile. But we have see the odd electronic music side of Bollywood that is kind of taking shape in IPs – we have not see the Sufi stage or the commercial Bollywood stage. We are currently speaking to someone very large from Bollywood and you will see the announcement of a Bollywood music festival from Event Capital around September or October this year.

This apart, in music we are also focusing on a very large pop-Bhangra festival as right now Punjabi music is very huge. In fact, Diljit Dosanjh is a brand ambassador for Coca-Cola; we never thought that a non-Bollywood celebrity or a non-cricketer will become the face of such a large brand. So Punjabi music by its repertoire and its global footprint is so large that it makes sense to invest in and create something with the UK Bhangra artists and folk artists from Punjab. We are trying to curate something where we want a Gurdas Mann headlining a folk Punjabi stage with a newbie that has just come out of Punjab. The UK Pop Bhangra Festival in February 2017 is another property that we are working very closely on.

How do you intend to promote the upcoming talent in the music space?
You see when IIFA was created – there was a jury, a panel that gave the authenticity to IIFA. Similarly, when we are doing this, we will have playback singers who are larger than life. But the entire agenda is to have an experimental Bollywood stage where you get newbies to come in and perform alongside their idols.

Throughout your career you have been involved in building IPs? What does it involve to create a successful IP?
You take the idea from other leading organisation company, then you make your idea mixing with it and try developed it. Saavn, Amway and TOI have great idea and are at a bigger platform. Company like Saavn, has turned the music so brands like Redbull build their own property. There are some company who are ready to invest 4crs or 5crs in their intellectual growth, so the right creators make a strong idea in particular genre and the people understand we are trying to do it live like 6 times in a day or 4 times in a month. But to get ten thousand people to view their experience and talk about it and ensure they get back against next year and bring there some friends.

What about Live contests or Live events?
If you see the media and entertainment paper the size of the live event is too large. It is not more as much the film business in India today, we got 28 festivals atleast 10events in every month happening some or the other places. We are very same straighten country where Maharashtra some stated rules, where Karnataka has some other or Kerala some other so it depends on region or a set of people living over there. there are some state in south of India who are actually helping the creator to conduct such type of shows. Even in Hyderabad the international show go on till 2 A.M., so which means it was the help from the government. But yes there are some difficulties in certain things but it can be solve by working together.

What are your plans to revitalise it?
We have around 11 properties there will be found one of it , which will go through because everything might not adopt to a larger story. There will some plan which might be strong or suitable right which might Alok Jalan ( managing director) and Deepak Choudhary (co founder) said me Swaroop do what you will good but when i gave them a plan they find it strong and can grow some brands. There certain genre which will be really gonna do well in certain segment. Now brand can become the title sponsor as well as co sponsor of the event, by which exactly sales get increase as well as shares, this is what media planner do for growth.

It would be a year where people would be looking at ideas instead of revenues, so I think capital will get involved in collaboration for ideas.

So are looking to expand the team in India?
Yes, we have started the recruitment process. So you will soon see a rapid expansion and development of the organisation.


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