Coverage by Bhat Dittakavi of Variance.AI on “Enroute to Chhota Bheem” of Rajiv Chilaka of Green Gold at T-Hub on 6th October 2017
When I went to USA for study, I told the folks there I wanted to make a movie like “Lion King”. Mr. Marshall asked me whether I have lots of money and I said no. He asked me whether I can draw art work and I said no.
I went from university to University in USA to get admission. I went to Academy of Arts finally and the dean heard me and gave me admission finally. I painted the right picture and people didn’t believe me. I persisted. I want to make a lion king in my life time. That is my dream.
In 2003, we worked one year on an alien project named Bongo. My client who was a producer and he was was in losses. He didn’t pay us. Buy the slot, sell the slots for adverting and build the program is a tough plan for any producer. This is 2003 and Doordarshan was a dominant player. We were 30 people and we let go off half of them as producer lost it.
We made right connection with musicians, artists, sound engineers and other players over the tough times. A friend of mine called me and congratulated me for my show being listed in TOI. Our show was listed in top 10 above Shaktimaan. That was kind of a turning point.
Another turning point came in 2005. We started with Vikram Betal and sold this to TV. We came in top 50 in 2005. We also did licensing and merchandising on Vikram Bhetal. Then we stayed away from Vikram Bhetal as that wouldn’t be apt subject for kids.
We wanted to do Chhota Bheem. No one accepted the story line but many wanted us to do Krishna. There were 17 companies doing the same Krishna. Cartoon Network gave us the order. We got lucky. We priced it right. This started changing everything for us. We made it to top 3 in 2007. Krishna TV show broke all the records. We won many awards.
-Sticking with IP which was the one belief of our company.
-Sticking with 2D.
-Patience and perseverance.
I set the goal and clearly told people. We did good decisions. We shut 3D as devices and 3D rendering were too costly. It was a good decision then.
By this time we were at 50% cost. We were borrowing and with overdrafts and loans. 100 employees we had by then.
Even movie stars started to pose with Chhota Bheem banners. That is the pull it created.
While Bheem was happening, we built a separate team. We produced 30-40 episodes every year. Krishna, mighty raj krishna and more we did.
We went crazy with marketing of Chota Bheem movie.
If you want to know how brave is a lion, lion has to write the story so we know the story from lion’s side, not from hunter’s side. Humbleness is foolishness. When you get the opportunity, take on bigger things. This is the precise reason we did theatrical.
2009-2010 merchandise division
We manufactured and produced 100 merchandise products. Photo frames to apparel to pencil boxes. You will see at least one product in any store that has to do with Green gold. This happens out of lots of effort.
This store proved that we make more money through merchandise than selling rights at times.
We did children fashion shows to continue to be in the limelight. We do theatrical to build the brand even if we are losing money. We are everywhere from noodles to chocolates to more.
We tried training as service and we failed miserably. We shut it down.
Chhota Bheem to Super Bheem (2015)
We are doing fantastic in 3D now.
We are working with all these media brands. All happened because of Chhota Bheem.
He will win who has military capacity and is not interfered with by the sovereign. -Sun Tzu
You trust your team leaders, don’t tell them every day what to do.