FremantleMedia has set up an on the ground production unit based in Mumbai, India. Having sold several formats into the country Fremantle is keen to also be involved in their production on a local level.
The RTL-backed production and distribution group has recruited Saurindra Kumar Barua (Raj) to head up the new operation. As managing director of FremantleMedia India, Raj will build a team that will produce content out of India. He reports to Patrick Schult, FremantleMedia Asia’s Singapore-based CEO.
Raj has joined Fremantle from Discovery Asia where he was CFO.
The Indian TV market is booming with a plethora of new pay TV services and channels, including the Viacom-backed Colors, which launched last July and has already topped the ratings in certain weeks, usurping Star’s flagship channel Star Plus.
Star has itself launched a swathe of new channels. It is also recently announced that it is launching local versions of Western format Moment of Truth and is airing the US version of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here. Sony’s SET, meanwhile, is airing a local version of I’m A Celebrity…
NBC, meanwhile, has linked with Samir Nair’s NDTV with a view to launching channels and exporting its formats and programming.
Talent agency William Morris also set up an Indian office last year.