Advertisement

We Have Taken Mughal-e-Azam To Another Extreme Of ‘Live Entertainment’: Deepesh Salgia

In an interview with BW Applause and everythingexperiential.com, Deepesh Salgia, Director, Shapoorji Pallonji Real Estate and Creative & Strategic Vision, Mughal-e-Azam, spoke about the challenges facing the Live Entertainment industry in India and how Mughal-e-Azam is pushing the boundaries in this space.

?

Live Entertainment in India is yet to realise its full potential. The mega success of ‘Mughal-e-Azam : The Musical’ underlines the immense potential that ‘Live Entertainment’ could deliver. However a re-imagined approach towards the Live Industry is the only possible way to leverage its immense commercial scope in India.

In an interview with BW Applause and everythingexperiential.com, Deepesh Salgia, Director, Shapoorji Pallonji Real Estate and Creative & Strategic Vision, Mughal-e-Azam, spoke about the challenges facing the Live Entertainment industry in India and how Mughal-e-Azam is pushing the boundaries in this space.

Excerpts:

In an era where Live Entertainment players are reducing cost of production and ticketing, you have taken a completely different approach by turning the model on its head, what was the thought behind this approach?

If you take an example of the diminishing market of circus in US when its revenues and profits were coming down because of the growing popularity of cinema and television, then at that time Cirque De Soleil responded by taking the circus experience to a different level. Cirque’s approach was to charge more but give 10X quality and thus create a new set of audience.

Even Mughal -e-Azam has followed a similar path. What we have been able to do is to take Mughal-e-Azam to another extreme of ‘Live Entertainment’ where audiences are looking for high quality of production.

What would you call the three biggest differentiators of Live Entertainment?

I believe that in entertainment there are three E’s—emotions, engagement and energy. Cinema and Live Entertainment both bring emotions and engagement. The difference lies in the energy the Live entertainment brings. The energy from Live experience is not just felt in the theatre but audiences carry the same to their homes. This is where Live entertainment scores over cinema.

Mughal-e-Azam is also working because it is leaving the audiences with a positive energy, which takes the experience to a different level. And for this, I must give full credit to the team.

What has the response been to the recently concluded Delhi run of Mughal-e-Azam?

Doing a live event in Delhi is very difficult. But despite these challenges, our team has done this live event not just once or twice but thrice. And each time the run has been close to three to four weeks. Overall, we have done 50 live performances in Delhi and I think in Delhi there have been very few shows that have achieved double digits in terms of number of performances.

What are the big challenges facing the Live Entertainment industry in India?

Firstly, there is no infrastructure for live events, it is practically zero. Today other than Mumbai, we don’t have any city where we have theatres to perform a show like Mughal-e-Azam. For the Delhi and Ahmedabad shows, we have converted a stadium into a theatre which means a huge amount of money.

Also in various cities in India, even when one is doing live shows at standard venues, a lot of permissions are required. If the government really wants to promote live shows it needs to address this issue. If a venue is already approved for 1000 people or 500 people then there should be no need for further approvals for any show with similar number of audience.

Live shows also attract tourists in a city, so authorities need to work on a long term strategy. One successful show alone cannot make it happen, there needs to be continuous engagement. For example the government can come up with a calendar about live shows happening in various cities and travel companies can make packages around such shows to drive tourist traffic into cities. It is only through cooperation among various bodies can such a model be worked out. I think that kind of model can be worked out. Broadway in New York works on a similar model. With so much art, culture, history and mythology, India has a good case for building such a business environment.

Since Mughal-e-Azam has been a roaring success in India, what do we see next?

Our partnership with BookMyshow in Delhi has been very successful. We are now in discussion with BookMyshow for taking this partnershipto other cities in India. Shapoorji Pallonji and Feroz Abbas Khan  will be focussing more on international markets. During 2019-20, we will be performing in different parts of Gulf, South East Asia etc. and later then in the western world.








Tags assigned to this article:
mughal-e-azam Live events Live Entertainment

Around The World

Our Publications

Advertisement