Zee World Africa has taken strides in expanding into the continent with Indian entertainment. Pulse Movies recently spoke to CEO of Zee World Harish Goyal via email about the channel's business venture and what lured them to the continent.
How does Zee World intend to harness the viewership of its Nigerian fan base?
We have strong viewership in Nigeria. The dedicated feed for the rest of Africa brought by Zee World is the first step towards achieving this as we realised very early on the piece that a Nigerian viewer is very different from a South African viewer. This give us flexibility to customise our strategy for Africa
Will there be any collaboration between Zee World and Nollywood in the near future?
Bollywood and Nollywood are similar and rich in culture. Zee TV Africa will be celebrating the first anniversary of Zee World on the 3rd of February 2016. Nigerians are loving Bollywood in English and we want to keep providing them the best content.
How do you keep up to date with your target market across Africa and in Nigeria?
Research plays an integral part of our decision making and continues to keep us close to the viewers in our different markets. Social media also contributes to keeping us updated with the Nigerian market especially as far as television is concerned and latest trends across Africa
Why is the Zee World channel splitting into two?
This change will enable each of the feeds to have unique programming, advertising and sponsorship opportunities.
The decision was taken to suit the different time zones across Africa keeping in mind prime time viewing. We are aware that all of Africa cannot be painted with the same brush. We promise to continue to deliver exceptional content, great quality and unforgettable entertainment. While this strategy would refine the offering and make it relevant for the diverse markets, it would also permit advertisers in the different regions to market their products and reach their audience in a relatable manner.
How is programming for the Zee World Rest of Africa selected?
All programs before going on air undergo research. We conduct research with carefully chosen respondents representing our target viewers. The programs with the best connect are played on air. Research plays the most important role in programming on our channel.
When you took your job as the CEO, what were your top two or three priorities and how did you tackle them?
We had a great demand for an English dubbed Bollywood channel. As the demand increased we couldn’t ignore the need. My first and most important priority was to launch Zee World which we successfully did on 3 February 2015. ZEE World is available on DStv channel 166 and Gotv channel 25.
Second biggest priority was to launch Zee Magic which is our French dubbed channel. We had received numerous requests from Francophone Africa and Indian Ocean Islands for us to custom make a channel for them. We heeded the call and on 1 October 2015 we launched Zee Magic in Francophone Africa on Canal Plus. (channel number 51). A month later we launched the channel with Parabole Maurice in the Indian Ocean Islands(channel number 144). This channel is doing phenomenally well. The engagement we have on our social media pages as surprised us the most.
What is the hardest thing about running Zee World?
We have a young high energy team bubbling with enthusiasm and brilliant ideas pop up every day. The challenge is to keep our focus on our present projects and execute them meticulously.
How do you address competition in the business?
Competition is good. In fact competition is great. It pushes you to always think out of the box and to push boundaries. We are currently pushing boundaries having launched two successful channels in under a year. We have set such high standards for ourselves that my team and I wake up every day with a hunger and drive to do better than before. Nobody knows or studies your brand better than your competitor. Innovation is key. Here’s a quote by Nabil Jamal I love about competition “Competition in business is a blessing, for without it we wouldn’t be motivated to improve”.
What future plans do you have for the Nigerian market?
We are currently working on another mainstream project for Africa. This channel like Zee World is going to resonate well with the Nigerian market and the rest of Africa.