It's all about content

Telly Producer

It's all about content

successful JD Majethia

He could have become a politician after being elected as the general secretary of his college, twice. He could have had a high-ranking post in an ad agency after having serviced clients across industries for a few years. He could have even been in a managerial position in an MNC, thanks to his management degree. But, Jamnadas Majethia opted for none of this. Instead, he chose to struggle and make a career for himself in the entertainment industry.

“I knew I had leadership qualities in me and wanted to do something on my own in the glamour industry,” says Majethia, who runs one of the most successful production companies in the television industry. Hats Off Productions, which JD (as he is fondly known as in the industry) runs with his long-time friend and partner Aatish Kapadia, has produced some of the most popular shows in recent times including Sarabhai vs Sarabhai, Khichdi, Instant Khichdi, Remote Control, Baa Bahoo Aur Baby, Behenein, and the recent, Mrs Tendulkar and Chhoti Si Zindagi.

How did he turn producer? JD explains, “I wanted to do something creative and the result was Hats Off Productions, way back in 1994.” Back then, he was not into producing serials but Gujarati plays. “But, as we all know, there is not much money in theatre, which is why I was forced to look at other alternatives,” admits JD. 

That is when the famed ABCL Talent Hunt kicked off across the nation. It was the mid ‘90s and JD was a young, handsome man looking for a career in the entertainment industry. He found it difficult to resist the talent hunt. “I participated and though I did not win the contest, I got an offer from Time Audio Video. They signed me up as the hero for their film. But somehow, the company ran into some problem and the project never materialised,” says JD with a sigh.

Not the one to give up easily, JD decided to stay back in Mumbai and pursue his dream. That was when he and Aatish Kapadia, his college friend, got together and discussed about doing something on television. They both shared the same thoughts, ideas and desires. “I joined hands with Aatish and we produced Khichdi. Thankfully, after that, there was no looking back.” The duo went on to produce one hit after another — Khichdi, Sarabhai vs Sarabhai, Baa Bahoo Aur Baby — anything they touched turned gold.

And there were enough reasons for the same. Their content was clean, intelligent and not at all offensive. And this is something they have been able to maintain across all their serials. Especially Sarabhai vs Sarabhai, which became one of the most talked-about shows in the country and garnered fantastic TRPs.

Unfortunately, while many serials, however cringeworthy they might be, have had multiple sequels, Sarabhai vs Sarabhai did not. Any particular reason? “There was a time when we did not have good content   for Sarabhai vs Sarabhai and thus the plan for a sequel was shelved. But now, we have come up with fresh stories and we are just waiting for the right time to launch it,” says a beaming JD.

Although JD is confident about a sequel for Sarabhai vs Sarabhai, the production house was disappointed when the sequel of Baa Bahoo Aur Baby didn’t do well. What went wrong? JD explains, “When we started working on the sequel, we were told that it would be a daily soap and thus we planned everything around that. However, later on, we got to know that it had a weekend slot! The entire canvas changed for us. The way you approach a daily soap is very different from how you approach a weekend show. I feel this is the reason why the show did not do as well as expected.”

What about Khichdi: The Movie? That did not do well either. The famed producer disagrees, “Contrary to what you say, the film did really well in some markets, while in some, it didn’t. But that is because we went wrong with the release timing. There were 22 film releases in October and our film was one of them. Also, Khichdi: The Movie released at the same time with Robot and Anjaana Anjaani.”

The film is very close to his heart and JD adds, “Khichdi: The Movie has already been telecast four times on television and it got higher TRPs than Raajneeti, which was also telecast at the same time!”

Many feel that JD and Aatish create magic on television as a team; it’s their chemistry that works. Does JD agree? “We do not interfere in each other’s work. And we do so only when we are absolutely sure that the other person is wrong. Following this principle has helped us foster our friendship and professional relationship.”

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