07 December 2021 01:53


Rahul Rao, Business Head Zee Punjabi


Zee Punjabi has successfully completed one year on the auspicious occasion of Lohri. How has been the response from the land of people with Vadde Vadde Sapne?

We are delighted to note the extremely positive response the channel has received since its launch, Punjab has welcomed us with open arms. We’re grateful that we have played a small role in entertaining people and keeping their spirits up in these exceptionally trying times by continuing to provide them with the best of content. Our shows have struck a chord with the viewers for their authenticity and rootedness, and at the same time dazzled viewers by presenting the biggest stars of this Industry who have time and again been on our platform. We are thrilled to share that we will soon have the cricketing icon Harbhajan Singh on our channel, who will host a unique game show starting September.

COVID-19 has thrown major challenges. How are you re-attracting viewers to your TV Channel and finding new sources of revenue?

TV viewership has infact grown during the pandemic with more people being confined at home, so the challenge for us has been keeping people entertained and delivering content that serves as an escape. We’ve had shows with local deities like Maa Chintapurni in Mawan Thandiyan Chawan with Karan Mehra, thrillers like Ankhiyan Udeek Diyan with Parmeet Sethi, laugh riots like Hasseyan Da Halla hosted by the iconic Jaswinder Bhalla and engaging chat shows like Dil Diyan Gallan hosted by superstar Sonam Bajwa.

What are the interesting trends and insights which are very unique to the Punjabi GEC/Movie viewership?

People love entertainment in all forms, the market has been growing for the last few years driven by the launch of new channels in GEC, music & movies in the Punjab market.
Punjab is also a land which takes things in its stride and adds a dash of humour to everything. You will notice this in our shows as well and also in the fact that comedies are on the channel frequently.
Another important factor is the bhakti that people have and the fact that devotional content does well in the market
Another interesting trend we have noticed is that children consume a lot of TV in Punjab which is higher than the average time spent by children in India overall.

Zee Punjabi has brought a strong line up of fiction and non-fiction shows with story lines inspired by the land of Punjab. What has been the audience reaction?

The reaction has been positive, we have had our shows consistently in the top 5 shows of Punjab by impressions (BARC data) and our non-fictions have dominated the weekends in the original telecast band. Fictions like Khasmnau Khani, Mawan Thandiyan Chawan, Ankhiyan Udeek Diyan and non-fictions like Jazbaa, Dil Diyan Gallan, Antakshari, Hasseeyan Da Halla have created quite the impression on the audience. We are humbled by the response and endeavour to work hard to offer best in class entertainment to Punjabis everywhere and be the gold standard for Punjabi language TV.

There is a growing demand in regional markets for disruptive content, both in fiction and non-fictions. What are your plans for Zee Punjabi?

Our plans are to bring superior content to this market that caters to the taste of Punjabis. With shows like Mawan Thnadiyan Chawan, Ankhiyan Udeek Diyan, Jazbaa and Dil Diyan Gallan we have created a differentiated platter for viewers which has been readily lapped up. Our future shows include a family comedy – Tedha Meda Sadda Vedha , an inspirational story of overcoming gender bias in Geet Dholi – Sufne Di Thaap & a fun game show Punjabiyaan Di Dadagiri hosted by the national icon Harbhajan Singh

Share your thought process behind roping in Harbhajan Singh, Jassi Gill, Jaswinder Bhalla, Neeru Bajwa, Sonam Bajwa, Parmeet Sethi for Zee Punjabi?

We have our ear to the ground and are intimately connected with our viewers. Our insights told us that viewers wanted to see the biggest icons and pride of Punjab on their TV screens day in and day out. It is a credit to the strength of our platform and network that we’ve managed to rope in some of the biggest stars of Punjab and get them on our shows to keep our viewers constantly entertained.

Regional Channels may become the flagships of broadcast network. Your thoughts?

The industry is witnessing significant growth of regional language content consumption as regional channels celebrate the rich heritage of various states of our remarkably diverse nation. I believe regional TV is symbolic of our diversity and heritage and is the crown jewel of the Indian TV industry.

On a personal note, what have been the highlights of your career so far?

I have been incredibly lucky to have launched brands, channels and worked on challenger brands and led them to leadership, the journey is the reward. From launching IMFL liquor brands to international liqueurs to TV channels, it’s been an enriching and rewarding journey across diverse markets from Pan Indian brands to regional TV channels across Bengal, Odisha and now Punjab which I believe will become a strong a pillar for our Company.

Read 988 times Last modified on Sunday, 15 August 2021 09:05
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