The spate of flops during the year gone by notwithstanding, the corporate sector remained upbeat about the potential of the entertainment industry if one goes by the number of cinematic ventures financed by them during 2002.
Pantaloons entered film production with their maiden cinematic venture Na Tum Jaano Na Hum (starring Esha Deol and Hrithik Roshan), being followed by the yet-to-come Chura Liya Hai Tumne (starring newcomer Zayed Khan and Esha Deol). Tata Infomedia entered the fray with their debut Venture Aitbaar'(starring Amitabh Bachchan, Bipasha Basu and John Abraham), Venus financed Abbas Mastan's Humraaz while Tips produced The Legend of Bhagat Singh and Kundan Shah's Dil Hai Tumhara.
Tatas were the latest to enter the film industry. In March, Zee Telefilms acquired 64 per cent stake in Padmalaya Telefilms with a view to becoming the animation powerhouse in Asia. Sahara also entered film production with several projects, currently at various stages of finalisation.
The last couple of years have seen the emergence of a new trend in the association between the corporate world and Bollywood with corporate entities sponsoring promotional campaigns for films, celebrities and events. The year 2002 saw an increasing trend among corporates such as Pantaloons, P P Jewellers, Electrolux, Pepsi and many others making a foray into corporate sponsorship of movies, right from creating the pre-release anticipation to post-release excitement.
Following the lead given by Britania in sponsoring a promotion campaign for Aamir Khan's Lagaan, the year saw Delhi-based P P Jewellers organising promotional campaigns for Satish Kaushik's Badhai ho Badhai in Delhi while Sansui Corporation held premieres of the film in Mumbai.
Analysts feel that the entry of corporates into film production is an indicator of the tremendous potential of cinema as a business proposition. The trend of corporate entities entering the film production and sponsorship bandwagon is part of a synergy between Bollywood and the corporate world to increase their visibility among their respective target audiences.
"For both (Bollywood and corporate entities) it is a win-win situation wherein they associate with each other in a mutually-beneficial arrangement which helps both of us to reach our target audience," P P Jewellers director Sangeeta Wadhwa said.