Ekta Kapoor's is a rare success story in a male-dominated space. But it continues to inspire many women who wish to make a mark in showbiz, says actress Bhairavi Raichur.
"Women today are rocking, aren't they! Women have always been around, but yes their presence has increased now," said Bhairavi, who has turned producer with "Chhal - Sheh aur Maat" after acting for over 15 years.
"But if you talk about women in the industry, then Ekta Kapoor is the one who changed the face of television. She has been an inspiration for a whole lot of us," Bhairavi told IANS in an interview.
Bhairavi's association with Ekta goes back to "Hum Paanch" - a dream launchpad which earned the actor popularity as the brash Kaajal bhai. But Bhairavi has come a long way since then.
"As far as 'Hum Paanch' is concerned, Ekta totally changed my life. I completely owe it to her, and can't thank her enough for it. I remember she was 19 when she started.
"Agreed she had Jeetu (Jeetendra) uncle as her father, but I've seen her hard work. She is great," said the actress, also seen in shows like "Balika Vadhu" and "Sasuraal Genda Phool".
For now, all of Bhairavi's time and energy is focussed towards 24 Frames - her production company with "Uttaran" director Nandita Mehra.
"Chhal - Sheh aur Maat", the first project under their banner, is set to go on air on Colors March 19.
"For sometime I had been thinking 'What after acting... what more... what's next!'
"I started acting more than 15 years back. I was in my 10th standard when I started. So I had been thinking of doing something new.
"Nandita and I have been friends for long, so we decided to come together. She is more on the creative side and I handle the production side of our company," she said.
"Chhal..." is being called a social thriller. Its trailers are slick and crisp, and it seems a lot of focus has been given to the overall look. The team shot the initial episodes in Mussoorie and Auli.
Bhairavi says as a person handling the finances, she understands the importance of keeping the purse strings tight. But she ensures she isn't too stingy.
"I am strict but I keep in mind that we do not have to compromise on the look. We believe this thriller is the showreel of our production house for the audience and the other channels as well.
"We are trying to establish ourselves as good producers, so we have to give more than a normal production would have to give because we have to make a mark. I take care of the finances, but I am not doing too much 'chik-chik' either," she said.
The show is about a woman whose life changes while on honeymoon when a stranger claims she is his wife. Bhairavi feels they will be able to break clutter witht the narrative.
"In today's time when there is so much competition, people would sit up and notice this show for sure. Whether it works or not is destiny. But at least we have tried something new. Colors has taken a risk and challenge by taking such a different show in primetime slot," she said.
(Radhika Bhirani can be contacted at [email protected])