Ajita Shashidhar

Mumbai, Sept. 27

HUNGAMA is launching its Bollywood mobile portal in international markets. Speaking to Business Line, Mr Neeraj Roy, Managing Director and CEO, Hungama, said the portal is being launched in 11 countries in association with 28 service providers.

"This initiative has given us access to 20 million non-resident Indians across the country. This opens a completely new marketing and distribution channel for Bollywood. We have already gone live in the UK, Canada, Singapore, Malaysia, the UAE and Germany and would shortly launch in South Africa," he said.

Some of the prominent mobile operators that the company has associated with are Vodafone, Rogers and MTN.

The Bollywood portal would reportedly offer news, gossip, film reviews, videos and ringtones.

"One could even convert her phone into a Bollywood theme phone, by having an image of Rani Mukherjee as the help icon, or Shahrukh Khan as the games icon," Mr Roy said.

The company has exclusive rights of 35,000 music titles and runs Bollywood portals with a host of Indian telecom operators such as Hutch, Reliance and Tata Indicom.

Hungama has also acquired the worldwide exclusive rights to the entire catalogue of the comic series, Amar Chitra Katha, on the mobile and all formats of digital content.

The company will develop mobile comics, screensavers, wallpapers, games and a host of other applications.

"We will also look at marketing the content in conjunction with the time period. For instance, we will develop Ramayana around Dussehra and so on. Apart from this, we will also look at other innovative ways of connecting with consumers including involving brands in the process," Mr Roy said.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated September 28, 2005)
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