Ace actor, Shreyas Talpade has announced his entrepreneurial ambitions with his over-the-top (OTT) start-up Nine Rasa. It will focus exclusively on stage and theatrical performances. He states that his aim is to assist people in the theatrical family many of whom have been rendered unemployed due to the Covid 19 pandemic. More so, as many live shows and theatres have shut down. So Shreyas and his team came up with the idea that if audiences could not visit the theatres, he would create a platform where the theatres could come to the audiences.

Nine Rasa’s sole focus will be on performing arts and theatre. Instead of diluting the idea with web series, Nine Rasa will emphasize plays, long and short ones, one-act plays, solos, skits, story reading, musicals, dance, and poetry besides other things. ‘In doing so Nine Rasa will act as a differentiator and be inclusive, giving people with the talent an opportunity to perform for the public,’ says Shreyas.

The team of Nine Rasa

The first step in the direction of bringing Shreyas’s vision to light was to collect content and shoot. The team of Nine Rasa consists of Sanjay Upadhyay, who previously worked as programming head of Colors channel. He is today the content and strategy head of Nine Rasa. Ashwini Chaudhury is the content and acquisition operations head. Well-known theatre director, Vijay Kenkre is the content creator. Eitan Koter and Rajesh Kutty are head of technology. Mandar Joshi who is a senior journalist is the Script Supervisor and besides him, there is a host of young talent.

Market potential

The company has already collected over 100 hours of original content shot exclusively for Nine Rasa in English, Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi and Hinglish.  It’s exciting to know that the platform may also be live streaming plays in the near future. Currently, the start-up plans to generate revenue by following the model of subscriber video on demand as well as advertisement based video on demand besides opportunities for merchandising. According to Shreyas, his technology team is also considering another model wherein an actor and creator of content can continue to find money-making opportunities on the platform while they are associated with it.

The OTT platform gives one a larger scope in Shreyas’s opinion.

There are many things he wouldn’t do in films or even television but would experiment with on OTT. He believes ultimately that in the end, everything depends on the content one is offering. ‘If the content is good, people will definitely come and watch what you have to offer, he says. Experts in the sphere note that Shreyas has started his OTT start-up at the right time when video streaming platforms are booming and the demand for regional content is high.


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