Kushi TV programming manager Anugraha Michealine Pearly B speaks on her journey

Young, intelligent and good-looking is the Sun TV Network’s Kushi TV programming manager Anugraha Michealine Pearly B. The dusky lady has had hands-on experience across various verticals in the media and entertainment industry – copy, content, process and technical writing, character writing translating. After working for a short period for Star Vijay, Pearly B starting an ad agency and then tried her hand at organising events. She says that she has never hesitated to try something new. Excerpts of an interaction Pearly B had with AnimationXpress Tarachand Wanvari: Tell us something about (a) yourself (b) Kushi TV/Sun Network and your role/responsibility in it. How long have (c) your company (d) you personally been in this business? I head the programming for Kushi TV, a regional kids entertainment television channel of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana from the South Indian entertainment giant, Sun TV Network and a pioneer in offering entertainment in the local language to kids of the two states. The USP of Kushi is to prepare our little audiences all set for better tomorrow through content from across the world and the in-house shows, interactive entertainment, events and activities we do. We sow positivity through whatever we have to offer the audience. I ideate and design content that goes into my channel and creates a bigger picture for the channel. I look into the overall 360 promotions of the channel across social networking sites, PR, content markets, manage to cross-functional teams and responsible for the synergy. Kushi TV will complete 10 years in the business shortly. While I started my career 11 years ago, I’ve been with the channel for the past three years. Which markets do you serve? What are the products/brands/licenses that you handle and the companies that you are associated with? Both as a buyer and as a seller – if that applies to you. Sun TV Network has got a huge presence in the South Indian kids’ entertainment space. As I said earlier, I head the programming for Kushi TV, which caters to Andhra Pradesh & Telangana, its primary language being Telugu, one of the most of the popular languages of India. We’d pick a variety of products that instantly become real-time buddies to our children audience and we carefully pick content that helps parent choose us over other channels for the quality of content.  As our TG being 2 years to 14 years – we have preschool, edutainment, information and entertainment content to fit in the new age preferences. We always look out for best international IPs and premium content. We buy majorly from all big players across the globe. We are very proud to say that we are serving a slice of the parts of the world to our children. Some of the topmost series on Kushi are Heidi 3D, Garfield, Hot Wheels, Talking Tom, Robot Trains, Matt Hatters etc. The companies that we are associated are huge names like Studio 100, Cyber Group, Media Toon, Viacom International, NBC Universal, Jet Pack Distribution, Mattel etc. What are the other places that you visit for content procurement? At what level does your company enter into a partnership with the content creator/s? Do you mentor good ideas and IP from the nascent to the completion stage? Some of the major content markets that we get associated with are MIPCOM, MIPTV, ATF, TV Rendezvous. Mentoring ideas have always been a part of the channel’s agenda. We do it religiously to have better content and content that meets our channel requirements and strategies.  A few of the big properties on our channels are Bommi & Friends, Happy Kid, in-house short movies for our children. How can content be made to be globally accepted? What are the sensibilities that have to be considered at the ideation/creation stage so that content is accepted irrespective of geography, political, racial, religious, cultural and other differences? The best part about kids and their sensibilities are that they are not very different from each other all across the globe. Children are way too different from adults. Yes, they have preferences but genuine simple things do big wonders to children all across. It is highly important to strike a chord with the child who watches us and make that initial connection and the setting of the content doesn’t play a big part. The underlying core theme has to appeal to children and the treatment can vary based on the geography, race, religion and what not. It will still work. What is your take on Indian products? How do they compare with other countries? What do you think they lack? What do you think needs improvement? Today, the Indian animators and content creators unearth the rare stories from our own land which is a very remarkable advancement in the animation industry. I have witnessed such stories personally at ABAI. They are being brilliant. Whereas to compete with big giants from all across the globe and to cater to the global audience we really need to up the game in unique storytelling techniques which will turn heads. The Indian content producers have to work on a wholesome packaging. Most content that was screened at ABAI was 3D. My suggestion is, we can try different animation techniques and look at other art forms too. What has been your experience with ABAI’s B2B events like? I think this was the first B2B summit for you?  Yes, this is my first ABAI B2B summit. To meet like-minded people, industry stalwarts, to be more focused certainly creates new awareness and unfolds new avenues for future development in the content space. The discussions with co-creators and content buyers and the panels have opened up new ways of approach. It was a great opportunity to connect with the right people and work amicably. It is professionally enhancing. There’s never a minute wasted and it all meant business. New connections made. Fresh ideas discussed. It was complete.  What is your take on pitchers (a) in India at ABAI B2B (b) other similar Indian/foreign events in India (c) in other events in other geographies? How do you think they differ and what are their similarities? What do Indian pitchers lack, and what needs improvement? ABAI had offered a wonderful platform to the content creators and the content producers have made all the effort to make this opportunity work. A few of the pitchers I met were very confident about the products. But there are a few pointers I’d like to add to make it much easier for both the sellers and the buyers.
  1. Pricing – Content creators should have the metrics handy. The buyer has a set budget and knows what will work for them content wise and budget wise. So putting numbers across the project will help the buyer.
  2. Package – Having a vision for the product always adds value. Presenting a selling (Licensing and merchandising) model to the buyer works wonders.
  3. Presentation skills – The meticulously created content has to be presented with all its merits to convince the buyer. So put some effort into presenting help.
  4. Know Your USP – Why should the buyer buy your content over others? The content creators should be well informed of their USP and sell that proposition.
What do you think of ABAI’s initiatives for bringing buyers and pitchers together? Have/will they been/be fruitful for you? What needs improvement? What has been lacking? This initiative by ABAI along with the Government of Karnataka has offered a wonderful platform to both sellers and buyers. It has brought together national and international buyers from various parts of the world to facilitate the Indian sellers who otherwise should have gone in search of these sellers from market to market. I personally have met content that would work for our channels. The summit was well planned and well organised. For events such as ABAI’s B2B, could you explain the various stages taken and the time frames involved before the dotted line is signed by your company? There is no fixed time frame or stages that I can quote here as it will completely differ from product to product. As far as ABAI B2B summit is concerned, we have made it a point to take every project to and through the right channel for quick and hassle-free decisions. Anything else that you would like to share? We at Kids Entertainment Channels at Sun TV Network are looking at fun, fantasy, mythological content. We are actively in search of content both local and international. ABAI B2B summit has been a great market and we are looking forward to being a part of such markets in India in future. I would like to personally thank you and AnimationXpress for being fabulous.