Chhota Bheem is perhaps India’s most popular cartoon character, the show of the same name being staple entertainment for children growing up in India in the last ten years.
However, it was not always so. Made in India cartoon characters haven’t been much popular. Japanese and US animated characters have ruled the roost for a long time. Then came Rajiv Chilaka, founder and CEO of Green Gold Animation, the makers of Chhota Bheem, and the rest is history.
“I always wondered why India didn’t produce animated shows nor had its own super heroes. It’s due to this deep desire to produce original Indian animated characters that I set up Green Gold,” he says. “While doing my masters in computer science in the US, I fell upon a book which was about the life of Walt Disney. I then learnt all about animation at Academy of Art, San Francisco and then came back to India to start Green Gold.”
Green Gold was started with an initial capital of Rs75 lakh. “Later on, Samir Jain, our chief operating officer, joined the company as a partner and we got into a private limited structuring with fresh funds. Today after 15 years, we are financially stable as a company clocking a 20 % year on year growth,” says Chilaka. The company has also expanded into multiple domains such as licensing, merchandising, retail stores, events, digital business and movie distribution.
Asked about fund raising plans, he says. “We have been in talks with venture capitalists and certain PE players. There are thoughts on going public as well but the timing has to be correct,” he says.
This year Green Gold produced its first 3D show titled Super Bheem. “Green Gold plans to produce up to 100 episodes of Super Bheem for Pogo channel over the next three years,” he says.
It has started operations in the US at Los Angeles, the mecca of animation. The new facility will churn out content for the global market. There are other geographies it is looking at as well, but the focus will now be on US.