Much like the company that he helms, Sanjeev Lamba, CEO of Reliance Entertainment, is something of an outsider.
Unlike the ranks of Indian movie executives that tend to fade into the background, Lamba is impassioned, outspoken and garrulous, driving home the need for the global filmmaking fraternity to follow the example set by international audiences and better embrace Bollywood and Indian cinema.
In early September, at the Toronto International Film Festival - where he was helping promote "Rush", the Formula One drama based on the real life rivalry between racing greats Niki Lauda and James Hunt and which is distributed by Reliance - a slightly annoyed Lamba criticized Hollywood's obsession and called for big studios to tap into the vast potential on offer in India.
Since his appointment as Chief Executive Officer of Reliance Entertainment in 2009 the former Walt Disney, Weinstein Company and Zee Movies executive has steered the company to become a quietly impactful player in myriad industries - from Bollywood and Hollywood to Tollywood and Kollywood - and in the process, striking financing, production and distribution deals for a myriad array of pictures, from Shah Rukh Khan's gangster saga 'Don 2' to Spielberg's 'Lincoln'.
Straddling such diverse worlds, making deals, requires something of a terrier spirit, one which Lamba seems to possess in abundance.
On a flying visit to London to promote his company's latest release 'Besharam' - starring man-of-the-moment Ranbir Kapoor, Pallavi Sharda and the lead actor's real-life parents Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh - Lamba and Reliance COO Mahesh Ramanathan spoke to the UKAsian about India's untapped potential, the '100-Crore Club' and the vagaries of the film business.
BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS