Vikaas Kalantri, a visionary by nature relives the journey of making it big with ‘Gold Awards’…

What can one say about one’s baby!! That’s exactly how Gold Awards is to me, from the time it started to the initiation the Idea, the Thought the 1st execution to completing a Decade, the journey has been through a lot of ups and downs, but has been a sweet memorable one.

Let me start from the beginning. My closeness to people in the Television and Glamour industry made me feel that there was a need for an International Television Awards. I always felt that television as a medium is much more popular than films because it is with you 5-6 days a week, whereas for a film it’s the Friday that decides its fate and the maximum running period for the film is 3-4 weeks in today’s times. I then initiated a conversation with an established awards at that time to take the same abroad as I was a bit scared to start something entirely on my own, not having the experience and the expertise. However the response I got from the other end was a bit dilly dallying, so I thought I might as well start it on my own and take it to the next level. It’s now or never!!

So I started meeting people from the industry and telling them about my Idea, after having already met the concerned country Mauritius and got a positive first feedback from them. To add to all this, while most of the actors and creative people applauded the idea and told me to take it to the next level, the people who work behind the scenes in terms of production and execution gave me all the reasons of not doing the Awards.Comments like ‘you are such a newbie’ and ‘even established channels and production houses have not been able to do it, then how will you’ kind of comments came my way. The more they told me the more my grit became stronger of doing the Awards. Well there were a lot of hurdles of convincing the Country (Mauritius) as it was a first of its kind attempt and people out here firstly on my capability and the prospectof doing something like this Abroad. I would really like to thank the Television Fraternity, Actors, Producers who believed in my vision and my ability and most of all Puneet Goenka and Subhash Chandraji from Zee TV to trust me to do something like this and back me inspite of a big production house not being a part of the Awards show.

There were challenges and only challenges as I saw it in the first two years when I was getting the property established. I don’t remember a good night’s sleep in those initial 2 years. From convincing producers to channels to actors to everyone it was a task. Then the execution since I always wanted my company White Leaf Entertainment to execute this and not sub lease it to another company as was the case then and I had also got feelers from big event companies on sub leasing it to them and they would then execute it for us. But I was sure of the fact that I would do it myself and had complete trust and faith in my colleagues to execute this, with me being at the helm and having complete control on the day to day actions.

Then on it has been an eventful journey with hurdles coming in every year from production houses, actors, channels and everyone associated, but these are the perks of doing an IP. If it is an easy path then I guess it’s not worthy of it. The fun is to overcome these challenges and reach a level which everybody dreams of. Gold has now completed 10 years and I still can’t believe it that I have overcome all obstacles and got it to this level, also noteworthy of being on the same channel for the last 10years which is a kind of a record for any Award Property. So I am even more thankful to Punit Goenka and Zee TV for continuing to endure the faith and trust in me.

Well a little about the behind the scenes in Gold Awards. While everything looks rosy on the front side, we as a team and I as an individual face a hell of a lot of challenges. For which I would like to thank my Parents and my Wife for supporting me throughout and understanding me fully. I wouldn’t have been so strong and been able to do this hadn’t it been for their support and understanding. Gold Awards is a roller coaster ride on an everyday basis, one day you get a shot in the arm with a series of good news and the other day is such that you get Shot at in the arm with a whole lot of bad news. The egos, the stress the fun is all a part of this exciting and wonderful journey. To deal with so many people and so many view points and schedules is a nightmare. I am actually kind of happy that I started this property without knowing the pros and cons of it. Had I known all this I guess I wouldn’t have even started something like this. But now with the years passing by it has made me more seasoned and unless there is a very big shock, the small ones really don’t deter me so much.

Once again would like to thank the entire industry for supporting Gold as they have for the last 10years and looking forward to many more good times. There is so much more to write and put forth, but I guess I will keep somethings for the later.

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