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It’s Not About The Money

When a music company is owner-driven, success is about shaping your own destiny

People often ask me what makes T Series India’s undisputed number-one music company. Is it about money power? Definitely not! For, it is a fact that many of India’s biggest companies with very deep pockets have tried to make inroads in India but have failed. Music majors that dominate the rest of the world too have not managed to do the same here, and that is not for lack of funding.

It is obvious that it is not how much money you have that determines how successful you will be in the music business. What then is the secret of success?

Actually, it is not a single key but a bunch of them. And none of them are magical. It is a combination of many things – a lot of hard work, an aptitude and talent for understanding music, the leadership to build a strong and capable team, nurturing a strong genuine rapport with all sections of the industry, the conviction to back your instincts, the courage to take risks, the flexibility to change with time – and above all passion.

Yes, passion is the key and it’s not money that is the most important factor. And often that passion can only come if a company is owner-driven. Of course, we need a team but the team has to be as passionate and committed as the owner. And that is the key force that drives T Series.

When we are producing a film, or acquiring someone else’s film’s music, I am personally involved in moulding the soundtrack giving suggestions from the ‘listening public’s perspective. It’s the experience that I have gathered over so many years. My father had the same ear for music, and he was able to create amazing music for films. Aashiqui for example – it was an album he created and later converted into a film. Similarly, even in Once Upon a Time In Mumbaai, we gave suggestions according to the public perspective which proved to be correctI don’t go by my personal tastes and dislikes in music but check for what the public will like.

For instance, I didn’t initially like the music of some films in the past, I thought it wouldn’t work. But when the music of the film was declared a hit, I changed my thinking. Now I take care that if I do come across such songs or such films, I remember what has worked in the past thus adapting my taste according to the listening public’s taste.

As far as films go, I am not going on quantity, but I would prefer to pick films that I like as a producer – the concept, the subject, the artiste... I am not in the game of making a certain number of films per year. But if I like a film, I will back it – either as a presenter, producer or production house – that will depend on each deal. But one thing is for sure, no matter what the nature of our involvement with the film – its music must be the best!

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