Alokananda Chakraborty

Rediffusion DY&R and Ravi Shastri launch Showdiff Worldwide

The talent and event management company will focus on a broad spectrum of activities including fashion, films, sports, music, arts and literature

The Rediffusion group has forayed into yet another area of activity - talent and event management - adding to its current list that includes advertising, PR, DM, healthcare and media buying and planning.

The group has entered into a joint venture with ex-cricketer and ace commentator Ravi Shastri to launch Showdiff Worldwide. Formed with a registered capital base of Rs 25 lakh, Shastri, as Diwan Arun Nanda, chairman, Rediffusion DY&R and co-chairman, Dentsu Young & Rubicam, and Wunderman, Asia Pacific, indicates, is "more than a substantial partner in this venture". "This is an independent company, and as a group we have never believed in anything but the best. In Ravi Shastri, who is keen to spend time in the areas of talent and event management, we found an ideal partner," says Nanda.

Incidentally, Nanda will be chairman of this outfit, while Shastri will be vice-chairman, with day-to-day activities managed by Jaiveer Singh Panwar, vice-president, marketing. The company will focus on a broad spectrum of areas including fashion, film, sports, music, arts and literature. However, as Nanda points out, sports and films will be the company's initial thrust areas. "We will focus on those fields where we feel there is scope," he says.

Activities will range from talent representation, celebrity endorsements, in-film placement, instadia advertising and event management. Showdiff, as Shastri asserts, will focus on new talent in particular, nurturing and promoting them. "One of our aims," he says, "is not just to look after ready-made talent but to spot new talent, promote and help them become stars."

New talent will be identified from a talent bank and will then be promoted heavily. "In actuality, we are not discovering talent as such but helping talent discover itself," says Nanda. The Mumbai-based company has branches in Delhi, Kolkata and Bangalore and has a presence in overseas markets including Singapore, Middle East, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Incidentally, Shastri is also associated with WorldTel, the sports telecast and marketing firm that promotes Sachin Tendulkar. He will continue to be part of its "celebrity management cell". "We (Showdiff Worldwide) intend working with them (WorldTel) very closely," he says.

According to Nanda, the company has plans to organise a big event in December in the area of music featuring an international group, which may not be held in India.

"Our single objective is to be a world-class company," he says. With the event and celebrity management space already crowded, does he feel handicapped being a late entrant. "In any business, it is not how late you come but how good you are," he states. © 2003 agencyfaqs!