How Balaji Telefilms revolutionised the way Indians watched TV serials


Saroj Wadhwa still remembers the day distinctly. It was sometime in the early 2000s when she had left unusually early from the office to reach home in time to be with her close friends who she had invited over to watch their favorite soap, Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi. It was to be a "very special" episode as Mihir Virani (Ronit Roy) and Tulsi Virani (Smriti Irani), the lead couple in the show who had gained immense popularity and amassed numerous followers across the country, were to finally meet each other after years of on-screen separation and sacrifice, and for Wadhwa, "there was no way this moment in history could be missed for anything in the world." It was also the first time she cried in front of the television.

This is the kind of impact most of Ekta Kapoor's teleserials have had on viewers in the last 25 years. "In a way, Balaji quite literally changed the way Indian television serials were made, watched and consumed," says Ronit Roy, who recently congratulated Ekta Kapoor over Twitter on the silver jubilee, adding, "I also wonder if I am the actor who has clicked the maximum programming hours for Balaji Telefilms."

Set up in August of 1994, the company went on to produce some of the most popular family dramas including Kyunki..., Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii, Pavitra Rishta and more, over the years. Arjun Bijlani, who has been with the brand for over five years now and has marked his presence in shows, including Meri Aashiqui Tum Se Hi, Miley Jab Hum Tum, and Naagin among others, tweeted, "I take great pride to have been a part of it for so long. It's been a pleasure working with the team."

Ram Kapoor, who was in the news recently for his drastic physical transformation and is presently shooting for Bahut hua Sammaan with Sanjay Mishra, owes a large part of his career to Ekta's Bade Acchhe Lagte Hain, in which he played the lead male protagonist alongside Saakshi Tanwar. Kapoor was last seen in the third season of ALT Balaji's web series, Karrle Tu Bhi Mohabbat and the movie Loveyatri.

Coincidentally, Sunil Lulla recently resigned as group CEO, BALAJI Telefilms.