Anilava Chatterjee: Of XtraTime and XtraLarge achievements – the unfolding saga of GreyMind Communications

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Picture1What does the Sourav Ganguly hosted, Bengali Television’s Magnum Opus Dadagiri have in common with 400 plus live telecasted football matches and the trailblazing Hangla Hneshel – the first International Bengali glossy dedicated to everything gastronomic? No Clues? You cannot be faulted, for the common thread is a man called Anilava Chatterjee, who, despite his colossal contribution to contemporary media, remains extremely media shy. “Our job is behind the camera not in front of it” being his almost apologetic refrain.

Sounds a tad bit too far-fetched? A quick glance what this bundle of energy – one of the most sought after Journalists of his genre – has already chalked up will be tell-tale:

  • Conceived and Produced Dadagiri Unlimited on Zee Bangla in 2009 that Introduced Sourav Ganguly as anchor
  • Produced Ke Hobe Biggest Fan for Zee Bangla, anchored by Anurag Basu
  • Produced and co directed Bengali film Egaro, the immortal eleven – a film on the historic triumph of Nationalism in Mohun Bagan’s 1911 victory over British domination.
  • Directed Bengali nonfiction Ami Miss Shopping Mall for Aakash 8
  • Producer and creative director for many nonfiction events like Debi Pakshya, Suvo Bijoya, Agamoni etc for Star Jalsa
  • Directed many nonfiction shows like Dosh Minuter Khel, Xtratime, Taka Debe Taxi, Wah Bangla, Khel at Eleven on Akash, Zee bangle, ABP Ananda, 24 Ghanta and Mahuaa Bangla.
  • Produced and directed more than 400 Live football matches for ten Action, ESPN, Zee Sports, Mahuaa Bangla,Star Sports.
  • Executive Producer for Endemol show on football on Mahuaa Bangla.
  • Executive Producer on Mahuaa Bangla For  Ke Hobe Kotipati, produced by Big Synergy and hosted by Sourav Ganguly.

Picture2Anilava’s content cum production company, GreyMind Communications is today perhaps the most sought after entity, so far as sports television is concerned and is quietly chipping away towards raising the yardstick against which it compares its own achievements. As the current I-League rumbles towards the end, work is already on to chalk out the logistics of telecasting the raw footages of the next one, even as the ISL prepares to blast off in its second avatar. Anilava’s brainchild XtraTime is firing all cylinders, if its Facebook fan following or YouTube views or its Twitter reach is anything to go by. As a matter of fact, it won’t come as a surprise to many if history remembers Anilava as the man who rewrote the rules of digital engagement of Indian sports lovers.

For the first time Anilava warms up “the way fans search, access and relate to sports is going through a paradigm shift and we – from sports administrators to players to sporting event reporters –  will have to morph to embrace this change. Yes, we at GreyMind are aware and are working with a specific plan towards set goals. Suffice to say, you will keep hearing from us with increased frequency.”

Anilava may not be forthcoming, but the grapevines have it that the company has ambitious expansion plans that will see it setting up swank in-house production facilities, apart from steps aimed at digital domination. And yes, Venture Capitalists, the first on the draw, are already doing the rounds to grab a piece of the lucrative media pie.

greymindHowever, it will be wrong to slot Anilava, only as Indian Television’s Prince of Sports. He is also the Editor of Hangla Hneshel – the first Bengali monthly of international quality dedicated to all things food. “Hangla Hneshel is the culmination of a Bangali passion cycle that comprises of football and food” says Anilava. Any plans to go bi, or even multi-lingual, considering Hangla’s huge popularity and run-away success? Anilava smiles enigmatically.

xtrathird area where GreyMind can move into with seamless abandon is that of sporting event management considering the proven expertise, infrastructure in place and Anilava’s position of pre-eminence: he is the Media Director and member, Technical Committee – Atletico de Kolkata (Indian Super League) and the Director- Operation Bengal Tigers (Celebrity Cricket League) among others. Anilava is again non-committal. “Yes we are suffering from growth pangs, and yes, what you are suggesting makes synergic sense. But this is perhaps too early in the day to make comments.”

hanglaSo what’s next?

“Like our Facebook pages. Check out our YouTube channels and Follow us on Twitter” smiles Anilava. “We will certainly keep you posted!”

Whatever may the conjecture be, one of India’s most exciting Media Plays is about to unfold.

Watch this space.

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  1. Avatar By Chandan Banerjee(Pikai)