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Producer duo Mrinal and Abhigyan Jha have also published books before becoming TV show producers

Producer duo Mrinal and Abhigyan Jha have an excellent body of work. Not everyone knows that they have opened a publication house too and ha...

Producer duo Mrinal and Abhigyan Jha have an excellent body of work. Not everyone knows that they have opened a publication house too and have published eight books. Talking about the same, he says, “In 2007, we launched a publishing company. By 2009, we published about 8 books, 4 were ours. We started our journey in the industry with our first book November Rain at the age of 21. After 10 years, we made the show Tum Bin Jaoon Kahan starring Aruna Irani. It was a humongous hit for Zee TV. Qayamat Se Qayamt Tak is also based on a very personal story. We published 4 books by other authors including one from Australia.

I returned with Jay Hind! World's first OTT show, before that there was no TV style Series for the internet. We launched it on 15 August 2009. Sumeet Raghavan was just fresh out of SaraBhai vs SaraBhai and he agreed to do the show as it was so edgy content-wise and on the internet. All the rights 400 episodes are with us even though it came on all the platforms present at the time including Broadcast TV, and was the first show to be watched on mobile phones more than on laptops. We are also the first and last one to win a television award despite being from the internet.”

Mrinal Jha adds, “We beat 500 TV shows and won the best TV show, best anchor for Sumeet Raghavan he beat Arnab Goswami to win in 2012. We did a lot of animation. A lot of other internet people got inspired to do similar shows. We were shooting in HD while the TV channels were all SD. Uday Shankar and Gaurav Banerjee called us and said that Star wants you to do something different. We gave many ideas in which one was about different ways girls were victims of abuse and how some fought for years to get justice. Their pictures are just put up on News channels while no one really helps them fight the powerful. How do they fight then? This was the story we wanted to tell. Since this was Nayi Soch Star Plus brought this as their first Nayi Soch show named Kaali Ek Agnipariksha. We brought back Ashutosh Rana to the screen after 16-17 years. Star Plus used to get emails that they cannot sleep after watching Ashutosh Rana in the show, the character was so strong and scary. We rebooted the 11 pm slot with great TRP. Once again demonstrating that TRPs and good content are not opposite ends of the spectrum."

He took a brief break after that and then came to production along with his wife Mrinal. “For about 4 to 5 years, post Jay Hind! I took a break from television and helped launch a tech startup Prometheus which finds natural-born talent of children via AI. In 2019, we thought of launching MAJ Productions. Mrinal did big shows such as Naagin, Yeh Jaadu Hai Jin Ka, Nazar, Divya Drishti etc and she wanted to make a brand on her own name and so MAJ Productions was launched. Pishachini was our first TV show under this brand. We have just completed a web series as well and it took 3 years for us to make it was that difficult a project ...a musical with 28 songs. But the very first show of MAJ was the Zee5 Web Series, Qubool Hai 2.0 (2021) which we shot in Europe and with Karan Singh Grover and Surbhi Jyoti and it is still one of the best romantic thrillers made in the country...the fan response was overwhelming for the show” he says.

He adds, “Mrinal's vision is that TV and the web audience are not different, the same audience watches these two formats. This is why Anupamaa is the highest-watched show on Hotstar. The same thing is true for Voot too, nothing could beat Naagin on Voot until we made Pishachini. Whatever Voot made, also didn't beat Naagin so Mrinal said why not make content that works for both platforms, and make good TV shows. That is our principle in making TV shows, making high-quality TV shows that work for OTT as well. We will not make regressive TV shows, we will make USP-driven, great-looking TV shows, we will make OTT shows that can be watched by everyone..not just some small niche.

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