Yash Raj Films, the legendary Bollywood production house, with a string of box office hits including Jab Tak Hai Jaan and Band Baaja Baaraat, was also amongst the first in this segment to leverage the growth opportunities via licensing and merchanding. And, the studio Yash Raj Films, which entered into numerous licensing agreements over nearly a decade ago, recently launched a collection of drink ware and accessories in partnership with Hot Muggs.
This collection comprising of ‘funky’ and stylish range of mugs and sipper bottles, also enables fans to relive their memories related to Silsila and Kabhie Kabhie via embellished images and lyrics. And that’s not all. Yash Raj Film had also earlier launched India’s first Bollywood- inspired ethnic brand Diva’ni with KBSH, and this studio will shortly announce licensing partners for their upcoming film Dhoom 3. However, the most successful licensing programme for this studio has been BollyXpress, which are musical greeting cards inspired by Yash Raj music.
It’s popularity resulted in exports to ‘fans’ in 15 countries. The ‘magic’ of Yash Raj Films also led to a deal with Bombay Stores that entered into a licensing agreement for bags, home décor and ties, amongst others, in 2012, for a period of three years, and fans get embellished images from Silsila and Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge on these products. The in-house licensing team at this studio also recognised the growth opportunities from children and younger fans, with their licensee Thinktank Games that has developed Ek Tha Tiger adventure board games.
In addition, this studio also offers T-shirts inspired by Mere Dad ki Maruti. “BollyXpress is a licensing blockbluster”, says Rohit Sobti, VP, Licensing & Merchandise, Yash Raj Films Yash Raj Films is amongst the leaders in film-based licensing and merchanding in Bollywood, given their string of box office hits. Rohit Sobti, Vice President, Licensing and Merchandising, Yash Raj Films (YRF) highlighted their strategy and growth plans.
Retailer: Yash Raj Films is the first Bollywood studio to enter licensing. Kindly highlight the opportunities and challenges?
Rohit Sobti (RS): We have been involved with licensing and merchandising for nearly a decade, given the opportunities created by our films, characters and songs. We have also developed licensing programs with partners like Bombay Dyeing and Soundtech, and are also working actively in this regard for upcoming films like Dhoom 3. And, we are also in the process of launching a premium ethnic wear brand - Diva’ni with KBSH. We are also extremely particular with regard to the selection of licensees.
Retailer: Which product categories does the YRF brand easily support?
Rohit Sobti (RS): Film audiences and consumers often associate us with dance, Indian traditions and heritage, amongst others. As a result, we often work with categories that include home décor, social expression and art, and we will soon launch a lifestyle brand related to the release of Dhoom 3. One of our most popular licensing programme has been BollyXpress designed with one of our partner agencies - The Wild East Group, which are musical greeting cards with the best of Yash Raj music. And, its popularity with ‘fans’ resulted in exports to 15 countries including the Middle East and North America.
Retailer: Kindly highlight your views on the broader licensing market ?
Rohit Sobti (RS): Licensing and merchandising are still nascent in this country, but with organised retail growing quickly, along with consumers getting more brand conscious, the growth prospects are strong.
Retailer: How are you leveraging social media in your licensing strategy?
Rohit Sobti (RS): Our fans are increasingly relying on social media and e-commerce sites to gain greater insight on our range of merchandise, and we expect this trend to strengthen, going forward.