Hoichoi, a popular Indian over-the-top (OTT) platform, started its journey in Bangladesh last year. Already available to viewers in 100 countries, it has 30 million subscribers across the world.
The platform is a sister concern of India's renowned Shree Venkatesh Films (SVF). Bangladeshi audiences have already warmed up to the streaming site.
In a video interview on Friday, Vishnu Mohta, co-founder of Hoichoi, about the OTT platform and its future plans.
Hoichoi recently unveiled 25 new series and two films in the fourth year of its journey. Four of these are being made in Bangladesh. Prominent directors, including Srijit Mukherji of Kolkata, are making content for Hoichoi.
While talking about expanding their business in Bangladesh, Vishnu said he had come to Dhaka many times. From the very beginning, he wanted to stream Bangladesh's content in India, and similarly, to give the people of Bangladesh an opportunity to see the contents of the neighbouring country.
"Actually, we wanted to show Bangla-speaking people across the world the content of the two countries. We are still trying to do that. Our aim was to bring the content of the two countries on one platform. We are planning for more work ahead. We believe that Hoichoi will reach a bigger audience in this way," said Vishnu.
SVF had been making films for 25 years, said Vishnu.
The Indian media and entertainment company, headquartered in Kolkata, has made more than 150 movies so far. Now it makes series for Hoichoi on a regular basis, apart from making TV series and short films. Vishnu said most of their content had become popular.
The number of Hoichoi's subscribers has increased during the Covid-19 pandemic, he said.
"We have observed people are spending more time on streaming sites during the pandemic. As the number of our subscribers has increased, we feel a strong sense of responsibility to deliver good content. That is why we have made content during the pandemic and the actors have done the shooting at their homes. We did not halt our activities during the crisis period, mainly to entertain our audience with new content," said Vishnu.
When asked how Hoichoi was different from Netflix, which dominates the streaming entertainment world, he replied, "All people are different from each other. Just like that, all companies are different from each other. Netflix follows its own strategy and we follow our own. We are moving ahead as per our plan. We have audiences all over the world. We make content keeping their taste in mind."
Vishnu said right now they are focusing only on entertainment content.
"The first thing we consider while making content is to entertain the audience. We have to think about new content and new ideas all the time. We have to make content for all. Many viewers call us over the phone. We have a good relationship with our audience. We always get feedback from viewers. If we cannot reflect their feedback in our work in the first season, we work as per the feedback in the next season," said Vishnu.