The Entrepreneurial Talk with Nitin Jai Shukla - founder of OMTV

 - Sakshi Post


1.  What was your inspiration behind starting OM TV?

After working for more than a decade in the content creation space of historical and mythological shows, I realised that there is no default destination for content and information on Sanatan Dharma. If I want to watch something on spirituality/religion then I will have to search on different platforms and the right authentic story telling is missing. In the current OTT space, they have glorified scamsters and criminals, but the real heroes of India have been side-lined. The kids are unaware of the great legends and they are practically unknown to everyone. It disturbed me to see that Sanatan Dharma is being minimised to the religious border of Hinduism, which is just one part of it and it's been highjacked by certain custodians who know very little about the culture themselves.. More than the benefit they are harming the culture. I see a big need gap for the content related to Sanatan Dharma. We always had a very scientific approach on everything and should get the right recognition. So I aspire to showcase the right authentic story telling for Sanatan Dharma via a single mobile app.

2.  What is the mission and vision of OM TV?

Sanatan Dharma is a way of life. It's not religion as Dharma described in Gita means-the right way to conduct your duties and Sanatan means eternal. Similarly, OM TV too aspires to be the way of life that aims to capture imagination through its stories in fiction or non-fiction format. It is still evolving and with each passing month, it shall continue to find its ground and let its roots spread around to be able to make every Indian proud of their rich heritage through the knowledge that lies in Vedas, Puranas, Upanishads, Guru Granth Sahib, Shabads, Kirtan, Jatak Stories and so on. It's not Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism or Jainism separately, it's the Sanatan in entirety and that brings all under one umbrella because each one of these are philosophies that have remained and survived through the ages and shall remain forever. It's just humans who go, not the wisdom, and Om TV is just that. It is a philosophy that has just begun its journey but that shall grow and remain forever because its roots are deep in the wisdom that is never going to fade. In its evolving process, it aims to conduct quiz programmes, bring the age-old yoga for different learners, animated stories of Puranas, Jatak Katha, and nuggets of wisdom from the revered Vedas and Guru Granth Sahib. OMTV will be the aggregator of the content which deals with Indian Sanatan culture. So be it mythology , history or education and many more similar contents.

We will be producing a lot of original content, which will solve the need of serving people the right values through entertainment. Story-telling is the best medium to communicate any kind of knowledge, and our shows will reflect the rich Indian stories which are in abundance and infinite.

Like bisleri is synonymous to mineral water drinking industry, OMTV should become the bisleri of Indian cultural content viewing space.

Due to modern needs and global exposure, parents are not able to give time to the kids, and this will be a one-stop destination for anything and everything about Indian Sanatan culture. The kids will know about our culture and learn something which they could have never learnt otherwise. The language of communication is very important, a kid will probably not watch a TV show but will watch an animation show. We will tell moral stories in animation format, for youth we will have inspirational stories of our real historic heroes, like Bhagat Singh, Chandra Shekhar Azad, Swami Vivekanand, Atalji or  Bappa Rawal, Guru Gobind Singh, etc .A socially aware society will create a better future for our kids and for our nation.

3.  In spiritually and culturally rich India, how does OM Tv find its place?

The question in itself has the answer. There is no default destination for a spiritually inclined nation like India to meet its demand for cultural content. Be it mythology, history, values or culture, everything is scattered and wherever Indians find it, they want to know more about it .. OMTV is the default destination for stories of Sanatan culture. OMTV is not just an OTT platform, it's a thought that forced the team to embark on a journey of gaining knowledge while traversing through the various aspects of cultural roots that lay hidden in sculptures, temple carvings or structures, food habits, rituals and above all, the people of the nation called Bharat. OM, as the word encapsulates the entire vibration of the universe in one word, and OM TV is just a humble attempt to showcase the diversity and deep-rooted philosophy present in the traditions of the nation that has left the world mesmerized time and again. Wealth was only one part of India's rich cultural heritage, there were several other dimensions attached and in the core remained one binding factor that still enlightens the world- the spiritualism. It's just a way how Indians are conditioned. The more deep we go, the more we are instilled with a sense of pride. And, the platform's philosophy reflects that


OMTV is one place that has endeavoured to capture all the dimensions of Sanatan Dharma possible, through the team's core strength of storytelling as stories are the integral part of our cultural roots. It's an attempt to make the citizens of this country aware of the scientific knowledge, the science behind rituals and customs, and the deep philosophy embedded in every action through various programmes. If there are mythological films and shows that captured viewers imagination at one point of time, there are wisdom nuggets disseminated by the elderly in their talks, whose experience itself commands respect, in a show named aptly-The Chair. On one hand, if there is a programme debating on Aastha or Andhvishwaas, there are small nuggets of information in GyaanYaan. While there is an attempt to enthrall audience through music and bhajans, there is also an attempt to bring in the everlasting philosophy of Gita through simple stories of day to day life.

4.  Entrepreneurial journey is not easy. What have you learned so far from being a business explorer?

 The journey so far has been very exciting from the idea of having a platform to seeing it finally happening is in itself a big dream come true. The idea was germinated during the pandemic with only a few people believing in it, and then slowly the team grew and like-minded people came together..

We launched the platform at mahakal temple in Ujjain and it was the first event is the history of mahakal temple (Ujjain) that any outside event happened in the temple premise in the last 100 years.. the logo was launched with the unique proposition as one of its kind and first in the genre OTT platform. We got good media coverage for the same in the HSM market.

Another event in Mumbai launched the app on android and ios..and we had 10 M+ swipe ups on a single day. Although the app crashed many times as it was not able to handle so much traffic... we have more than 200M+ views on our two association with short video apps ,josh and chingari ..and more than a lakh followers on these apps…we have a brand tie up with Magic Box Animation Studios, which is one of the biggest animation content providers in India.

So getting involved in all aspects of building the app, from curating the idea, assembling the team to execute the content, then getting into technical understanding of app building, and then marketing and promotion of the content and the app. After locking the seed funding round, we are now looking for pre-revenue funding to expand the business... All this has been very overwhelming. I have put all my expertise into this and am just moving ahead with a mission. People are joining hands and some people are leaving the hand, but we have a strong core team that believes in the idea and the future looks bright. One small thing I want to mention is that, whenever I am done, or have lost a little hope, or there is a setback, I see some good news coming in and it looks as if Mahadev is looking after me and holding my hands and guiding me towards the destination.

5.  Could you explain more about Sanatan dharma?

Sanatana means eternal and dharma means duty. So in Sanatan Dharma, there is no origin of this religion, or there is no founder of the dharma, nor there is any particular book which needs to be followed. In normal colloquial usage, dharma is mistakenly known as religion, but the real meaning of the word dharma is duty. Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism come under the Sanatan umbrella and they follow similar kinds of teachings at the core level. There has been many scholars, gods, and messengers of God in Sanatan Dharma, like Buddha, Parshavnath Bhagwan, or Guru Nanak Dev. All have propagated the same knowledge of the Vedas. The Vedas are the backbone of Sanatan Dharma. Adi Guru Shankrahrya, who was a 7th century philosopher, propagated Advait philosophy. Advait is the existance of non duality which is the basis of sanatan dharma. To simply put, how I define advait is "to see yourself in everything and feel everything is in you" is advait.

6.   Who is your inspiration?

I have two inspirations, one is spiritual and the other is professional. My spiritual inspiration is Krishna. He is always happy, or the right word is "satt-chit-anand". However, when it comes to establishing the dharma, he takes the aggressive form. A balance is needed in life and we need to accept things the way they are and leave everything to Krishna. My ultimate inspiration comes from the popular verse of Gita "karm kero phal ki iccha mat kero."

The professional inspiration is Ronni Screwvala. I haven’t met him, but since the time I have stepped into this industry I have admired him. He has built his empire on shear persistance and grit. With no backup, he built everything from scratch and eventually ventured into diverse businesses apart from media.. From being a producer to building a channel to becoming one of the biggest Bollywood houses, he has done it all. I'm the Eklavya of this Dharonachrya.

7.  What was the turning point of your life?

There are many I can't name one as I have had lots of ups and downs. I have changed my career a couple of times and made some good and bad decisions. From wanting to become a sportsman to being a pilot to shifting into engineering and then joining finance to moving to IT and then eventually joining the film industry, there have been many changes, but I think the biggest turning point of my career was when Mahadev chose me to be part of this show called Devonke Dev Maahdev. I was doing romantic shows and youth love stories and then I was offered to do a mythological show, for which I had no idea nor any inclination to do such a show. But finally I joined the show and it became a cult classic show and a super successful show. My contribution was recognised and since then I have never looked back. I have been making content in this genre and ultimately that is the reason the idea of opening a platform of this genre came to my mind.

8. You have previously worked with a lot of media outlets, how was that journey?

Yes, I have worked in many media houses, but I would like to talk about my stint with Star India Private Ltd., where I spent five glorious years of my professional career. It has been very rewarding, and Star India knows how to value its employees. It was one of the best times that I had and I made a lot of friends and professional associations that are helping me now in my career. Star would leave no stone unturned to take care of its employees and eventually, employees would perform to the fullest of their capacity. An organisation is successful not because it has a lot of money, but because its employees are performing to the best of their abilities. I try and implement the same culture in my organization and give exposure to the people and give them independence so that they become responsible for the job. They will only do good if they have a healthy environment and they will perform on their own.

9.  What is so different about Om Tv that viewers must watch it?

It’s the first in the genre and one of its kind OTT platform. One stop shop for anything and everything about Indian sanatan culture .to be honest, Would you want your future generation to have Indian values or have western values …I think it should be Indian while adapting western culture, then 1 hr OMTV is necessary as whatever you consume on OMTV will either get you some knowledge (gyan) or you will feel proud (garv) about your culture…Hence reinforcing the Indian value system.

10.  What's your success mantra?

Believe in yourself and whatever happens, happens for good

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