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She vividly remembers looking forward to watching Bollywood movies as a child. Although the light-eyed Raj Kapoor was a heartthrob among her fellow Ukrainians, Aneta Krilenko watched these films for their romance, drama, tears, tragedy and happy endings. While her fascination for Bollywood was the reason why, at 21, she decided to explore India, it was the opportunity to work in the Indian television industry that made her stay back. Now married to an Indian, Krilenko is settled in Mumbai and earns her living by dubbing Indian television shows in Russian.
"Indian shows have been popular in Russia, Ukraine and several other commonwealth countries since a decade now. I had been hooked to some of them, which were dubbed in Russian. But when I came to India, I got to watch them in their original form, which also helped me pick up Hindi. This worked in my favour and I soon found myself dubbing for several Hindi shows in Russian to be telecast back home," explains 27-year-old Krilenko, who dubs for Zee's Pavitra Rishta.
While commonwealth independent states and the Middle East are the more likely markets for Indian television content, channels are also airing dubbed versions of their shows in up to 20 other countries, including Serbia, Croatia, Kenya, France, Malaysia, Indonesia and so on. According to Sushruta Samanta, Senior V-P, Strategy and Business Development, International Markets, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited, Indian television content has a huge audience across the world. It does not only comprise of Indian origin people. The countries which do not create good local content for television usually rely on the UK, US and India for it," he explains. Among the channels that air their content internationally, Zee, Colors and Star Plus are the key players.
This comes in spite of the fact that Indian intellectuals snub Hindi general entertainment shows, sighting production quality and commendable scripts on offer by American and British channels. But Gul Khan of 4 Lions Films, the producers of shows such as Arjun and Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon? on Star Plus, explains that the family-oriented stories of Indian shows connect with these audiences. The culture in many of these countries — unlike the US and UK — emphasises on basic family values. That is where these shows strike a chord with the audience, she points out.