Chief Executive Officer, Applause Entertainment
Sameer Nair is a media and entertainment industry pioneer, credited with leading the content team that built Star TV in the early days, including greenlighting “Kaun Banega Crorepati”, the Indian version of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire”, now credited as a turning point in India’s television history.
As chief executive of Applause Entertainment for the past two years, Nair is leading the next phase of the Indian content boom with shows such as “The Office”, “Hostages”, “Criminal Justice” and “Mayangari – City of Dreams” for Disney’s Indian streaming platform Hotstar, and “Mind the Malhotras” for Amazon Prime Video.
Over the past three decades, Nair has also worked for Balaji Telefilms and NDTV Imagine.
As legend goes, Sameer Nair was in the room, at the beginning of the region’s pay-TV history as we know it, when Rupert Murdoch hammered his hand on the table and said he never ever again wanted to see a chart that showed Star trailing at number three with a 2% viewership share. He was also, the story continues, the one who put the “crore” into Kaun Banega Crorepati (India’s chart-busting version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire), steered Star’s entry into Hindi programming and bore witness to more than two decades of content development in a mammoth market of 1.2 billion people. At this year’s ContentAsia Summit, Nair talks about once again being at the beginning of an era, where streaming platforms have opened up unprecedented opportunities for stories out of India, where the appetite for premium drama seems insatiable, and where, as the head of the Aditya Birla Group-backed Applause Entertainment, he is once again forging new content paths with shows such as "The Office", "Hostages", "Criminal Justice", "Mayangari – City of Dreams" and "Mind the Malhotras".