Mumbai, Sept. 19 -- Bhushan Kumar is the chairman and managing director of the legendary, and one of the most successful record labels in India, T-Series. The 36-year-old visited our office recently, along with Ajay Kapoor, who coproduces all his films, and Vinod Bhanushali (president - marketing media and publishing, TV), who's literally his right-hand man. Kumar talks to us about handling the business after the sudden demise of his father, Gulshan Kumar, producing music in today's digital age, and more.
Musicians feel that the 12.5 per cent royalty that they are paid is not good enough. What is your take on that?
We are no longer the bad guys. What I've been saying is that we're fighting for the money, which isn't coming. All these radio and TV channels need to pay the publishing royalty (which forms 50 per cent of royalty), which isn't happening. The remaining 50 per cent is divided between the label and the artistes.
Many blame music labels for offensive lyrics used in songs. What do you think?
Honestly, vulgar humein to nahi lagta (I don't find them vulgar). There are points of view - we can't take that away. But we do our bit in toning down lyrics when we feel the need. For instance, in Yo Yo's (Honey Singh, singer) 'Lungi dance', the line read 'Coconut mein vodka milake', and that's when we asked him to change vodka to lassi.
After your father's death in 1997, what problems did you face in managing and expanding your business?
When my father passed away, I was very young. I didn't know anyone in the industry well and I think, without some people, I wouldn't have been where I am now. First, it was my mother. She helped me settle down in this industry. She used to sit in office and over see the work. Then my chacha ji, Kishan Kumar, introduced me to all the stars from Bollywood because back then I didn't know anybody.
Then, there was Neeraj Kalyan, who handles our digital wing now. At that time, he was just an export manager and was pretty young. He stuck by me and had brilliant ideas which helped our label grow exponentially. And finally, Ved Chanana, who basically handled the entire business, as I was only just learning to take over. Not one time did he flinch from work or stop teaching me the tricks of the trade. I feel I owe these people a lot.