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It’s about India relevant content rather than India produced content, says Swati Mohan of National Geographic

This Independence Day, National Geographic will take its viewers ‘Inside INA’ to show how India's men and women are trained inside Asia’s largest naval academy

Swati Mohan

This Independence Day, National Geographic is coming up with a special documentary, ‘Inside INA’, to take the viewers to the Indian Naval Academy. The show’s aim is to capture how men and women inside the largest naval academy in Asia are trained and moulded into real heroes to serve our nation.

This is not the first time that the channel has come up with an initiative like this. The channel had earlier come up with Mission Udaan, Mission Army and Inside BSF, which became the highest rated special programmes in infotainment. The channel also came up with ‘Tirupati’ this year, which became the highest rated TV show in infotainment. This time, it is launching ‘Inside INA’ to pay tributes to the people who work hard to protect our nation and countrymen.

The trailer of the one-hour documentary has been launched and received more than 4 million views.

Speaking on the National Geographic Exclusive, Swati Mohan, Business Head, National Geographic & Fox Networks Group, India said, “‘Inside INA’ underlines our core proposition of showcasing stories, ideas and people that take us further through a quest or mission. It has been heartening to be able to showcase the story of these cadets and the next generation of naval officers who whole-heartedly embrace this very attribute. Combine that with the National Geographic gold standard of story-telling and you get a compelling one hour that will take you through an extraordinary journey.”

Not just international content, the channel started the India-based content way back with Mission Everest. Some of the channel’s top shows and genre are a mix of global and Indian content.

Speaking about the demand for Indian content, Mohan, said, “I think it’s about India relevant content rather than India produced content and that’s the differentiation we must remember. When people tune into National Geographic, I don’t think they are rushing to see where the India content is but they are waiting to see the content that interests them. Percentage of content produced in India does not matter, what really matter is a combined product which gives a relevant story. A lot of our content is aired across the world as well.”

In terms of infotainment genre, the 129-year-old channel has a very stable viewership. After rebranding, the channel has grown up to 400% as they have very stable and strong viewers. For the last six months, the channel has been showcasing topics, conversations, pictures and stories that people are trying to drive conversations about.

Asked how they plan to promote the documentary, Mohan, said, “It’s good to put it on large digital community. Four million people have seen it and there is cross promotion across National Geographic Network and Star Network. Not just this, there is an on-ground piece as well.”

BARC data has shown there has been a decline in the infotainment category. Mohan, explained, “The measurement system takes a lot of time and I think there has been a lot of recalibration of the data in the markets. If you ask how we evaluate the success metric it’s not just the TV rating but it’s the conversation; the topicality and the relevance. There is no point of getting huge ratings if people are not talking about and I think it has to be a combination of everything.”

Coming up with such an emotional subject of paying tributes to navy officers, the channel hopes for success like its earlier programmes.

Speaking about the huge response after the launch of the trailer, Mohan concluded, “It’s been very humbling to note that there are lot of other people who approached us in the last few weeks after the trailer was out. We have told in our stories the aspects which people will never be able to see and we would live to tell even more stories.”

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