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The Inspiring Success Story of T-Series


The logo of T-Series
The logo of T-Series (Picture credit: Wikimedia Commons

Welcome to Youth Motivator. I would like to tell you the very inspiring success story of T-Series and its founder Gulshan Kumar.
T-Series dominates the Indian music market with more than 60% share and is the India’s largest music record label.
Also, it has the world’s most subscribed and most viewed YouTube channel.
The qualities of dedication and hard work helped Gulshan Kumar to achieve great heights.
This story is all about how a small fruit juice seller built the nation’s largest music record label company.
T-Series produces music and films and is a leader in the entertainment industry.
Now, T-Series is a very successful company with a net worth of over 2400 crores Indian rupees and with exports to 24 countries.
This is the biography of Gulshan Kumar.

Introduction-

Chandrabhan Kumar Dua, the father of Gulshan Kumar migrated from West Punjab to India in the year 1947 at the time of partition of India and settled in Delhi, India.
Here, he started selling fruits for a living and later, he also began selling fruit juices at the Daryaganj area of Delhi.
Gulshan Kumar Dua was born on 5 May 1956 in New Delhi, India in a Punjabi family.
Since his childhood, he used to assist his father in selling the fruit juices.
The brainstorming nature of Gulshan Kumar helped his father’s business to move to the next level.
Later, he started selling audio cassettes.

Founding T-Series-

After saving some money, on 11 July 1983, Gulshan Kumar founded Super Cassettes Industries Private Limited, a music production company in Delhi, India.
Later, Super Cassettes Industries became to be known as T-Series.
Now, T-Series is headquartered at Noida, India.
At that time, Gulshan Kumar noticed that the people used to listen to songs from discs and the discs were very popular.
He was sharp enough to foresee the effect of the oncoming Japanese cassette players and was very confident that they would replace the existing expensive discs.
So, Gulshan Kumar began selling the cassettes by transferring the songs from discs to cassettes.
The cassettes sold like hotcakes thanks to the growing popularity of the Japanese cassette players and the affordability of the cassettes
During those times, the companies like Gramophone Company of India (GCI) and Music India Ltd (MIL) maintained monopoly over the market and the middle class population were not in a position to able to afford their expensive cassettes.
So, the inexpensive cassettes of the T-Series grew very popular and were very well received by the middle class population.
Another reason for the huge popularity of T-Series can be attributed to the Gulshan Kumar’s habit of maintaining very good relations with the retailers.
During those days, T-Series would buy back any unsold cassettes from the retailers.
Thanks to all the above mentioned points, its distribution channels grew very strong and helped it to enter into the new markets.
The copyright laws of that time permitted re-recording of the cover versions of the songs of a movie after a period of three years after its release.
A cover version of a song is simply a remake or new recording by someone other than the original artist of a formerly recorded and released song.
Gulshan Kumar took advantage of this law and re-recorded the cover versions of the songs by new singers by keeping the composition and lyrics of the songs intact.

Introducing new singers-

Gulshan Kumar introduced new singers like Sonu Nigam and Anuradha Paudwal and made them to sing the popular songs of the well-known singers like Mohammed Rafi, Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, Kishore Kumar and Mukesh.
He released these songs with a new beat and as these songs were already popular, they were very well received by the people.
Gulshan Kumar and T-Series played a pivotal role in launching the careers of many new singers.
Later, Gulshan Kumar was blessed with three children, a son, Bhushan Kumar and two daughters, Tulsi Kumari Dua and Khushali Kumar.

Playing safe-

Any business is bound to become successful, if it reaps maximum results or profits by taking minimum risks.
The cassettes of T-Series sold like hotcakes because the songs were already very popular and the new singers just added a new beat to it.
In its initial days, this practise helped T-Series to reap huge profits with minimum effort because it simply produced the cover version of the already popular songs and without producing any new song or music.

Where there is a will, there is a way-

If you badly want to succeed, then there will be no dearth of innovative ideas as you will constantly brainstorm to better your business.
Gulshan Kumar was a very religious person and a worshipper of Lord Shiva and goddess Parvati.
He was a very good observer and he observed that in India, Hinduism was the major religion and many people preferred reading religious hymns and chants.
But the elderly Hindu followers were unable to read hymns and chants owing to their diminishing eyesight.
Here, Gulshan Kumar saw a great business potential and thus, he hired singers and recorded the religious chants and sold them through the cassettes.
Later, he also sold the VHS and video cassette tapes of the major Hindu pilgrimages in India.
Today, T-Series has the world’s biggest devotional YouTube channel by name, T-Series Bhakti Sagar and has over 24 million subscribers.
The devotional YouTube channels of T-Series are offered in numerous languages for many religions.
The Hanuman Chalisa sung by Gulshan Kumar is the most popular video of the T-Series Bhakti Sagar YouTube channel and it garnered over 716 million views.
Even today, many people listen to the devotional songs of T-Series.
Over the period, T-Series grew at a frantic pace.

Expanding into movie production-

For any business to become successful, it needs to take calculated risks and constantly expand otherwise it might risk losing its position and eventually fail.
Later, Gulshan Kumar shifted to Mumbai, the Bollywood capital of the world in order to work with the Bollywood industry.
This city helped him to better his understanding of music and expand his business.
In the year 1984, T-Series released its first original soundtrack for the film Lallu Ram.
The company tasted its first huge success in the year 1988 when it released the soundtrack for the movie Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak and eventually, the soundtrack gained popularity and became the best-selling Indian soundtrack album of the year 1988.
In the year 1989, T-Series entered into the business of film production with Gulshan Kumar producing his first film (telefilm), Lal Dupatta Malmal Ka.
Thankfully, Lal Dupatta Malmal Ka became very successful.

Tasting his first major success-

Gulshan Kumar tasted his first major success in film production in the year 1990 with the release of the Aashiqui movie.
Within no time, Aashiqui became a blockbuster and its soundtrack album became the best-selling Bollywood soundtrack album of all time.
A new record was created when more than 20 million units of the Aashiqui soundtrack album were sold in India.
Thanks to the grand success of this film, the popularity of the company sky rocketed and T-Series became the leading music label company of India and never looked back again.
Later, Gulshan Kumar produced many movies like Appu Raja, Bahaar Aane Tak, Ayee Milan Ki Raat, Jeena Teri Gali Mein, Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin, Meera Ka Mohan, Jeena Marna Tere Sang, Sangeet, Shabnam, Aaja Meri Jaan, etc.
He possessed great knowledge relating to music and this helped him to produce some very successful movies because music plays a pivotal role in the success of any film.
Gulshan Kumar produced many telefilms like Lal Dupatta Malmal Ka, Jeena Teri Gali Mein, Meera Ka Mohan, etc. just for the sake of the songs.
Eventually, he started reaping the fruits of his hard work.

The dreams get shattered-

On 12 August 1997, Gulshan Kumar was shot dead when he was returning after offering prayers at Jeeteshwar Mahadev Mandir, Jeet Nagar, Andheri West, Mumbai.
At the time of his death he was only 41 years old.
This news shocked the Bollywood and Gulshan Kumar’s family became very depressed.
Gulshan Kumar was a family man and was very connected to his family and he wished to run T-Series forever.
Unfortunately, T-Series was severely impacted following his death and the whole responsibility of the company fell on the shoulders of his 19 years old son, Bhushan Kumar.
Bhushan Kumar overtook T-Series under very tragic circumstances and in the initial days, he was not at all prepared for it and used to feel very overwhelmed by the business.
His mother wanted him to study MBA whereas his father wanted him to become an actor but the circumstances made him a businessman.
During that time, even though Bhushan Kumar liked to listen to music, he had no interest in doing business.
From the beginning, he was helped by his mother, Sudesh Kumari, his uncle Krishan Kumar Dua and many employees of the T-Series like Vinod Bhanushali (President of Marketing, Media & Publishing), Neeraj Kalyan (President at T-Series), Ved Chanana (Senior Director), etc.
When Gulshan Kumar was alive, he used to take the full responsibility of the business ranging from music production to paying the income taxes.
Gulshan Kumar used to say that he will remain alive in the music of his company.

Taking up the responsibility-

Recollecting these words made Bhushan Kumar to take the responsibility of T-Series and continue his father’s legacy and now, he sees his father in the music of T-Series.
Following his father’s death, Bhushan Kumar realised the importance of relationships in business.
Almost every business runs on relationships and Gulshan Kumar maintained very good relationships with everyone including music directors, film directors, producers, government offices, etc. but those relations vanished with his death.
So, the 19 years old Bhushan Kumar was obliged to rebuild those relations and trust with the people but many people doubted his capacities as he was young.
Even though he was devastated by his father’s death, he started meeting the film directors, producers, etc. to revamp the business as this business was his father’s dream and he toiled hard for many years to build it.
Many people doubted Bhushan Kumar’s marketing capabilities but he succeeded in convincing everyone that he can market very well by following his father’s footsteps.
He gained the much needed confidence when his music marketing for the movie Dulhe Raja became very big hit and he never looked back again.
Eventually, Bhushan Kumar developed a great sense for music much like his father.
To develop his music sense, he listens to all kind of music played in the market and keeps himself updated.
Bhushan Kumar takes special care to make the music suit all the platforms like YouTube, streaming sites, radios, television, award shows, movies, disco techs, etc.

Choosing the right path-

Even though Bhushan Kumar inherited his father’s company, he toiled hard to manage and expand it.
As T-Series was already a very big brand, he could have easily given up and could have outsourced the music production to the other companies, but he worked hard to maintain the brand image T-Series.
Now, he is the Chairman and Managing Director of T-Series and played an important role in broadening out the T-Series into many businesses like electronics, CDs etc.
He produced many hit movies like Tum Bin, Bhool Bhulaiyaa, Patiala House, Ready and Lucky: No Time for Love, etc.
With the passage of time, Bhushan Kumar took T-Series to new heights by being always updated with the latest trends in the industry.
Bhushan Kumar much like his father keenly observes the music played at the parties and this helps him to develop his music sense.
He has also hired a team of people which he calls as the music team for the same purpose.
Bhushan Kumar gathers the feedback received by this team and uses it to improve his music sense.
Both the father and son have many things in common, like both of them are very religious and they never shy away from facing new challenges and taking risks.
Bhushan Kumar is very much attached to his father, even today; he releases almost everything in T-Series with the words- Gulshan Kumar presents.

Expanding and diversifying-

T-Series expanded into every nook and corner of the country and this helped it to capture the huge Indian market.
India is a vast country where many languages are spoken, so T-Series started recognising singers from different states of the country and producing content in regional languages.
T-Series has accordingly started many YouTube channels like T-Series Regional, T-Series Apna Punjab, T-Series Telugu, T-Series Kannada, T-Series Tamil, T-Series Malayalam, hamaarbhojpuri, T-Series Gujarati, T-Series Marathi, T-SERIES HARYANVI, etc.
It also runs a health and fitness YouTube channel by name, Health And Fitness.
Currently, T-Series has 29 YouTube channels and the combined subscriber count of all its channels is 184 million.

Bettering the music sense-

Bhushan Kumar worked to improve his music sense and he only selects and produces the music which can be hummed and liked by the people.
He selects the songs based on this thumb rule and this has helped him over the years.
Bhushan Kumar relentlessly researches the music and keeps himself abreast with the latest trends and demands of the audience and this helped T-Series to achieve huge success.
The huge population of India also played an important role in the success of T-Series.
Now, many businesses are showing special interest in India because India is a huge market and is the second most populated country in the world and is expected to overtake China in terms of population by the year 2027.
This explains the significance of the Indian market.

Conquering the YouTube-

On 13 March 2006, T-Series launched its first YouTube channel.
Until the year 2010, it did not upload any video on YouTube.
Now, T-Series has thousands of videos on YouTube and thanks to its content strength across numerous languages, it has garnered over 117 million subscribers and became very successful on YouTube.
Reliance Jio brought the internet revolution in India by offering the internet data to the masses at very affordable prices and this played a very important role in the exponential growth of the T-Series YouTube channel.
In between January to July 2018, T-Series earned a whopping US$100 million from YouTube.
In the year 2019, T-Series became the world’s most-subscribed YouTube channel by surpassing PewDiePie.

The income model of T-Series-

T-Series earns most of its revenue from releasing music and its other revenue sources include YouTube channels, content deals with online music streaming services, royalties earned from radio and television channels and it also earns money form the live shows of the singers.
Today, Bhushan Kumar is a very successful businessman who has not only fulfilled his father’s dreams but also played an important role in popularising the Indian music overseas.
Having realised the dream of becoming the country’s largest music record label, T-Series is bent on to become the India’s largest film production company.
In the year 2018, T-Series declared that it will invest a whopping 500 crore Indian rupees for film production.

Nurturing the new talent-

T-Series also nurtures young talent through its art school, T-Series StageWorks Academy located at Noida, Uttar Pradesh.
This academy was established for teaching film, music and arts.
T-Series has also introduced some singers like Amaal Mallik, Jubin Nautiyal, etc. through its YouTube channel.
This story of the Gulshan Kumar starting from selling the fruit juices to establishing one of the biggest music companies has the potential to motivate everyone.

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