Finding True Love With Dharma's Success

The success of Dharma production comes from true love for cinema

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Leading a production house, which is among the most sought after in the country, needs more than just dedication. A 32-year-old friendship resulted in the CEO of Dharma Productions, Apoorva Mehta, to take over the commercial operations of the gigantic private venture. When Mehta joined in March 2005, he knew he was being given the role that was earlier played by the star producer, director, and owner of Dharma Productions Karan Johar’s late father Yash Johar and it wasn’t going to be an easy one. But the going has been one to remember. “We are like brothers working together and all credit goes to him for giving me that respect and love. When he got me, he said, listen I want you to be around with me while running this company,” Mehta exclaims while talking about his relationship with Karan Johar.

Dharma Productions

With Mehta managing the budgets, Johar has directed six films for Dharma and has produced all of the company's films, since taking over. Mehta attributes Dharma’s success to Johar’s understanding of content. “I think as a creative leader, he has an understanding of what works and what doesn’t work. He is the person who is thinking ahead of time,” says Mehta. Like any professional company, private companies also have their own vision. There is a fine line of balancing a vision of a family business and bringing corporate expertise required to achieve that. It is this rich expertise that Mehta brings to the table in a mutual partnership with Karan Johar.

“In a family-run business, every victory is like a personal victory because you are not the only part of one big organization; there are a hundred others who are involved. You go through all these processes as a part, keeping in mind the psychology of the owner. Yet you need to maintain a fine line between professionalism and values,” Mehta says.

(This article was first published in the August 2018 issue of Entrepreneur Magazine. To subscribe, click here)

Read the detailed interview published on Entrepreneur Asia Pacific here

Aashika Jain

Written By

Entrepreneur Staff

Journalist in the making since 2006! My fastest fingers have worked for India's business news channel CNBC-TV18, global news wire Thomson Reuters, the digital arm of India’s biggest newspaper The Economic Times and Entrepreneur India as the Digital Head.