Jiggy George on how he has made a career out of his ruling passions
“My dreams are manifold. Where do I get started?” says Jiggy George, Founder and CEO of the aptly named Dream Theatre, a professional licensing and brand management enterprise.
Life has come full circle for Jiggy, who has over 18 years of experience in the licensing industry.
“I used to be the executive director of Turner broadcasting before quitting three years ago with two others to set up Dream Theatre. We are a brand management and licensing agency, managing brands, mostly in the realm of entertainment licensing.”
The brands Dream theatre manages includes Rovio for Angry Birds, Dream Works Animation, World Wrestling Entertainment, Saban Brands for Power Rangers Samurai, Sanrio for Mr. Men and Little Miss and the Discovery Enterprises portfolio for Animal Planet, Discovery Channel, Discovery Expedition, LA Ink, Miami Ink and American Chopper.
“It is a huge business. India is great entertainment economy and people know entertainment brands. We also have a large consuming class.
Perhaps the only limitation is that organised retail in India still has a long way to go. However, with the large number of players coming into the market, we will soon be there.”
So what exactly in entertainment licensing? “It refers to anything that emanates from entertainment — could be movies, TV shows, WWE wrestling.
“We work with the owner of the brand towards building an India strategy, help him find the right partner and roll that out at retail. We work with the partner to see that the integrity and sanctity of brand is maintained, help market and amplify brand at retail, collect royalties and send it to the owners.
“This way the brand gets built and extended. Take a movie such as Kung-Fu Panda — the next part of the series may be released only in 2016. But having Kung-fu Panda products in the market till then keeps people excited and interested.”
A Master’s in Business Administration, Jiggy has straddled a number of diverse roles in his career “Everything is serendipity. I started off as a junior designer in Zodiac and went on to manage their retail outlets at a national level. I then moved to the marketing department in a daily, and also wrote there. I went on to do an MBA in marketing and then joined MTV where I set up licensing of MTV related merchandise and launched apparel, credit card and music albums before moving to Cartoon Network (part of Tuner broadcasting) where I went on to become the executive director before quitting to start Dream Theatre.”
“I just realised very early that I needed to do something exceptionally fun so that it doesn’t feel like a job. I wanted to do something that is an extension of me and I’ve always been interested in the art-commerce integration. I like to explore creativity and see how it connects back to business.”
He has also written an animation script with a co-worker which is in its pre-production stage.
On his driving passions he laughs and replies, “It’s crazy I have so many. I love travelling and all experience it brings. I love books, movies, music and animation and since it is so entwined with what I do, it makes the whole thing worthwhile. I am into fitness — I run marathons. And of course there is the family, the fulcrum of it all. There is so much to do, so many places to go to and I’m just getting started.”