BREAKING: CAA has closed a deal to create CAA KWAN, a joint venture between the Hollywood agency and leading Indian talent agency KWAN Entertainment & Marketing Solutions. The arrangement, which has been in the works since February, gives CAA a larger footprint in the growing entertainment and media marketplace in India.
The expansion is different from CAA’s move into China, where the agency formed its own satellite office. The decision here instead to partner with an agency that is well established. The goal is to rep local talent in India, and create cross-border opportunities for CAA and KWAN’s clients. The venture will be run by CAA’s David Taghioff and Caleb Franklin, along with KWAN CEO/Managing Director Anirban Das Blah and COO Indranil “Neil” Blah. The joint venture will be headquartered in Mumbai with satellite offices in Delhi, Bangalore and Hyderabad, with a staff of 60. Franklin and Taghioff are CAA corporate development execs. Franklin will move to Mumbai.
“India’s robust entertainment industry offers CAA KWAN tremendous opportunities for talent across multiple platforms,” said CAA president Richard Lovett. “In a very short period of time, KWAN has intelligently scaled and diversified their business to maximize this thriving marketplace for their clients. KWAN’s deep network of relationships, local-market knowledge, and collaborative business philosophy make them a powerful partner in furthering CAA’s existing business in India and providing our clients with more opportunities.”
Said KWAN’s Das Blah: “We believe that the combination of CAA’s experience, influence, and expertise, with KWAN’s extensive knowledge of the Indian entertainment industry, will enable us to provide an unmatched spectrum of services for our clients.”
CAA already had a track record in India. Among other things, the agency advised Reliance on its investment in Steven Spielberg and Stacey Snider’s DreamWorks, and UTV when it formed a joint production venture with Will Smith and James Lassiter’s Overbrook Entertainment. CAA reps such Bollywood talent as actress-singer-model Priyanka Chopra (in the U.S.), writer Akshat Verma (Delhi Belly), writer-director Zoya Akhtar (Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara), writer Sooni Taraporevala (Salaam Bombay), and author Amish Tripathi (The Immortals Of Meluha).