T-Series dominates the Indian music market with more than 60% share and is India’s largest music record label.
Also, it has the world’s most subscribed and most viewed YouTube channel.
T-Series produces music and films and is a leader in the entertainment industry.
T-Series is a very successful company with a net worth of over 2400 crores Indian rupees and with exports to 24 countries.
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.
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 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.
Selling like hotcakes-
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 be 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 sing the popular songs of 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.
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.
A good observer-
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 40 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 millions of views.
Even today, many people listen to the devotional songs of T-Series.
Over the period, T-Series grew at a frantic pace.
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 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 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.
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.
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 overtakes T-Series-
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 responsibility-
Recollecting these words made Bhushan Kumar 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.
Revamping the business-
Even though Bhushan Kumar 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 a 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 kinds 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.
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 of 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-SeriesRegional, T-Series Apna Punjab, T-Series Telugu, T-Series Kannada, T-SeriesTamil, T-Series Malayalam, hamaarbhojpuri, T-Series Gujarati, T-Series Marathi, T-SERIES HARYANVI, etc.
It also runs a fitness YouTube channel along with Guru Mann by the name, Health And Fitness.
Currently, T-Series has 29 YouTube channels.
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.
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 180 million subscribers and became very successful on YouTube.
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 2020, T-Series became the world’s most-subscribed YouTube channel by surpassing PewDiePie.
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 from 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 becoming 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 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.
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Featured image credits: T-Series/Wikimedia Commons
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Why is T-Series growing so fast?
T-Series is growing so fast because it is uploading many videos to YouTube on a daily basis.
Also, India is one of the countries with most internet growth.
All these reasons contribute to the rapid growth of T-Series.
What is the real name of T-Series?
T-Series was initially known as Super Cassettes Industries Private Limited.
How does T-Series earn money?
T-Series earns money through various methods like-
• Producing music and films.
Why is T-Series so popular?
Yes, T-Series is extremely popular as can be seen by its YouTube channel’s subscriber count which is more than 180 million as of April 2021.
The reasons for the popularity of T-Series are-
• Jio. Jio brought the internet revolution in India and as a result many people got access to the internet by which they started to consume the content of T-Series.
• Enormous content. T-Series has been producing content since 1983 which means T-Series has a huge wealth of content. More content means more views and more views result in a rise in popularity.
• Bollywood is extremely popular in India and T-Series produces content for Bollywood like music, movies, etc. So, many people consume the content of T-Series.
• India is the second most populous country in the world and so, T-Series has a very huge market.
• T-Series produces evergreen content. Popular songs are usually evergreen which means people keep consuming them for many years if not decades. This is one of the reasons for the popularity of T-Series.
• India is a very religious country and T-Series is also famous for producing religious content. It has a separate YouTube channel for the same purpose by the name T-Series Bhakti Sagar which has millions of subscribers.
• In the early days, T-Series became popular by selling affordable cassettes.
Does T-Series have a Ruby Play Button?
Yes, T-Series has a Custom Ruby Play Button.
It received a Ruby Play Button on 10 September 2018 on the occasion of reaching 50 million subscribers.
Who hit 100 million subs first?
T-Series is the world’s first YouTube channel to hit 100 million subscribers.
On 29 May 2019, T-Series hit the 100 million subscribers whereas PewDiePie hit this mark after 88 days on 25 August 2019.
Why did T-Series beat PewDiePie?
In January 2017, T-Series beat PewDiePie by becoming the world’s most-viewed YouTube channel.
And in December 2020, T-Series beat PewDiePie in terms of subscribers and became the world’s most-subscribed YouTube channel.
T-Series was able to beat PewDiePie because T-Series is run by a big company whereas PewDiePie is mostly a one-man show by Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg.
Can PewDiePie beat T-Series?
It is impossible for PewDiePie to beat T-Series and the reasons for this are-
• T-Series has many employees for producing content whereas PewDiePie hasn’t.
• T-Series is a very profitable company which means it will remain in business for many many decades whereas PewDiePie is not a company but an individual. This means it is possible for T-Series to be able to produce content forever but not for PewDiePie because he is a mortal creature.
Is Tulsi Kumar an owner of T-Series?
No, Tulsi Kumar is not an owner of T-Series.
T-Series is owned by Bhushan Kumar.
Featured image credit- T-Series/Wikimedia Commons