Be it Anupama or Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai, producer Rajan Shahi is credited with making the career of actors like Rupali Ganguly, Hina Khan, Gaurav Khanna and others. But the producer has a very practical approach about making a TV actor a star in the industry. “For every underdog, the stage matters. You can be a good producer, technician or actor but it is the stage which gives us the opportunity. I have done many shows as a director. I am always looking for new talents. Loved Lana. Be it Mona Singh in Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahin, Rajshree Thakur in Saat Phere… Saloni Ka Safar or Mona Vasu in Mili,” he says. The top producer says that he roped in fresh faces along with seasoned actors for his first production Bidaai.

Even today many people know Hina Khan as Akshara from Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai. The producer revealed that he saw her during an audition held in Delhi. Rajan Shahi says that she was a complete newcomer to Srinagar and had never traveled to Mumbai. “I asked my team to bring her to Mumbai. It took almost two months for her father to convince Hina Khan to do Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai. My team and I took a month and a half to prepare her to become an actress. Spent. Hina did brilliantly well,” he says. Rajan Shahi has also launched Dheeraj Dhoopar in the industry.

He says that he is very involved in the script and nothing is formulaic. Rajan Shahi says his shows resonate as they keep pace with the changing social fabric of the country. He says that COVID-19 has changed the perception of people all over the world. “Though society is changing, there are certain things that resonate with everyone in India. I like to stay close to the grassroots. I can’t relate to unrealistic stories that don’t emphasize human or family feelings,” they say. The producer says that he advises his team to stay as grounded as possible to know the realities of life around them. “You can’t write stories by living in a fancy palace,” he says. He credits his mother, Deepa Shahi and daughter Shikha for keeping them informed about the happenings around the world.

Rajan Shahi says that he has spent 30 years in the industry starting as a junior artiste. He says there is a lot of mismanagement, which he has tried to avoid. “We work in an organized manner and add more infrastructure to support us,” he says. If an actor acts like other shows or programmes, then the producer or the channel cannot be blamed.” Rajan Shahi feels that it is the pre-planning that makes the script click with the fans. “You see in Anupama, every character is resonating with the audience. The inter-personal relationship is very beautiful. You need to be organic,” he says.

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