Indian music, DVDs in major chain stores in S.A

Friday, 26 September 2003, 07:00 Hrs
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JOHANNESBURG: South Africa's largest Indian music and movie company, Global Music, has scored a first by signing up a deal to have a range of Indian music and DVDs available in the country's major chain stores.

The chain stores have previously only been stocking Western music. But with the changing profile of South African customers in the post-apartheid era, their customer base has also been changing to include many more Indians.

Until now, Indian music, videos, magazines and DVDs could only be found in traditional Indian residential areas designated as such in the apartheid era.

"For some time we have been trying to find a way to make our wide range of products more accessible to the lovers of Indian music and movies in South Africa without them having to travel long distances for this," said Ekbal Umarjee, director of Global Music, based in Lenasia, with a branch in Pietermaritzburg.

"This new partnership with South Africa's major chain stores Shoprite, Checkers, Game, Hyperama, The Hub, Makro and Pick 'n Pay will make this possible now."

Umarjee started Global Music on a small scale a decade ago after coming here from Mumbai and now holds the South African distribution rights for Indian music company T-Series.

He is also negotiating deals with other major Indian music companies.

Omarjee said the top 20 CD titles as well as the latest DVDs and a selection of specialist music such as bhajans,
qawalis, ghazals and remixes would be made available at these stores. Any other titles from Global Music's stock of more than 2,500 titles would be provided to the stores on request from customers.

"This breakthrough has really helped greatly in our objective of making music and movies available to more people more easily as we will never be able to open up so many branches across the country," Umarjee told IANS.

"Not only will customers now be able to buy original titles with much greater convenience but the wider availability of original product will also strike a further blow in the battle against piracy in South Africa," he added.

Piracy of Indian music and movies has been rampant in South Africa for many years, with authorities seemingly unable to control it.

Recently a huge consignment of such products imported from Pakistan was seized at the Johannesburg International Airport.

Source: IANS
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