Dharma Productions was established in 1976 by Yash Johar, Karan Johar’s father. In the last 37 years, the film company has become one of the most prominent players when it comes to putting Bollywood cinema on the world map.
KJo’s celluloid ventures — from Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998) to their latest blockbuster Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani (currently enjoying a historic run) — have taken his father’s dream several notches higher. And Dharma’s module of functioning, like a full-fledged film studio, is something many have aspired to follow. But very few have managed it so far.
Says Karan, “Ours is a young company with tall achievements; all of it is my father’s blessings. While we have been growing from strength to strength in each of the last three decades, in the last six years alone, we’ve been able to achieve several milestones. And this is because we have the strongest reserve of filmmakers.”
To name a few, KJo and his team — Nikhil Advani (Kal Ho Naa Ho), Tarun Mansukhani (Dostana), Ayan Mukerji (Wake up Sid and YJHD), Punit Malhotra (I Hate Luv Storys), Shakun Batra (Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu) and Karan Malhotra (Agneepath) — are among the torchbearers in the mainstream space, currently.
Karan adds, “Whether it’s content or scale, we have covered the entire gamut from Gippi to YJHD. Like most reputed international film studios, we have an open-door policy. And if we have chosen not to have a distribution or exhibition set-up, it is by choice. For me, of course, the biggest achievement in the time spent here is that our cinema has its own ethos. And though our company vertical has worked on plain impulse and instinct, our content has been diverse. Our strength is our talent pool. We have given monstrous budgets to new filmmakers and they have broken out and become huge brands themselves.”