Two's Company : Shashi and Sumeet Mittal
They are the ones who run and almost rule the world of television. Master artists and visualisers, they create dramatic sequences on the small screen that touch emotional chords in the hearts of millions. And the reason for their success is because they share not just professional but personal ties as well.
Two’s Company introduces the lovable and respected duos in the world of television who work together to weave magic.
Let’s take a peek into the lives of these dashing entrepreneurs and understand what makes them and their shows tick. This week we feature Shashi and Sumeet Mittal of Shashi Sumeet Productions Pvt Ltd.
Sumeet Mittal, Founder of Shashi Sumeet Productions Pvt Ltd graduated from Ahmedabad. He later joined his family business but shifted to Mumbai in 1998 to become an actor. But Sumeet later went on to launch his own production house. When not working he likes to travel and watch cricket.
Shashi Mittal, Co-founder of Shashi Sumeet Productions Pvt Ltd also graduated from Ahmedabad. Shashi married Sumeet and became a perfect homemaker. But later she developed a flair for writing and started churning out one creative script after another. Shashi loves to read and listening music.
The couple co-founded Shashi Sumeet Productions Pvt Ltd in 2009.
From the house of Shashi Sumeet Productions Pvt Ltd
- Sajan Ghar Jaana Hai (2009)
- Diya Aur Baati Hum (2011)
- Haar Jeet (2011)
Let’s start at the beginning. How did you both meet?
Sumeet: It’s a very long story. We studied in the same school in Ahmedabad. We were around 15 years old when our relationship started. We had groups in schools and she was my group leader. For me it was not love at first sight at all. She was my group leader and I was a bit scared of her. But gradually things started rolling. The funny part is that I had a crush on some other girl and I told Shashi to introduce me to that girl (laughs). Then she proposed to me and we finally got married in 1991. She has been a great support throughout. It was not an easy decision to come to Mumbai in 1998 and enter the entertainment industry. Days were tough but she stood by me. And when we launched our production house she took up writing. She is a tough woman. I am happy and lucky to have her in my life.
Shashi: For me it was love at first sight. I remember I used to call him and play songs. We were very young when we got married. There were difficulties but we stuck together. We want to thank our friends who helped us throughout. The journey has been good till date.
How’s the equation between you two?
Sumeet: Professionally when we started working together there were lots of differences. We both were writers and we had our own train of thoughts. We fought like anything. We both were never ready to compromise. But later our work got bifurcated and we started working together but on different spheres. So things have calmed down now. On the personal front the equation is very friendly. There is no ‘tum’ in our relationship; it is only ‘tu’. People get surprised at times but that is the nature of our relationship. I tell her to touch my feet at times but she tells me to keep dreaming (laughs).
Shashi: I agree with Sumeet. I would say that the equation is very warm and friendly. Yes, there are fiery situations at times but that’s a part and parcel of every relationship.
How do you handle difference of opinions?
Sumeet: As I said professionally things are bifurcated. I am into production and direction and Shashi is into writing. Personally, bahut ladai jhagda hota hain. But we fight and then we calm down. We have learnt to deal with things now.
Shashi: I get really angry at times. I even bang phones or a TV remote. After we fight sometimes we don’t talk for a day, two days or may be half a day. But those are not big fights as such. We fight on minor issues and then sort out differences.
How do you balance professional and personal life?
Shashi: See, being in this industry the only thing that gets affected is our personal lives. I don’t remember the last time when we went out for a quiet dinner. It does get irritating at times. We have two daughters Sonakshi (15) and Suhana (5) and I want to spend more time with them. It is difficult to balance professional and personal life. We want to go out with kids but we can’t do that. But now we make a conscious effort to spend more time with kids and give time to ourselves.
Sumeet: Recently we got very busy with our shows. But whenever I get time I make sure that we go out with kids. We are also planning a small trip to Goa soon. It does get difficult at times being in the TV industry but we are working hard to balance professional and personal life.
How did Shashi Sumeet Productions Pvt Ltd happen?
Sumeet: I came to Mumbai. I joined an acting class and did few commercials. I was signed for a film that never went on floors. But later I started giving importance to writing as I realised that I had crossed the age where I could bag roles of a hero. After a certain point one can do only character roles and that can be done anytime. I thought let’s make life better. Let’s get out from a 1bhk apartment to a better house. I also had interest in directing. So we started working with Rajshri Productions. We learnt a lot working with them. So one day I met Vivek Bahl. He was part of Star Plus then. I told him I want to produce a show. He told me to present a concept and if it was good enough we could start rolling. This is how things happened and we launched our production house.
Shashi: After our marriage we joined our family’s cloth business. But Sumeet always wanted to become an actor. So we decided to come to Mumbai. We started understanding the workings of the industry. Yes there were times when there was not much work. After our first show we had no work for a year. Our team told us not to pay them but I wanted them to stick with us. Finally things are on a roll now and we have five shows in our kitty now.
Do you think there is enough creative liberty for show makers?
Shashi: Absolutely. Channels today have opened up completely and they are ready to experiment. If the concept is good and appealing then channels are ready to support it. The industry is driven by TRPs but there are many good shows that go off air and comparatively not-so-good shows get great numbers. So as a producer one can just come up with good concepts which can create an impact.
Sumeet: There has always been liberty. Everything depends on us how we think, ideate and come up with striking concepts. So instead of thinking too much about TRPs one should just make good shows.
Now tell us about one thing that you like about him/her the most...
Sumeet: She is an iron lady. We have struggled so much in life and it is because of her we could reach where we are today. She is a great support.
Shashi: I like everything about him.
What is the thing that you hate about him/her the most?
Sumeet: She focuses too much on work at times. Even when we are out having a nice time she keeps talking about pending work. I think she should learn how to mix business with pleasure.
Shashi: His sense of humour. Woh khud ke joke pe khud hi hasta hain (laughs).
What is the song that suits him/her?
Shashi: Humne Tujhko Pyar Kiya Hai Jitna from the movie Dulha Dulhan.
Sumeet: Dil Deewana from Maine Pyar Kiya.
What is the cutest thing about him/her?
Shashi: He is self-obsessed. He looks into the mirror all the time. I find it very cute.
Sumeet: She pretends to be tough but from within she is very kind-hearted.
Finally, what are your future plans?
Sumeet: I want to work a lot for the next ten years and then see the world with Shashi. Professionally, we want to do different kind of shows and even venture into movies in the future.
Shashi: We want to come up with good shows which will create an impact. So the future plan is to work hard and stay healthy.