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|Industry||Retail, record shop and home video|
|Founded||13 August 1946 (The Gramophone Company), 3 November 2000 (Saregama)|
|Headquarters||Kolkata, West Bengal, India|
|Key people||Surya Mantha (Managing Director)|
|Products||Music cassettes, Compact Disc, VCDs, DVDs, Gramophone records (formerly)|
|Subsidiaries||Saregama Home Video|
In 1901, operations started as the first overseas branch of Electrical & Musical Industries Limited, EMI, London.
The company was incorporated on 13 August 1946 with the name of “The Gramophone Co. (India) Limited”. The name of the Company was subsequently changed to “The Gramophone Co. of India Limited” and with effect from 1 April 1956 the word “Private” was added to its name. It was converted into a public company on 28 October 1968 and consequently the name of the company was changed to “The Gramophone Company of India Limited”.
RPG Group took over this company in 1985 from EMI. In 2005, the last 8% remaining EMI stake in this company were sold, making it completely unrelated to EMI. Now, Indian operations of EMI are under Virgin Records India, which set up in 1998.
The name of the company was changed from “The Gramophone Company of India Limited” to “Saregama India Limited” vide a fresh Certificate of Incorporation issued by the Registrar of Companies, West Bengal, on November 3, 2000. The company's intention in making the name change was to reposition its place as an Indian company in the music and entertainment businesses. The name "Saregama" refers to the first four notes of the Indian musical scale.
Saregama provides the largest music repertoire across all genres and languages, which includes the top-recording artists of the past hundred years and some of the greatest names in music.
The Gramophone Company has always been better known as HMV (His Master's Voice) in India. So strong has been this recognition, that after the RPG Group takeover, it could not phase out the brand. RPG Group has been using the brand under license from the former parent company, EMI. It has tried to introduce parallel brands, such as RPG Music.
In an attempt to build its own brand, on 3 November 2000, RPG Group decided to change the company's name to Saregama India Limited, and also introduce a music label of the same name and use this and HMV for eight years on new recordings, and on old ones for 23 years, thereby attempting to gradually transfer the strong recognition from HMV to the Saregama brand.
- Film music (old and new) – 70% of music ever recorded in India.
- Devotional (national and regional)
- Ghazals and Classical (Hindustani and Carnatic)
- Indi pop and world music and classic music
- Remixes and pop Bhangra
- Regional – Punjabi, Bengali, Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada, Telugu, Gujarati, Marathi, Assamese, Oriya, Chattisgadi.
The movies division as on January 2012 stands closed.
Saregama was the largest international home video provider in India until 2009-2010 when the major international production houses moved to Reliance BIG Entertainment for distribution of Home Video products. As on January 2012, BBC Home Video is the only major production house being distributed by Saregama. The following production house's DVDs and VCDs are released under the label of Saregama:
- Bollywood movies (more than 65% per year)
- Warner Bros. Pictures (or Warner Home Video)
- Universal Studios (or Universal Studios Home Entertainment)
- Jurassic Park and its sequels
- New Line Cinema
- The Lord of the Rings films
- British Broadcasting Corporation
- "EMI sheds stake in Saregama", The Hindu, April 22, 2005.
- "After 100 years, Gramophone Company becomes Saregama", The Indian Express, August 11, 2000.