The price of any good jokes can reach 100 million? About 17 years ago, when this man decided to begin a humour business instead of joining his family’s traditional business, people around him laughed a lot. Still he introduced his idea of humor as “Santa-Banta jokes” and today the whole world is crazy behind his jokes.
Nearly 17 years ago JD Ghai came from Ludhiana to Chandigarh with an idea. The management graduate son of a middle-class family of Ludhiana decided to register a humour brand and website as santabanta(dot)com. In the early days his team started making jokes about society and the family routine. To give a new look to every jokes, he chose two fictional characters named Santa and Banta. Humour for him, was both a hobby and family proclivity. In his family, grandmother was fondly called Bento, and her sister had been named Santo. And there were many funny incidents happened between his sister and grandma. That stuck in his mind and he decided to start Santa-Banta jokes.
The company was started in 1999 by a team of eight and began publishing jokes through website and print media. With its arrival, santabanta(dot)com rediscovered humour and its profitability. The website introduced multiple categories of humour that it keeps adding across a range of media – Hindi, Hinglish, Marriage, Love, Bar, Blonde, Pappu, News and Politics. Surprisingly, Today their jokes have clients ranging from leading media houses to many big mobile companies. Also the website has an average six lakh visitors every day with an annual turnover of 100 crore.
In the early 2000s, santabanta(dot)com was only focusing on jokes but around 2005, they started an entertainment blog dedicated to ‘Bollywood news and imagery’. In the coming years, Ghai is all set to launch an infotainment TV channel. Not only this, Santa-Banta is now focusing on creating jokes in many regional languages.
The company that started as an idea in the mind of Ghai has not only survived the dotcom bust but boomed in the last few years to become a thriving media house.
This article was originally published in Hindi here.