BIOGRAPHY

While taking off as an out-of-the-box thinking playwright, Amit penned his first audacious play with a twist “Divorce Indian Style”, at 14. The play was an early indicator of his maturity to take on subjects ahead of personal experience. Amit, in other words, crossed the threshold of being an intrepid observer and interpreter of the social scenario when children his age were trying to articulate a one paragraph essay for the school gathering.

It was only a matter of time before his prodigious inventiveness went to the next level. Quickened by his intense desire to work for his dreams, he had just hit twenty, when Film maker Dev Anand led him to a whole new world of cinema and entertainment. Helming film production at Dev Anand’s Navketan, Amit was actively involved in the making of classics like Manpasand, Des Pardes, Lootmaar. He had also by then become a song writer penning some of the all time classics that reverberate across radio and music channels of the day. Leading voices and music composers of the day added value to his superbly crafted film and non-film lyrics. Some peerless gems include “Pal Bhar Mein Yeh Kya Ho Gaya”, “Nazrana Bheja Kisine Pyar Ka”, among others. Another feather in his cap was writing the moving dialogue for the cult classic Saaransh.“Buniyad”, one of Indian Televisions finest shows based on partition had Amit, as Executive Producer joining forces with Sholay Director, Ramesh Sippy.What followed over the years was a deluge of high-octane soft-power centered round his fertile imagination.

The Torch-Bearer of Modern Entertainment

Talk of the inclusive entertainment scenario and Amit Khanna’s name takes center stage. Amit has been an influential part of the global entertainment scenario in various capacities-each handled with élan. His ability to forge lasting bonds with almost everybody meant he could be an ally or a mentor as and when needed- roles he has comfortably donned all the time.

Full of stunning achievements, Amit’s sweep as a mass media- professional, for its sheer magnitude is astounding. From being a creator of popular content across Cinema, Music and Television Entertainment, to promoting the best talent across creative streams his comprehensive approach is what makes him unique.

While on the one hand he is a multilingual poet with refined sensitivity in Hindi, English and of course, Urdu, on the flip side he is a media visionary with a firm grip on the contemporary realities and the socio-cultural influences of the day. His research and conclusions on the most vexing issues today makes him a prominent social commentator of the day- a role he clearly relishes. From a creative assistant to a song writer to an executive producer to a film director to a Television Magnate to a Media Guru and now a mentor, his journey has truly been awe-inspiring.

Plus Channel and the Intrepid Entrepreneur

One of the lasting images in his oeuvre is the magnificent entertainment conglomerate he spearheaded, his labor of love, Plus Channel. The year was 1989. Calling it an effort ahead-of-its-times, would be one way to describe it, but will still veil the thirst-quenching, stimulating energy it emitted. Buzzing with a feverish get-up-and-go the outfit put together the finest in Bollywood films, pioneering Televison shows, and the finest Audio books of leading writers and poets. What Amit brought to the laggard television scenario of the day was a shift in perspective. Backed by concerted action it was the thrust that once and for all changed the TV scenario in India. Programming like never seen before waltzed across television screens. Film based shows like Sangeet Sitare, Mirch Masala apart, India’s first English daily Plus Channel “A Mouthful of Sky” also emerged from the Plus rooming house.

Out of the 10 feature films produced under Plus Films several went on to win prestigious National awards. “Kuch is Taraha Do Dil Mile” the song he wrote for the film Bhairavi won him the National award for best lyrics. It is no surprise that many of the leading mass media luminaries of the day had cut their teeth in the hallowed precincts of Plus Channel edit suites, recording studios and shooting floors. Seeing the entertainment business scenario evolve, both as a participant and an observer is a rare advantage. Helping individuals, media houses attain their full potential while at the same time expanding his vision about work and life is what Amit has achieved with unprecedented flair. It also is the key to his popular and intellectual appeal as acknowledged by the world’s foremost global publications like Time, Newsweek, Variety and Hollywood Reporter Magazines.

While his work today is mainly off center the progression has been undeniably expansive taking in newer interest areas to explore. Reliance Entertainment the giant entertainment behemoth was his next pursuit. Transporting a reputed brand and managing to take it to a global leader was a tough ask. Amit though, had other ideas, again ahead of the contemporary business leaders. With new vigor he ticked off a series of new verticals for Production, Distribution & Exhibition of films, TV channels, Radio Network, Online Gaming and Social Networking websites. In a massive turnaround in the world of cinema Reliance Entertainment went on to acquire 50% of DreamWorks Studios under his astute guidance. Another winning move was the acquisition of the Los Angeles based independent film production and distribution company IM Global. A much in demand keynote speaker across seminars and conferences, Amit has been associated with FICCI, Nasscomm, CII & ECO, among several other prominent bodies. Contributing to various magazines, periodicals including the Encyclopedia Britannica he has currently undertaken the mammoth task of documenting the History of Indian Media & Entertainment and mentoring.

A couple of years ago I decided not to work for profit. So now most of my time is spent on research for my ongoing project the History of Indian Media & Entertainment. I keep writing poetry & my next anthology should be published next year.
Since a number of my protégés are now successful film-makers, journalists, writers & big executives I meet them occasionally or whenever they seek my advice. I write for magazines & more often online.
I am also devoting sometime to mentoring young people around the world & soon would be doing something significant in public affairs & of course I keep learning all the time.
  • Penned his first poem at 14 & continues to write in HIndi, Urdu & English.
  • His Anthology of poetry Anant Raag /Infinite Verse was published by Harper Collins in January, 2013. His next poetic work is due in 2017.
  • Became Executive Producer at 21 with Dev Anand’s Navketan Films.
  • Directed India’s first music video "Young Tarang" for Nazia & Shoeb Hassan.
  • Set up India’s biggest entertainment conglomerate Plus Channel, 1989.
  • Produced India’s earliest Audio books in both Prose & Verse.
  • Pioneered business News shows on Indian Television.
  • Produced over 3000 hours of original Television Programming.
Dev Anand,Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhonsle, Mohammed Rafi, Kishore Kumar, Mahendra Kapoor, Alka Yagnik,Amit Kumar, Yesudas, Hridaynath Mangesshkar,Ramesh Sippy,Rajesh Roshan,Ilaiya Raja, Biddu, Bappi Lahiri, Naziya & Zoeb Hassan, Raju Singh, Javed Akhtar, Mahesh Bhatt,Shyam Benegal,Lekh Tandon, Sudhir Mishra,Gautam Ghosh,Aruna Raje,Bhupen Hazarika,Sai Paranjpe & many others.
Amit Khanna has written lyrics for over 400 evergreen Film & Non-film Hits.
"Chalte Chalte", the first film song he wrote continues to be a rage. "Ka Karu Sajni" penned by Amit is a favourite with all music lovers.
Amit Khanna has worked with iconic Singers Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhonsle, Kishore Kumar, Mohammed Rafi, Mukesh, Mahendra Kapoor & Music Composers from the Golden Era of Hindi film music. In fact, Amit Khanna is the only writer who has penned lyrics for all siblings of the illustrious Mangeshkar family.
Amit Khanna has won the National Award for writing Best lyrics for the Film Bhairavi.
He has participated in several conferences & seminars across the world as keynote speaker covering an array of industries. FICCI, Nasscomm, CII & ECO are some of the well-known bodies he has been associated with in various capacities.
Amit Khanna, has been serving in different capacities in different boards of both government and non-government film and media related bodies such as FICCI, CII, Prime Minister's Committee on Information, Communication and Entertainment, All India Film Producers Council, Film & Television Producers Guild of India, Governing Councils of the Film Institutes in both Pune & Kolkata. Amit Khanna is the Founder trustee of the Mumbai Academy of Moving Images (MAMI), Earth Communication India (ECO India).He has been a guest lecturer at various universities including NYU, USC, UCLA, IIM, IIT. He is on the Board of Management of reputed universities like AJKMRC Jamia Milia institute as well as the Paris based "Think Tank – Forum d' Avignon".