Even though the business graph of Nepali film and music industry doesn’t have much of a happy story to convey, various beauty pageants organized every year sees a transaction of a whopping Rs 50 million.
“An overall transaction of about Rs 50 million takes place in the name of beauty pageants organized all across the country. However, out of about 65 such pageants organized for various purposes and in different names, only ‘Miss Nepal’ has been able to garner mass attention and status. Amount ranging from Rs 500,000 to Rs 3 million is invested in organizing such pageants, the organizers fish out a good share of profit,” shares Choreographer Prashant Tamrakar, who’s currently preparing for ‘Miss University Nepal’ pageant.
According to him, there are even cases when the organizers decide on the winners without considering the jury’s evaluation. “When I was in the jury of ‘Miss Rai’, the organizers announced the winner against our decision. The organizers had apparently received a huge amount from the winning participant,” he says. He further claims that the pageant organizers totally slash the quality of the competition in their greed to make more money.
Most of these pageants charge Rs 300 to Rs 500 for the application forms. After short listing the candidates, the organizers charge Rs 5,000 to Rs 15,000 for various training sessions.
Actor Samyukta Bhattarai, who recently participated in ‘Miss Global’ shared that her only motivation for joining the pageant was to be able to attend the training session which was being conducted by former Miss Nepal Malvika Subba. “I had to pay Rs 500 for the application form and an additional Rs 10,000 for the 15-day training. I had to buy my own dress and shoes. The training was conducted for three hours every day but we were not provided with any refreshments,” she reminisces. She was declared ‘Miss Talent’ at the pageant that had received around 80 applications.
Choreographer Rojin Shakya observes that due to many beauty pageants being organized these days, there seems to be ‘scarcity’ of participants. “The organizers spend anything between Rs 500,000 to Rs 3 million. The profits of the organizers differ according to application fees, training charges, entry tickets and the sponsors. By investing Rs 500,000 in three months for a pageant, an organizer easily draws a profit of about Rs 200,000. In bigger scale pageants, even the sponsors invest significant amount of money,” he informs.
Likewise, the ‘Miss Nepal’ pageant alone requires an investment of about Rs 2.5 million. The investment money is spent in the two and half month long training sessions, shares Gopal SundarLal Kakshapati, chairman of The Hidden Treasure holds franchise for Miss Universe, Miss World, Miss Earth, Miss International and Miss Asia Pacific World pageants.
“Since it’s a commercial program, a profit of about Rs 700,000 is fetched from the pageant. We decide our expenditure in accordance with the number of sponsors and their investments,” Kakshapati explains.
“The dresses, trophy and other hampers are mostly funded by the sponsors. Besides that, we also spend money for the participants when they proceed to the international pageants. We had received better sponsors for the Miss Nepal 2010 contest, so the winner Sadichha Shrestha received a car upon being crowned the winner. But in 1997, the organizers were at a loss, he shares.
Similarly, ‘Miss Purbanchal’, being organized every year since last four years, has an expenditure of Rs 400,000. “If we get really good sponsors, there isn’t much loss. If we continue this way for a few years, we can earn quite well,” shares organizer Saurav Shrestha. The sale of tickets for the finale event and Rs 8,000 charge from the participants fetch some profit, he says. Rs 40,000 for the choreographer, Rs 20,000 for booking hall, Rs 40,000 for dress, Rs 15,000 for gift hampers and trophy, Rs 45,000 for sound and light, and Rs 25,000 for makeup and hair is spent by the organizer.
What is notable is the fact that the panel of judges for any of the pageants doesn’t get paid. The organizers have to pay a lot for booking a hall for the grand finale of the event. Army Officer’s Club, Rastriya Nach Ghar and Nepal Academy Hall are most popular venues that respectively charge Rs 90,000, Rs 30,000, Rs 50,000 for the event. As for the live telecast of the show, TV channels charge anything between Rs 20,000 to Rs 300,000.
Besides the much acclaimed ‘Miss Nepal’, other beauty contests that are gaining popularity in Nepal are ‘Miss Teen’, ‘Miss Global International’, ‘Miss Air Hostess’, ‘Miss Sherpa’, ‘Miss Newa’, ‘Miss Limbu’, ‘Miss Mangol’, ‘Miss Global Beauty’, ‘Miss Tamang’, ‘Miss Rai’ and ‘Miss Diva Chitwan’.
Choreographers Rachana Gurung Sharma, Prashant Tamrakar, Rojin Shakya, Malvika Subba, Sugarika KC and Anil Shrestha have been conducting the training sessions for such pageants. The trainings last for 15 days to three weeks and the choreographers conduct training for two hours a day or even the entire day. ‘The Hidden Treasure’, ‘Nepalese Council’ and ‘Green Art Media’ among others send their winners to participate in the international competitions. Due to the requirement of a minimum of 5.8 feet height and very expensive participation charge, the organizers haven’t been sending Nepalis to participate in the ‘Miss Universe’ pageant.
Source: Smriti Dhungana/myrepublica