Naseem Bergau-Khan’s earliest recollection of watching a Hindi film goes back to his days in Germany’s Oberhausen, his childhood home. He was about six, and he saw Ganga Jamuna, starring Dilip Kumar and Vyjayanthimala, on television. All he remembers from that experience are his own tears. “I [had] cried a lot,” says the 35-year-old Bergau-Khan, founder-CEO of Ishq Media Group, (now known as the NBK 7 Media Group), in a video chat from his Düsseldorf office. “The film was heart-touching and, well, extremely long. At some point, my patience ran out,” he says. That remained his last Bollywood experience for a long time.
Bergau-Khan had a fairly desi upbringing. His mother, Qudsia Khan, hailed from Ahmedabad and his late German father, Heinz Bergau, had a “huge love for India”. Bergau was a businessman but is remembered more for his travel escapades—which he wrote about in newspaper columns—that took him to India. Mother Khan, now a retired school teacher, indulged in Indian films
Inevitably, his Bollywood-shyness didn’t last long.
In the early- and mid-2000s, when Hindi films, riding on the success of Shah Rukh Khan (SRK), became a rage with the German youth, Bergau-Khan converted. He not only fell in love with Bollywood but, in its world of glamour and gossip, he also found his true calling.