Kota Factory (Seasons 1&2)
"Kota Factory" is a compelling Indian Hindi-language streaming television series created by Saurabh Khanna, offering a poignant glimpse into the lives of aspiring engineering students. Set in Kota, Rajasthan, a renowned hub for exam preparation, the show follows the journey of 16-year-old Vaibhav as he strives to crack the challenging Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) entrance exam. The series portrays the intense academic pressure, colorful hostel experiences, and the critical role of teachers. It garnered praise for its realistic portrayal and unique black-and-white aesthetic. With a focus on changing perceptions about Kota and education in India, "Kota Factory" is a relatable and thought-provoking exploration of the education system and the dreams of young minds.
Kota Factory is an Indian television series in the Hindi language that is available for streaming. It was created by Saurabh Khanna, directed by Raghav Subbu, and produced by Arunabh Kumar for The Viral Fever. The show is set in Kota, Rajasthan, a well-known educational center famous for its coaching institutes.
It revolves around the life of a 16-year-old named Vaibhav (played by Mayur More), who relocates from Itarsi to Kota. The series offers a glimpse into the lives of students in the city and Vaibhav’s determined journey to secure a spot at an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) by successfully cracking the Joint Entrance Examination. The cast includes Jitendra Kumar, Ahsaas Channa, Alam Khan, Ranjan Raj, Revathi Pillai, and Urvi Singh in significant roles.
Saurabh Khanna, the show’s creator, expressed his intention to shift the prevailing perception of Kota and the preparation for IIT-JEE and NEET in Indian popular culture towards a more positive outlook through the series.
Kota Factory made its debut on both TVFPlay and YouTube from April 16 to May 14, 2019, and it garnered positive reviews from critics who praised its use of black and white visuals, its realistic portrayal, and its technical aspects.
Netflix announced on August 30, 2021, that the series would be returning for a second season, which was subsequently released on September 24, 2021. Additionally, Raghav Subbu confirmed on September 26, 2021, that a third season was in development.
- Mayur More as Vaibhav Pandey
- Ranjan Raj as Balmukund Meena
- Alam Khan as Uday Gupta
- Jitendra Kumar as Jeetu Bhaiya
- Ahsaas Channa as Shivangi Ranawat
- Revathi Pillai as Vartika Ratawal
- Urvi Singh as Meenal Parekh
- Naveen Kasturia as Dhruv
- Vipul Singh as Mahesh (interviewed)
- Rohit Sukhwani as Rohit
- Arun Kumar as Deepak
- Harish Peddinti as Bablu
- Sanyam Bafna as Aayush
- Loveleen Mishra as PG Aunty
- Jasmeet Singh Bhatia as Parminder sir
- Shivankit Singh Parihar as Awasthi sir
- Gaurav Mishra as Batla sir
- Visshesh Tiwari as Piyush
- Jyoti Gauba as Vaibhav’s mother
- Amitabh Krishna Ghanekar as Vaibhav’s father
- Saurabh Khanna as Vice Principal Mehta
- Deepak Kumar Mishra as Autowala
- Sameer Saxena as Maheshwari sir
- Vaibhav Thakkar as Shushrut Patel
- Abhaya Sharma as Vernali
- Rajesh Kuma as Gagan Rastogi
After the release of Yeh Meri Family in July 2018, screenwriter Saurabh Khanna, known for his work with The Viral Fever, initiated the scriptwriting process for another TVF project. This new series centers around a teenager who enrolls in a coaching institute geared towards preparing students for the Indian Institute of Technology entrance examination (JEE Advanced).
The story delves into the pressures of academic rigor and the vibrant hostel experience. Although Khanna drew comparisons between this script and Biswa Kalyan Rath’s Laakhon Mein Ek, a web series released in late 2017, as well as the documentary An Engineered Dream by Hemant Gaba, he emphasized that this series stands out due to its unique setting in Kota, Rajasthan, India’s renowned coaching hub.
Khanna found inspiration for the series due to his own background and that of the TVF creative team, which included IIT graduates like Arunabh Kumar, Amit Golani, and Biswapati Sarkar. The series features Jitendra Kumar in a prominent role as Jeetu Bhaiya, a character similar to his appearances in other TVF series and sketches. Notably, Jitendra Kumar is also an ex-IIT graduate who studied in Kota, and this personal experience greatly informed his performance in the series.
Khanna commented on the significance of the teaching profession in the context of Kota, noting that, ‘Teaching is a profession often overlooked and undervalued, with practitioners not typically occupying high social status. However, in Kota, the scenario is quite different. Teachers receive substantial compensation and are consequently under significant pressure to bring out the best in their students.
Kota Factory drew its inspiration from the lives of ambitious engineering students who enroll in coaching institutes in Kota, with the goal of succeeding in the IIT entrance exam. This storyline bears similarities to the 2009 film ‘3 Idiots,’ the web series ‘Laakhon Mein Ek,’ and the docu-drama ‘An Engineer’s Dream.’
However, according to Tanul Thakur of the British magazine The Wire, what sets Kota Factory apart is its realistic portrayal, which distinguishes it from feature films exploring the same theme. Thakur noted that the first half of the series captivates viewers with its intellectual curiosity about the city and its inhabitants.
Kota Factory partnered with Unacademy to promote the series, aligning with its storyline. In December 2018, TVF unveiled the official teaser on its YouTube channel, which received a significant response from the audience. Subsequently, the official trailer for the first season was released on March 28, 2019. The series, comprised of five episodes, was simultaneously launched on TVF Play and YouTube starting from April 16, 2019, with one episode airing each week. The series concluded with its finale on May 14, 2019.
Upon the renewal of the second season, Netflix secured the distribution rights for the series. An official announcement regarding Season 2 was made on March 3, 2021, as part of Netflix’s 2021 content lineup. This marked TVF’s second collaboration with Netflix following ‘Yeh Meri Family.’ On August 30, 2021, Netflix announced that the second season of the series would premiere on September 24, 2021.