Turning films into a brand building tool

Armed with a report prepared by KPMG, Sharjah-headquartered Aries Group promoted by Kerala-born NRI businessman Sohan Roy, is gearing up to turn films into the biggest and the most effective brand building tool in the years to come. The Indian film industry, according to an earlier report prepared by Deloitte-Indywood, is expected to grow at 11 per cent CAGR reaching $3.7 billion by 2020. That’s not all. In the coming years the volume of foreign direct investment will play a decisive role in conceiving and implementing mega projects.

“We had engaged KPMG to draw a roadmap for us. They have submitted the report. It’s a 5-year plan that has set 100 specific targets. And we are moving ahead on many fronts simultaneously to meet these targets,” said Roy, chairman Aries Group and founder, Indywood, which is a consortium of the sort of Indian billionaires from across the world. It has floated a billionaires’ club, which would eventually comprise 2000 Indian billionaires and corporate and to educate movers and shakers of industry about the vast opportunities in the sector and how it can be tapped effectively.

Following the KPMG report, Indywood is also working on to turn India into the animation hub of the world. “Our philosophy is to ‘catch’em young, grow them old’. On one hand we are working at college and at times, even at school level to identify and nurture bright talents and on the other we are working with big animation studios of the world. We will set up high-end animation studios in different parts of the country and will bring in big projects and will get them executed by these young talents, once they are groomed. We have already set up one such studio at Trivandrum. We will also connect them with the movie makers of the world,” said Roy.

Interestingly, a naval architect by training, a top businessman by profession and a film maker by passion, Roy’s international claim to fame was making of the Oscar nominated, 3D emotional thriller- Dam999, whose screenplay was added to the permanent core collection in Library of the  Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2011.

Indywood would utilise its revenue collected from the Billionaires Club as: $5billion to be spent on theatres, $2billion on studios, $1billion on movie production, $1 billion on equipment manufacturing and $1 billion on talent schools/ agency. The other trust would be on promoting and exporting Indian films globally.

“Indian Cinema, particularly Bollywood movies, is viewed all over the Indian subcontinent, and is getting increasingly popular in the UK, the US, Australia, New Zealand, Southeast Asia, Africa, the Gulf countries, and European countries and now in China. Out of this it collects only 15 per cent of overseas revenue. If we are to reach a situation where one dollar would equal one rupee, movie exports will have to be increased and strengthened,” said Roy.

He said that on an average nearly 1500 – 2000 films are made per year in India in 20 different languages. In terms of revenue, the industry has a gross realisation of $2.1 billion which is expected to grow at 11 per cent CAGR reaching $3.7 billion by 2020 under prevailing scenario. The domestic box office contributes majority of the revenue, representing 74 per cent of the total industry. While, Indian film industry is dominated by Bollywood which contributes 43 per cent of the revenue, regional films contribute 50 per cent. Within the regional film industry, Tamil and Telugu are the largest segments comprising approximately 36 per cent of net box office revenues followed by Bengali, Kannada, and Malayalam films.

Indywood is also working with a number of technology companies of the world to ensure larger adoption of technology into Indian films and also in theatres so that movies with high-tech specifications can be screened, he said.


Ritwik Mukherjee