The Big Picture Conference 2007 with the theme ‘Bridging Business and Creativity’ had representatives from the Government and industry debate on several issues like finance and international co-production treaties for India. The two-day conference in Goa, which began on November 22, has been organised by the Confederation of India Industries (CII).
The inaugural session saw Digambar Kamat, Chief Minister of Goa, unveil the CII-AT Kearney Study on ‘Transforming for Growth: Future of the Indian Media and Entertainment Landscape’. The report studies the Indian media and entertainment industry with a focus on films, and talks about the growth and impediments to the medium in the country. Kamat stressed that the Indian entertainment industry can perform even better on a global scale.
Asha Swarup, Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, said, “The arrival of newer broadcast media like IPTV, mobile and other digital media will tremendously help in the growth of films in the country.” She further spoke about the growing international opportunities available for Indian film producers and distributors, owing to international treaties signed by India with countries like Italy and France.
Bobby Bedi, Chairman, CII National Films Committee, noted that recent major releases from India like ‘Om Shanti Om’ and ‘Saawariya’ had managed to reach the top two slots internationally.
Predicting that the Indian media and entertainment industry will grow at 20 per cent, Saurine Doshi, Partner, AT Kearney, shared some insights from the report. The report tries to give a deeper analysis of what is happening in the industry, along with predictions and recommendations to accelerate the growth of this medium.
A discussion on ‘Emerging Finance Options’ that highlighted some of the most commonly used financing options in the medium was moderated by Ajay Khanna, Deputy Director General, CII. VB Pyarelal, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, acknowledged that the Indian Government had not provided much financial support to the industry, in terms of rebates and subsidies akin to some other industries. He further mentioned the impending treaties with the UK that could open many more opportunities for players in this space.
While Karan Ahluwalia, Head-Media and Entertainment Banking Group, Yes Bank, gave his perspective as a banker, Milind Dabke, CFO, Percept Pictures, provided insights as a production house. Anuj Chande and Fiona Owen, Partners at Grant Thornton, UK, pointed out the increasing financing opportunities arising from London for Indian movies due to existing cultural understandings.
A panel discussion on emerging studio culture in the Indian film industry provided an opportunity for the audience to understand and ponder over this rising trend. Moderated by Debashish Mukherjee, Principal, AT Kearney, the panelists included Bobby Bedi, along with Preet Bedi, CEO, Percept Pictures; Hiren Gada, Director, Shemaroo; and, Suresh Laxmanan, President, South Indian Film Federation. Most panelists were of the opinion that studio culture would begin to dominate the industry due to factors like growth of digitalisation and corporatisation of production houses. However, some panelists observed that independent filmmakers would continue to survive.