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The answer lies in digital India: Smriti Irani

05-March-2018
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The answer lies in digital India: Smriti Irani

It is no secret that the Indian media and entertainment sector is one of the fastest growing industries in the country. The multi-sector business that has grown by leaps and bounds is nothing but an unfolding opportunity. At a recently held event in Mumbai, Union Information and Broadcast Minister, Smriti Irani in a conversation with Bollywood filmmaker Karan Johar, spoke about the power of the entertainment industry in India. 
Speaking about regional cinema she said, “ We don’t really talk about the the capacity of our regional language films. How many countries can say that I have a Marathi box office hit like Sairat or Prosenjit doing films that cut across India or we have had a legend like Sridevi who did movies in five languages and was a superstar not only in Delhi, Mumbai but the entire nation. This is what we need to celebrate. The more the expanse of content, the more the opportunities for local languages and local talent to come to the forefront. The beauty of our industry is that we are everywhere”.

Speaking about how to strengthen the exhibitions of the content, I&B Minister said, “The answer lies in digital India. We need to enhance the consumer experience. We as an industry, need to sit with mobile phones manufacturers on how to increase the audio and video delivery quality on mobile devices from the content perspective.”

When Johar asked Irani on the comparison of the Indian entertainment with China she said, “We always positioned ourselves in comparison with somebody else but we never define our own strength then position ourselves completely different. We should define our industry in our own fashion and stop playing catch up. We are biggest consumers in the world today.”

Speaking about the new developments expected from the ministry, she said, “ One will be an umbrella organisation for films, the other is on the academic side of the industry. We are hoping that IIMC becomes a deemed university which gives students an opportunity to study every kind of subject. The third will be Artificial Intelligence (AI). Not many people in India understand how AI in film-making possibly can enhance the consumer experience. Can we use data analytics to understand the needs of our consumers? Because it tells us what are they consuming, what are their preferences, what are they binging on? It might seem intrusive to few people but the consumer will get access to the content they want and those are the aspects which we are looking forward to.”

Johar asked Irani that being an insider what are the changes she feels that need to be made within the industry. “We should stop saying that we have woes. We are not Bechara, we have 1.3 lakh crore in this economy and we provide food on the plates of 3.6 million people,” answered Irani.

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