Magnetic Maharashtra: Industry stalwarts on shaping the future of information and entertainment

Some of the biggest names in the Media and Entertainment industry share their ideas on what needs to be done to increase growth in the sector.

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Feb 21, 2018 8:58 AM

Indeed the Media and Entertainment industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the country. But is it an organised industry? What else needs to be done so that the Media and Entertainment industry can grow at a much faster pace?

The question of the hour was what else needs to be done to take the industry to the global level in the session, Media: Shaping the future of information and entertainment. The best people to answer these questions are those who actually are in the Media and Entertainment industry such as Sudhanshu Vats CEO, Viacom18, Bollywood Superstar Shah Rukh Khan, Amazon Prime Video India Director of Content Vijay Subramaniam, Republic TV Founder Arnab Goswami, Excel Entertainment Co-Founder Ritesh Sidhwani, Rishi Darda, Editorial and Joint Managing Director Lokmat. The session was moderated by BTVI Consulting Editor Vikram Oza.

“We have the biggest market of entertainment in the world, and its consumption with 1.2 billion population,” says Bollywood actor, Shah Rukh Khan, who began the session. "Hollywood has an organised entertainment sector, which we can learn from. New parallel media industry has now emerged due to digital, social media and such channels and the need to have an organised entertainment sector to function smoothly," said the superstar. 

Speaking at a Global Investment Summit, ‘Magnetic Maharashtra’ Khan urged the Government of Maharashtra to provide a digital platform to creators for collaboration and aggregation of content as a part of Maharashtra's efforts towards achieving a trillion dollar economy.

He also said that the content is going to be created by people outside. “We should make Maharashtra a real hub of media and entertainment. The government should help us with a platform and then we can serve as a provider of all kinds of content--TV, news, films, digital, among others,” Khan said.

Adding to this, Goswami said, “Republic's approach is completely different than it was for Times Now. Then it was television led and it's digital led television, or television leading digital. Republic is digital leads, I think we should talk about larger opportunities available in this country.”

He also underscored the need to create a global center for world news operating out of Mumbai as a service to news. “Republic will be India's first global media entry in the next three years. I had a dream of providing an Indian, South-Asian alternative to the antiquated BBC from India,” he added.

Taking the discussion a step further, Vats mentioned, “Media and Entertainment is real business and is a very job intensive sector. Films are an important component of Media and Entertainment, but media is more holistic now. Media and Entertainment is business, and will grow more rapidly than many other sectors. It is a very job intensive sector too.”

He also raised the point that there isn't a single film in the world where the back-end work has not been done by an Indian or in India. He said, “There isn’t a single major commercial film in this world that hasn’t had an Indian connection. As we drive creativity, we will need to stretch the envelope and as we stretch it, we need to be more tolerant towards creative liberty. Padmaavat is an instance where we, as an industry, as a nation, came together to do the right thing. In India, the experiential entertainment piece is under-indexed. As disposable incomes keep rising and exposure increases, this piece will only grow."

Amazon Prime Video India Director of Content Vijay Subramaniam added, “Cinematic television has not been very strong in India, which is now picking up. We have zillion stories to tell and democratisation of content.”

Rishi Darda, who is part of the print industry, mentioned that they are not just looking at print but also slowly moving towards digital. “A regional newspaper like Lokmat with 3000+ reporters provides a fantastic chance for hyper-local content creation. With print and digital converging, we can be great content partners to any of the panelists here and similar companies. English newspapers and channels are facing more challenges due to digital than local newspapers and channels.”

Concluding the session, Khan said, “We're mainly content creators rather than treating entertainment as a business. People want to consume news based on convenience rather than waiting for timed shows and newspaper deliveries. We should try to make Maharashtra the hub of news and entertainment alike for content from everyone and in all possible regional languages.”

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