Power of content will shape the future: Uday Shankar

Content will drive economic value for India. Our goal is to make M&E a key item on Govt’s agenda, says Chairman, FICCI M&E Committee

e4m by Synjini Nandi
Updated: Feb 19, 2013 8:17 PM
Power of content will shape the future: Uday Shankar

The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) is all set to launch the 14th edition of India’s business conclave on media and entertainment, FICCI FRAMES 2013.

Chairman and Co-Chairman of the Media and Entertainment Committee, Uday Shankar and Karan Johar respectively unveiled the theme of the conclave ‘A tryst with destiny: Engaging a billion consumers’.

“While the industry has made spectacular progress in the last 20 years in increasing the intensity of engagement with the Indian consumer through superior content, there is still a gap in our ability to monetise the engagement and use the resources generated to advance both, access and content,” said Shankar.

He explained that radio as a business is still young in terms of content and the opportunitites need to grow. New media such as mobile, animation, which are called the soft power sector, provide huge opportunities and depict what we are capable of.

At FRAMES 2013, the aim is to deliberate on the growth of the industry and find ways to maximise both, its creative and economic potential by engaging with the billion strong consumer base in our country.

The line-up of speakers will include Andy Bird, Chairman, Walt Disney International; Anne Sweeney, Co-Chair, Walt Disney International & President Disney ABC Television Group; Bob Bakish, CEO, Viacom Media International; Teri Schwartz, Dean, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA); Colin Maclay, MD, Berkman Center for Internet and Society, Harvard University; Andy Kaplan, President, International Networks, Sony Pictures Television; Mira Nair, Film-maker; Dominic Proctor, President, GroupM Worldwide; Seymour Stein, Vice President, Warner Bros Music; David Womart, Producer of Oscar-nominated Life of Pi; Film maker Gurinder Chaddha; Jonathan Taplin, Director, Annenberg School of Innovation, The University of California School of Communications and Journalism; Andy Weltman, International Head of Pinewood Studios; Graham Broadbent, British producer of Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

“In the next ten years, FICCI will have its hands full in working with the industry and its stakeholders. The power of content is enormous and will help shape the future as well as help develop economic value for the country. The opportunity that we have today in front of us to develop a much larger scale of employment of all socio-economic categories of people and a better side of the media and entertainment will become predominant. Hence, I would like to work closely with all stakeholders to ensure we make media and entertainment a key item on the Government's agenda.” 

Shankar also believes that the political establishment of the country has unfortunately viewed media and entertainment either as propoganda or as glamour. It has failed to see this industry as a driver of economic and social change. With the right set of policies, and legislative initiatives and enablers, this is a sector which can surprise every other sector in the Indian economy. The media and entertainment sector has an enormous potential for making a considerable contribution not only to the GDP of the country, but also as a harbinger of social change.  

Co-Chairman Karan Johar stated, “Proactivity is very important at the governance level. Our potential of growth is still minor compared to what it could be. The media and entertainment industry has the potential to become a catalyst for social change and a force of good for every niche of society. FICCI Frames has been the most eminent platform for the media and entertainment sector and its initiatives over the past decade have improved the quality of content generation, skill development and stature of the industry. We believe that our new agenda will be the change agent for social and commercial development, connecting a billion people, while shaping and informing their opinions and getting influenced by their collective needs in turn.”

All key stakeholders and regulators will be present as well –Minister of Information and Broadcasting Manish Tewari; Uday Kumar Varma, Secretary, Information & Broadcasting, Government of India; Rahul Khullar, Chairman, TRAI; Jay Panda, Member of Parliament; Naina Lal Kidwai, President, FICCI; Heads of all major media and entertainment conglomerates, as well as film makers such as Anurag Kashyap, Dibakar Banerjee, Zoya Akhtar and Sujoy Ghosh.

FICCI’s policy representation on media and entertainment industry
In television, fiscal measures to ease various duties on cable, broadcasting and DTH verticals, and remedying transponder capacity would boost industry expansion.
In radio, FDI being raised to 49 per cent according to TRAI recommendations and resolving licensing and spectrum issues will enhance profitability as much as introducing sports broadcasting.
For the film industry, the Cinematograph Act needs to be urgently amended, so that there are no impediments to its screening once the censor board passes a film. Also, film professionals need to be taxed more reasonably.
In animation and gaming, a 10-year tax holiday, co-production treaties, reduction in import duties and infrastructure development will completely regenerate the vertical to new heights.
OOH, music and internet too need closer attention. Inadequate wire-line infrastructure in the country affects broadband penetration. A sustained programme of broadband roll-out will improve content consumption manifold and open up incremental revenue streams for content owners.

FICCI FRAMES 2013 will be held from March 12 to 14, 2013 at Hotel Renaissance, Mumbai, India.

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