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Can’t be a more compelling ‘Make-In-India’ story than M&E: Sanjay Gupta, Star India

05-March-2018
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Can’t be a more compelling ‘Make-In-India’ story than M&E: Sanjay Gupta, Star India

India is well on its way to take the world by surprise when it comes to the Media and Entertainment sector. First it was movies (read Bollywood) then came television content and now with the proliferation of handheld devices, thanks to low cost data, the industry has bowled everyone by its quantity and quality. Sanjay Gupta, Managing Director, Star India, emphasised on both at a recent event held in Mumbai.
He also went about explaining how digital is unleashing the power of new screens with the power of connectivity and low cost data. Over 35 crore more screens across the country have been lit up. Gupta said, “With more and more affordable smartphones coming to the market, we are adding more than 1 crore new smart screens every month. By the end of 2018, we would have added another 16 crore screens. This means that we will have 51 crore new screens on which us Indians will be engaging with all kinds of stories be it drama or sports, films or news. In a short period of 24 months, we have moved up from 16 crore TV screens and 9000 cinema halls to 67 crore screens. This is set to explode how we engage with stories – the time we spend, what we like, how deeply we follow them, and above all, how to have a two way conversation with both stories and storytellers.”

Already India has a great starting point with production of over 60,000 hours of original television content, (12 times of the US) and 2000 film releases across languages as against Hollywood’s 700. He went on to point out that India is the global leader in technology across graphics, animation and VFX, cases in point were certain VFX effects created by an Indian animation studio and even ‘Avatar’s’ visual effects were powered by an Indian firm.

Gupta enlightened the audience with consumption patterns of the country especially with regard to indigenous content. “99 per cent of the stories that India loves and engages with have been created by us. Our very own Indian Super League is 20 times bigger than EPL in viewership. In my mind, there can’t be a more compelling ‘Make In India’ story for this country than the Media & Entertainment industry,” he said. 

But the question on setting global standards for creativity and quality was raised, to which Gupta suggested some pointers saying, “We need to import almost all formats for reality television. We are not exporting our stories or our ideas to the world – not getting them to talk about “Ye Hai Mohabbatein”, not getting them to follow ISL."

"We need to challenge the constraints of 8 pm prime time, daily and hourly news formats and 22 minute episode lengths. There is no need to follow any templates in content - no longer does a scorecard need to appear at the bottom of the screen in every cricket match. No longer does the viewing of sports need to involve only watching. It could be and should be Watch & Play", he added.

Change is required even from stakeholders, Gupta insisted. “Our ambition, the ambition of every stakeholder in this room and beyond, needs to change dramatically. Our standards of quality need to change. The way we use technology needs to change. The magnitude of our investments needs to change. We need to rethink business models from the ground up,” said Gupta.

Tags media and entertainment Sanjay Gupta Star India Network

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