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UK investors eyeing India’s booming media market

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UK investors eyeing India’s booming media market

The exchange4media Group and ETI Dynamics, a UK-based economic development and investments firm, organised the New World Media Investment Forum in London on December 2-3, 2010. The Forum focused on the integration of the media industry from emerging markets into the established global media industry. The primary objective of the Forum was to increase collaborations, highlight new business models, showcase new technology platforms and further the flow of investments into the emerging markets.

Highlighting the need for the event, Sanmit Ahuja, Chief Executive, ETI Dynamics, said, “The world is getting multi-polar, therefore, the discussions should also bring the high growth markets such as India into the mainstream. For the UK and other developed countries, growth will come from the BRIC and other nations. But they do not fully understand these new markets. Hence, platforms like the New Media World Investment forum can act as a catalyst to bridge this gap. It’s aptly titled to reflect the new world order.”

Leaders from the UK and Indian media industry participated and shared their thoughts on collaboration between the two countries in this space. Eminent names who spoke at the event included: Gurinder Chadha, Filmmaker; Shailendra Singh, Joint MD, Percept Pictures; Patrick von Sychowski, Global Head of Strategy, Reliance Media Works; RC Venkateish, CEO, Dish TV; James Tye, CEO, Dennis Publishing ; Mickey Kalifa, Corporate Development Director, Sportech Plc; Sanmit Ahuja, CEO, ETI Dynamics, and Anurag Batra, Chairman & Editor-in-Chief, exchange4media Group.

Digital media has played a major role in fostering business relationships around the world and will also redefine India-UK trade linkages by 2015. Elaborating more, Sanmit Ahuja said “An array of subject matter industry experts confirmed and predicted during the conference that in the coming year’s collaboration between India and UK-based entrepreneurs is set to grow around the digital platforms.”

Here are a few highlights from the event:

On Collaboration Models: Ahuja discussed the distinctive nature of the UK and the Indian economy and focused on long term plans of the forum to bridge the information gap and enhance media investments in India in the future. Anurag Batra elaborated on the high growth opportunities and discussed the role of the conference as being a catalyst for media communication investments in India. Mickey Kalifa highlighted the gigantic opportunity in online and predication gaming and spoke on Sportech Plc’s JV with India’s Essel Group providing them the expertise and using their distribution and marketing platform. Nikhil Bahel focused on access to content and distribution platforms and recommended to start by partnering with a high brand Indian company.

On Filmed Entertainment: Gurinder Chadha passionately spoke of her models of creating films that appealed to both the Indian and global audiences. There aren’t enough filmmakers of Indian origin in the West, who are addressing a global need. She encouraged more ethnic filmmakers to come to the fore and experiment with new ideas while keeping the global sensitivity in mind. She also noted that the traditional distribution models would come under intense pressure and competition. Shailendra Singh classified the factors to consider while producing or investing in a film project, which, according to him, were the 3Cs – Costs, Content and Consumer. In addition, Singh also spoke about the emergence of youth and corporate participation in the Indian media industry. Girish Malik, another noted filmmaker, remarked that the industry would see a dramatic rise in smaller budget films as the big-budget model had failed spectacularly.

On Print Media: James Tye, CEO, Dennis Publishing, was quite brand focused and was positive about regional entries to capture the fragmented market. He also predicted that the FDI would increase to 49 per cent in the coming times from the current 26 per cent.

On Cable and Broadcast: RC Venkateish, CEO, Dish TV, traced the evolution of the Indian cable industry and predicted future growth of HD and 3D television in the times to come. He also spoke about the importance of content and discussed the capital intensive nature of the cable industry.

On Digital Media and Advertising: Saurav Chopra of Bytemobile and Roopak Saluja of Bang Bang Films spoke of integration services, which clubbed social media and offline branding initiatives.

On Private Equity and Venture Finance: Mahendra Swarup , President, Indian Venture Capital and PE Association, aggressively promoted investments in India and also spoke about current undervaluation of Indian technology start-ups. He also narrated his personal experiences and advised the investors to focus on companies that had good management teams, addressed an Indian point of view and had opportunities of scalability in the future. Swarup also advised investors to buy out an Indian company rather than working with them in a JV, particularly since the absolute value of the companies was still very low.

Hussein Kanji, Partner Hoxton Ventures, spoke about the lack of product development talent in India and the availability of high venture capital. Having experience in a number of tech start-ups, he believed India to be an exceptionally high growth platform in the times to come.

The various sessions have opened the path for further discussions and debates in the times to come for the industry. The New World Media Investment Forum will now be an annual affair involving high growth countries like Brazil, Russia, China and Turkey in the coming years.



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