The Indian Media and Entertainment (M&E) industry can grow with an annual growth rate of 10-12%, and the AVGC (animation, visual effects, gaming and comics) sector within it can grow with a 14-16% annual growth rate, said Apurva Chandra, Secretary, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (I&B Ministry) on Monday.
Chandra was speaking at a webinar held on the topic of the AVGC task force. After the Finance Ministry’s inclusion of the AVGC sector in the Union Budget 2022, experts came together to share their insights at a webinar conducted by the I&B Ministry.
The session started with an opening note by Chandra, who then went on to invite Atul Kumar Tiwari, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship and others to address the session.
During his welcome note, Chandra mentioned that the Indian Media & Entertainment sector has the potential to rise up to $70 billion in annual revenue by 2030 with an annual growth rate of 10-12%. He added that within the M&E sector, the AVGC, which has seen immense progress in India in the past seven years, will grow at a faster rate with approximately 14-16% annual growth rate.
Tiwari gave the assurance to the industry and all stakeholders of providing all possible support that can come from under the umbrella of the ministry.
While discussing potential India holds in the field of AVGC, Biren Ghose, Country Head, India, Technicolor, who moderated the session, mentioned Meta’s Metaverse launch that was created in Bangalore.
Ashish Kulkarni, Chairman, FICCI AVGC Forum and Founder, Punaryug Artvision, said, “We (Indian industry) make the largest numbers of films. We make content in the largest number of languages. With 1.85 lakh direct employees, and maybe twice that number of indirect employees that we have engaged into the AVGC-XR industry today in India, we believe that by 2030, we would need 20-25 lakh people who would be direct employees.”
Another major concern raised by Kulkarni was about the educational infrastructure for the AVGC sector. He mentioned the government’s expectations and efforts for the sector and added that “creative education, design art education and performing art education is not formalised. It has been a part of extra-curricular activity.”
He also informed the panel about the special curriculum designed in 47 Indian Universities, in collaboration with the M&E Skill Council another major initiative which is taking place, the Media & Entertainment Creative Aptitude Test.
Munjal Shroff, Director & COO, Graphiti Multimedia, put across nine major points –
1. Having Indian creators at the forefront
2. To create global IPs
3. Emphasis on the creative side of education
4. Upskilling talent
5. Creation of Gyan Kosh (Knowledge Bank)
6. Common entrance test for the creative industries
7. Allocating funds to bring in experts
8. Content on animation and games
9. India to offer its expertise to other countries
Keitan Yadav, Chief Operation Officer & VFX Producer redchillies.vfx, said, “What we do today will set the foundation for the next decade and will decide whether India becomes a global player in the entire AVGC space. This sector is a beautiful amalgamation of art and technology so we don’t need any degrees to do well here. Instead, we need some basic training and a passion for art.” He further stressed on practical, dynamic, demand-based training, for the right kind of growth within the sector.
Anil Pant, MD, CEO and Director, Aptech, said that around seven million students have been trained by the institute in the past 35 years. He further said that when a child thinks of career options, animation, VFX, gaming and comics are probably the 30th or 40th in their career options list.
Chaitanya Chinchlikar, VP, Whistling Woods International, brought to light three major concerns. He points out that in AVGC, there’s a very flat hierarchy. “Between the ideator and the worker, it’s just four levels – ideators, creators, managers and executors. Even the executors need to come up with an appropriate blend of art, technology and commerce understanding. This is why all M&E education must cover these three areas.”
Another major point that Chinchlikar raised was the allocation of scholarships from the Central Budget, academic development grants and bringing in global talent for training and education.
Manish Agarwal, CEO, Nazara Technologies, echoed the same chord and mentioned three key areas that AVGC taskforce should look at. He said, “For gaming, we need to look at the desire not just to consume, but to create as well. The desire needs to be channelised.”
He further spoke about major challenges and mentioned ‘curriculum creation’. He said, “We don’t have a set of industries which has been around for 50-60 years which can create a great curriculum.”