This is what former Walt Disney India’s managing director Ronnie Screwvala said at CII BIG PICTURE SUMMIT 2012.
Ronnie Screwvala is now Chairman & Co Founder – upGrad and Founder – Swades Foundation
How do we take the Indian M&E industry to a true B2C business? How do we get 200 million people to pay Rs 1,500 rupees a month (Rs 18,000 per annum) to consume media and entertainment. Overall, collectively as an industry figure out how and what are the maths that can get us to that consumption. That, I think is a game changer for what we want to do
Intellectual property and franchisees: Overall, there is a dearth of what we can do when we look at a massive scale where we can scale up content that spans almost every aspect of the verticals. Today, it is no longer TV and movies. The entire new media is a large space we should look at. From that perspective how do we necessarily do that is critical.
To me personally, Broadband is a complete game changer for this country. It is not going to takeaway anything from this country. There are a fair amount of few naysayers who think that broadband will be coming and television will be out. Broadcasting for the next two decades, given the overall consumption patterns, given the rural penetration and given the overall habits is here to stay. Broadband is going to augment this. To me the interesting part about broadband not only after the technological ones of able to consume what, when and how is the fact that Indian DNA to pay for content is fresh. It is a fresh start mindset when we look at broadband. Nobody is going to pay Rs 6 from Rs 5 to watch CNBC channel in cable. But everybody is willing to pay Rs 100 for an app on broadband for that same channel consumption. Personally, I do believe today in India bandwidth is going to be more valuable than oil. If that is the investment that we can make we have got be hitch our court on that ride as we go forward.
I have to say overall, that in terms of creativity we do have a long way to go. We have seen that kind of creativity in the last twenty years. If you look at Television, some soaps have gone to segmentation of reality and most of them are license and formatted shows. Look at any and every aspect of our business and if you look at comparing anywhere else in the world where growth triggering happens is really when the creativity has gone to the absolute next level of growth.
Events and ground events has tremendous amount of scope. I call it experiential entertainment. Genuinely in our country given our lack of infrastructure in most Indian cities to get out of the city or to do anything else or spend your money on anything else other than being a couch potato is almost negligible because there is anything out there. The appeal for us with a little bit of infrastructure and little bit of creativity to experiential entertainment is going to be an extremely promising one to trigger growth. And, that’s a pure B2C model. It is not advertising dependent and it is not piracy dependent. Because, you cannot pirate it.
Education is a realm of many aspects and outside of the media and entertainment business. But, in India compared to most other markets a combination of education with people who understand this business best. Today in India outside of the infrastructure and getting people to schools is really how we teach them. As content creators and platform operators we know that better than most people. If there is a way we can harness education and entertainment and make it edutainment there is a tremendous opportunity.
We cannot underestimate the power of rural India. It looks like the bottom leg of the 600 million people but with the absolute resurgence of entrepreneurship in this country , with the resurgence of land and the wealth creation that the rural land will create combined with agriculture which is going through its next revolution we are going to find a lot more spending power in those places than never before.