Collaboration between government, industry and academia is the key to unlock immense growth potential of India’s AVGC sector, said Biren Ghose, Vice-Chairman, CII National Committee on Media & Entertainment and Country Head Technicolor India, as he underscored various ways to bolster the sunrise sector’s global expansion and tapping new business opportunities on the anvil.
“The AVGC industry has the ability to attract international investors. Millions of dollars of venture money has already come into India in the last 24 to 36 months.
However, investors are looking for a more stable and enabling climate having collaboration between government, industry and academia because this is like the startup round of what they have put in,” he said.
According to Biren Ghose, the AVGC industry, a subset of the larger platform of media and entertainment, grew in India substantially as a b2b industry, where 60-75% of revenues came from global services. “But over the last couple of years, especially during the pandemic, the b2c agenda came to the fore as consumers in India have now embraced entertainment, whether it is on the streaming platforms, or games, like never before, and the revenues are just exponentially higher than ever before,” he added.
Stressing on the importance of developing new skill sets, Biren Ghose said the AVGC sector has the potential to increase its business by 100% in 2-3 years if it can use 100% of its talent. “The sector is constrained only by the fact that we cannot get the required skill sets across the board. The new education policy gives the AVGC sector the ability to plant the seeds at an earlier stage.”
Highlighting some of the existing challenges he asked some very pertinent questions. “With the industry evolving as quickly as it is, how can curriculum keep pace? How will we get the number of faculty that we require to deliver those curriculums? And, can we co-create these new formats in a prior agreement between industry and academia?”
He suggested creation of a white paper, or a document to create a new framework, of how all the emerging sectors can achieve scale. There is a surge in eSports in India and online games are creating a whole new set of opportunities, he observed. “You will soon see launch of some major academies in this domain. So, there is a need to put together a National AVGC Skills Forum,” he said.
In line with the creation of Indian pavilions at international events for films, India should also ensure participation in at least one or two events in animation, visual effects, games and eSports across the world to tap the emerging opportunities for India in this domain, he recommended.
“The government has a unique opportunity to play the role of a facilitator while performing its duties of setting the guidelines for both the national as well as citizen interest. We need to leave regulations to the industry with oversight from the government to ensure that its legitimacy and compliance are in order. We’re seeing that in some industries like gaming, there needs to be greater clarity and understanding of what skill is and what is gambling,”
Biren Ghose said. According to the Country Head of Technicolor India, the AVGC industry stakeholders need to find ways to create a content pipeline “because content is a big investment vehicle. And also how virtual production and new technological tools can help revive and grow our traditional film and television industry is something that needs more focused approach”.
Biren Ghose also said that the AVGC industry has become as large as the 100-year-old Indian film industry, which shows that it requires special attention, focus and strategy to grow to the next level. “Various initiatives are taking place in different states, across businesses, such as studios, academic institutions, and even associations that have been formed for the artists themselves. And each of these require now to connect with the other parties – government, industry and academia,” he said.
Speaking on the way forward, the industry veteran observed that talent becomes skills, and then skills become productive. “And that’s how the journey goes. I keep hearing in our creative technology sector that it’s all about inspiration. But I always say that, yes, while it is all about inspiration, there is a lot of perspiration also involved in that. So the combination of those two will produce a result, because
talent counts but effort counts twice as much.”