India is emerging as a hub to dub for Hollywood and European language films,” says Manish Dutt and Krishi Dutt of VR Films & Studios Ltd, . Meet them at the American Film Market 2019 for all your localisation needs
Manish Dutt along with his brother Krishi Dutt runs India’s biggest dubbing company, managing over 900 artistes who lend their voices in several languages to keep his pipeline engaged. Even after clocking 50,000+ hours of dubbing and witnessing 80 percent year-on-year growth, Manish’s VR Films is hungry for more.
“India is emerging as a hub to dub for Hollywood and European language films,” says Manish, Managing Director, VR Films. “We are positioning ourselves to be a one-stop shop for all dubbing and sub-titling requirements. Our dubbing company is making Hollywood in India.” VR Films is a “Limited” company now…with shares listed on BSE SME Platform- first dubbing company in India and second in the world to achieve this.
What is your major objective and focus at American Film Market 2019?
This AFM we have strategized to be very specific for new Titles provided they are different in terms of content and from what we already have in our basket. We have a string of new Titles which are in production and slated for 2020/21 delivery. Markets in India Sub Continent have been quite lukewarm where Theatrical and TV platforms for foreign content are concerned and this contributes towards being more cautious for future acquisitions.
However we will be very aggressive for our Dubbing business and have meets lined up with leading Hollywood Film Studios and OTT platforms as there is a big demand for Indian Localisation of International Content.
Post listing of VR Films & Studio in the BSE and NSE SMEs platform, how has been response from clients and investors?
We started on a very promising note…with our IPO getting oversubscribed 1.7 times. Our share price has more than doubled from INR 61 (listing price) to INR 130 (current price)….more than double in 6 months of listing with Dividend payout @10%.
For Oct 2019 – March 2020 we expect to do 4 times more YOY.
Tell us about your film “The Courier” to be released in India this November? What are your acquisitions and co-production plans?
“The Courier” is an Action Thriller starring Gary Oldman, Olga Kurylenko and Dermot Mulroney. It’s a fast paced movie which we shall exploit Theatrically and Digitally in 9 Indian languages apart from English…namely Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Bangla, Marathi, Urdu and Bhojpuri.
We are in talks for a co-production too with European makers…and shall take it forward during this AFM. We also intend to get into producing Hindi Films and have been exploring opportunities.
Streaming platforms are hot now… How has VR Films benefited from OTT from dubbing perspective?
They form a major chunk of our dubbing business…almost 60-65%. We have been dubbing for streaming platforms since 2018…for one major we dubbed their series and features…nearly 2000 hours in just 3 months in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam and Bangla.
We are in talks with more OTT platforms and shall soon have them onboard….including the major one. Content localisation for OTT is a huge business opportunity which will grow in leaps in times ahead.
What are your thoughts on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Make in India initiative and how do you think companies like VR Films are embracing it?
Our PM is a visionary. Where VR Films is concerned we have been dubbing for leading International Film Studios and TV Platforms since 2000. We started with no Dubbing Studio and today we have more than 65 Dubbing Studios across India…localising Foreign Content in Hindi and regional Indian languages. At times we run double shifts to keep up with the demand. VR Films Studios are known for quality and exemplary service. We deliver much before time. Our clients have been with us since years and we keep adding new ones. OTT platforms have contributed majorly in our recent growth and VR Films will surely do India proud where “Dubbing in India” is concerned.
Do you see slowdown in the market — especially in your services business?
Fortunately not. Dubbing will grow in times ahead. It makes business sense to dub existing successful content in various languages and monetise. India is a growing market…it’s vast and has huge requirements. Each region has its specific language and the platforms will woo audiences by proving content in their specific languages. Apart from entertainment content there is educational/health related content which will be exploited in times ahead. Recently a platform approached us to dub Literature/Novels in various languages. Opportunities are huge and we at VR Films have always kept our eyes and ears open to grab