Indian film industry needs to be corporatised: experts

Tuesday, 17 October 2006, 07:00 Hrs
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London: The Indian film industry needs to be organised on a corporate basis before it can attract foreign investment, according to experts at a major conference on the Indian media and entertainment here.

Over 200 delegates from Britain and India attended the Commonwealth Business Council-FICCI India Media and Entertainment Forum to explore partnerships and exchange ideas Tuesday.

Experts from India made the case for attracting foreign investment, but private equity experts at the conference said the Indian film industry needed to be corporatised to attract significant investment.

Opening the media forum, Mohan Kaul, Director-General of the Commonwealth Business Council (CBC), said: "It's one of the fastest growing industries and the CBC wants to be part of it."

Noted film-maker Shekhar Kapur, who is exploring the potential of the Indian animation industry, warned that while the media and entertainment industry had a bright future, it must continue innovating.

Kunal Dasgupta, Chief Executive, Sony Entertainment, said: "There are over 40 news channels in India. It is the place to set up business for global reach".

Focussing on the need to organise the film industry on a corporate basis, Sandeep Pahwa, Global Head Media, HSBC, said this included achieving more clarity in the regulation environment, and the need to improve corporate governance and leveragability. He observed that the scale and scope of investment in the Indian media had not even begun.

Barclays, which stopped gap-financing films some time ago is now venturing into financing Indian films. "Gap-financing is very risky," said Adrian Young, Head of Media, Barclays, "but we are interested in refinancing to help directors produce films".

CBC sources said that the global media and entertainment industry was projected to be worth $1.8 trillion by 2010. The worth of the Indian media and entertainment industry was $4.5 billion and was expected to grow in double digits at 18 percent per annum compounded annually over the next five years, to reach over $10 billion by 2009.

The largest contributor to this growth will be the television segment followed closely by the film segment, according to CBC estimates.

The CBC represents 53 Commonwealth nations, including developed economies like Britain, Singapore, Canada and developing countries like India and Malaysia. The Commonwealth is the world's second largest trading bloc after the EU, handling trade worth $2.8 trillion annually and with FDI outflows of over $160 billion.

Stimulating investment flows to the developing nations of the world is one of the main aims of the CBC.

Source: IANS
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