The World of Animation: Where do we stand on a global platform? [TDIS]

pixar animationThe Indian animation industry today stands at Rs.12 billion, and is projected to grow to Rs.42 billion by 2009. This may seem a lot but this is just 1-2% when compared with the US animation industry. The Indian film industry is the most prolific film industry of the world with more than 300 films releasing per year. But the sad fact remains that very few of them are animated.

According to National Association of Software & Service Companies (NASSCOM), the Indian animation industry recorded revenues of US$354 million in 2006, a 24 percent growth over the previous year. The sector is also forecasted to attain revenues of US$869 million by 2010, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 25% over the 2006-2010 period.

for-the-birds-pixarIn India, animation as an industry is based on 2 key factors:

  1. Large pool of highly skilled labour (most of them English knowing)

  2. Low cost of production

Being in its nascent stage, the animation industry in India has not been very stable. Although it is stepping into the next era of development, certain factors like education facilities, funds, infrastructure and constant development of original content need to be stressed upon.

Question remains: Can India outperform or come at par with advanced animation content creating countries like South Korea and China?

Here there are two ways in which Indian animation industry can grow:

  1. By taking outsourced projects from countries like the UK and the US:
    This is a typical case of ‘onsite-offshore’ model. Key factor here is to develop original content that appeals to audiences in America, the UK, and Europe.
  2. By catering to domestic needs itself:
    There is a large number of good quality literature available in India to build animated stories upon; Tenali Raman, Hanuman, etc. are to quote a few. But to create global brands, content should have a universal appeal. The best way to ensure wholesome training is to invite global animation experts to train people in our Indian production houses that provide animated content.

India definitely has some advantages and potential to develop the animation industry. Training, investing heavily in the industry, and providing original and compelling content, will be critical to its growth. The encouraging news is that while the primary work coming to India is through animation outsourcing, the industry is moving up to the next level, with some co-production assignments also trickling in – slowly, but surely.

As for the Indian gaming segment which hit the US$48 million in 2006, the Association (NASSCOM) expects it to exceed US$424 million by 2010, at a CAGR of 72% over the 5-year period.

Finally, with over 112 million TV households including 68 million cable and satellite ones and over 200 million phones including both wireless and fixed-lines, India continues to evoke bullish sentiments in the broadcasting and mobile entertainment sectors; with GDP growing at the rate of 8-9%, India’s future definitely looks promising.

(Image credits: jimhillmedia & flixter)

This article is part of the new section TDIS (Thank Devil Its Sunday!). Read more about this section.]