India Content Explodes Into West


India was the object of a special focus on Monday and its impressive media developments warranted the special treatment. Three top executives – Subhash Chandra, founder and chairman of Zee Network, Ronnie Screwvala, founder and CEO of UTV Group and Sony TV India’s Kunal Dasgupta – all spoke of the major media explosion about to happen in India.

Screwvala warned media companies which thought they could profit from India’s boom period that they had to be prepared to add value.

It was especially important to take note of the massive market of young people who were no longer interested in watching a three hour movie. Content makers had to understand how young India wants to spend its money and “if we can’t get that right, we will lose out’.

Chandra, who is likened to Mumbai’s closest equivalent of Rupert Murdoch, traced the entertainment history of the country which inherited the English language from the British colonial rule. He placed the start date of the Indian entertainment industry at 1912. Today there are over 1,000 television stations with a further 100 awaiting approval.

India was increasingly adopting new platforms like web, mobile and IPTV and repacking content and creating new content. He predicted that there would be a period of intense competition which would lead to an era of co-production.

Chandra’s own expansion includes the recent launch by Zee Network in the US of Veria, a health and wellness channel in which he has invested $200 million and which he believes will find a niche acceptance throughout the world.

  • Look out for further information on world developments in the Nov/ Dec issue of Screen Africa


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