No other M&E forum brings together thought leaders and creative heads as Frames: Leena Jaisani

07 Mar,2013

The 14th edition of Ficci Frames is all set for a gala opening next week at Hotel Renaissance, Powai in Mumbai. Like every year, the organizers attempt to bring all stakeholders of the media and entertainment industry under one roof enabling them to engage with the fast changing M&E ecosystem.

 

The underlying theme of Ficci Frames for 2013 is ‘Engaging One Billion Consumers’. According to Leena Jaisani, Senior Director – Media and Entertainment, Ficci,We work to make sure the entire media and entertainment sector takes the next big leap in maximising monetization, therefore the theme of engaging a billion consumers.”

 

In an interaction with MxMIndia’s JOHNSON NAPIER, Jaisani said that while the industry has made spectacular progress in the last 20 years in increasing the intensity of engagement with the Indian consumer through superior content – there is still a gap in its ability to monetize the engagement and use the resources generated to advance both access and content. “Frames will offer an opportunity to put these developments into perspective, look at the larger picture and engage on such a bold and important theme.” Excerpts:

 

01. What has been the attempt by Ficci to make this year’s event more relevant and updated on topics concerning the Indian M&E industry?

This is the 14th Edition of Ficci Frames and every year we bring all stakeholders of the media and entertainment industry and engage them with the fast changing M&E ecosystem. In today’s digital media world, adapting with the pace of change is key to the relevance of the industry. We try out best to reflect this dynamism at Ficci Frames. Last year, our theme was ‘Embracing the Digital World’. The year before that it was ‘Unlocking Profitability for the media & entertainment industry’. This year it is ‘Engaging One Billion Consumers’. We work to make sure the entire media and entertainment sector takes the next big leap in maximising monetization, therefore the theme of engaging a billion consumers.

 

While the industry has made spectacular progress in the last 20 years in increasing the intensity of engagement with the Indian consumer through superior content – there is still a gap in our ability to monetize the engagement and use the resources generated to advance both access and content. Frames will offer an opportunity for us to put these developments into perspective, look at the larger picture and engage on such a bold and important theme.

 

02. How according to you has the Indian M&E industry expanded over the last year – in terms of size and revenue?

We will get to know the exact numbers when we get to take a look at the Ficci-KPMG Report on the sector. We are the right direction and going by trends and performance of the Indian M&E sector we are growing approx. 12 per cent upwards.

 

Digitization has given a huge fillip to the broadcast sector. Digital advertising is the fastest growing medium and the growth is largely driven by Internet penetration and proliferation of new devices. Cinema is growing and Hindi films alone grossed over $1billion in box office last year. The regional cinema is also growing. Our overseas growth is on the rise with Indian content reaching out to new territories.

 

We are confident that the M&E sector can surprise every other sector in the country in providing inclusive growth, providing employment and wealth opportunities and a large number of population that are not involved in the economic progress of the country will be brought into the fold of growth.

 

03. What is unique about the speakers who’ve been lined up for Ficci Frames 2013?

Every year we have a line-up of almost 200 speakers. We have been doing it year after year. No other M&E forum in this region brings best thought leaders and creative heads from within and outside the country. Our idea is to engage and grow the industry with the brightest minds and shared best practises from across the globe.

 

This year we have a healthy mix of studio heads, CEO’s; creative visionaries, film-makers, social commentators and top academics from leading international media schools. It will be an exciting three days with three SAARC ministers for the first time at Frames; Andy Bird and Anne Sweeney the international heads of Walt Disney, Robert Bakish, the international head and member of the Viacom board; Andy Kaplan the head of Sony Pictures Television, Dominic Proctor, the President of Group M; Nita Ambani, the chairperson of the Dhirubhai Ambani Foundation; Film personalities like Mira Nair, Shabana Azmi, Gurinder Chadha, Zoya Akhtar , Anurag Kashyap, Rahul Bose, Kaajol; Priyanka and others and almost every CEO of Indian media conglomerates and India heads of international ones which has always been the hallmark of Frames.

 

This year is significant as we are steered by our new Chairman, Mr Uday Shankar, CEO, Star India and Co-chair of Ficci Frames, Mr Karan Johar (who has been a driving force for long). We are also missing the presence of our beloved and leading light – our chairman for over a decade Shri Yash Chopra who passed away last year.

 

The year 2013 promises to be an interesting and momentous one for the media and entertainment industry in India. It is the 100th year of Indian Cinema – few industries have survived for a century, let alone grown and remained relevant for such a large population. Cinema has pervaded all walks of our life, has survived the onslaught of technology and is now deeply ingrained in the Indian psyche. It is also the year when the industry readies itself for yet another round of transformation driven by technology.

 

04. What has been the attempt to see that all domains under M&E are adequately represented at Ficci Frames 2013?

We do cover all verticals in the Media and Entertainment spectrum, though cinema and broadcast dominate the sector. We are in a transmedia world today. Today, the business models revolves around maximising the power of content through various mediums and platforms. We are witnessing big changes in the way our industry works. Today, TV serials are tested on the Internet before getting green lighted for a TV show. Popular games become films or TV shows. We have to be focussed, but deliberations are changing. Every vertical is interlinked.

 

05. What are the benefits that the Indian M&E industry can pick up from partnering country Korea at Ficci Frames 2013?

South Korea is the partner country at Ficci Frames 2013 and this year is significant as Korea and India celebrate the 40th year of the establishment of diplomatic relations. There is huge potential for collaboration in films, animation, gaming, technology and service offshoring between the two countries. Leading Korean companies in animation, broadcasting, mobile gaming , and film will be available for biz matching. There is a huge synergy as India is looking at innovation from Korea and vice-versa they are looking at engaging Indian media companies for offshore services – especially in animation, gaming and VFX.

 

The Koreans will come with a strong delegation and we have arranged day-long b2b meetings so that our industry can forge commercial ties as well plan mutually beneficent projects. There will be important sessions on Animation on the first day including a case study on the making of Porroro, a series which has world-wide acclaim for industry to take away key learnings.

 

06. What are your expectations from the I&B Minister at Ficci Frames 2013? Would you be taking up key issues confronting the industry with the Minister?

We constantly engage with the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting. We focus at partnering with the government to create a business-friendly along with a high and sustained growth environment. At the same time, Government can influence growth in the sector through enabling media policies and also work towards trimming entertainment tax. The I&B Ministry has done its best in representing Indian M&E sector to the Finance Ministry.

 

07. What is the response that you’ve garnered from the corporate sector in terms of participation and sponsorship for Ficci Frames this year?

The industry has always supported Ficci Frames as the leading annual conclave for the M&E industry in India; and we have always received overwhelming support in terms of participation, not only from Indian industry delegates, but also eminent people from the international arena. We are proud to have established Ficci Frames as an apex gathering of the best minds of the M&E industry from across the world.

 

08. What would be the attempt to convert key outcomes that get raised at the event into actionable reality?

As always, key outcomes in terms of the core issues plaguing each domain will be put in our white paper and submitted to the government after discussion with our Entertainment Committee and then actively followed up. Smaller core-group meetings based on these findings will be arranged through the year.

 

09. Personally, which will be the sessions you’ll be rooting for at Ficci Frames 2013?

I would be looking at every session that offers new ideas on emerging business models and innovation that would help us connecting and engaging with one billion consumers. The session “Engaging A Billion Consumers” is very important as it will set the tone for the conference. Apart from that, “Perception & Portrayal of Women in Film & TV: The Regressive Gene?” is a discussion I am looking forward to along with the panel on “The Gag Orders : Are We Stifling Creative Expression?”. The sessions on Sports Broadcasting and the SAARC Ministers Panel and Making a 1000 crore Blockbuster all are very promising. Actually for me it is very difficult to pick favourites as we have envisaged the entire content of the programme with a great deal of research and hard work and I wish each session success.

 

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