M&E CEOspeak: Towards Shreshth Bharat ka Shreshth Entertainment

20 Jun,2014

 

Media & Entertainment captains met with new information and broadcasting minister Prakash Javadekar in New Delhi on Thursday, June 18 convened by the CII. Sudhanshu Vats, Group CEO – Viacom18 Media and Chairman and CII National M&E Committee for 2014-15 made his opening remarks. Excerpts from his speech:

 

A warm welcome to colleagues in the media and entertainment fraternity to this round table conference

I thought individual leaders will talk about the sub-sectors within the media and entertainment sub-sectors so I would very briefly underline the philosophy. We think media and entertainment could be built and taken forward. And also use this opportunity to take this industry from a USD 20-odd bn to100 bn USD by the end of the decade, which roughly translates to about five times over the next six years and almost doubling every three years.

 

Reflecting upon this matter, one of the things that comes to surface is that it is a very dynamic industry. It is an industry which has so many sub-sections and there are so many things which are happening all the time. At the same time, when we reflect upon the election campaign which your party, under the able leadership of Shri Narendra Modi had undertaken. And it reminded me of how each element of media – whether it was social media, outreach to rural areas through mobile vans, 3D holograms, Twitter posts – everything which was being used has been so well understood. I was at times thinking, may be we’ll learn a lesson or two. Having said that, what I wanted to lay down was four areas in which I think the industry would benefit as we go forward.

 

Purpose

The first part, we set out with, is the PURPOSE with which we are going to drive this industry.The purpose, again to derive a phrase from Shri Narendra Modiji, is ‘Shreshth Bharat ka Shreshth Entertainment’. I think, that, if you ask me, is the underlying principle. It has to be about the consumers of this country, and through them, may be, all the global citizens and everyone else.

 

Transparency

It then involves transparency. It involves understanding of the models and allowing the free market free speech to prevail.

 

Accountability

The second piece is accountability. What can we do to actually drive it and let the market forces play?

I think one is single-window clearance, which is needed across the board in our industry, whether we are talking of films, events, licenses…

The second thing which is important is time-bound answers because one of the things that has plagued us at least in the last couple of years, more so, is the inordinate delay in trying to get anything done. To requisition a new channel for an established network, an organization must undergo the rigmarole of thousands of permissions/ clearances.

 

Clarity

The third thing which we seek is clarity. When it comes to clarity, making the policies clear and consistent over a period of time is of essence. And I think this will be very useful for the sector, especially when I talk on behalf of my distribution colleagues. If we have clarity in that sector, our ability to get investments in the industry will go up considerably.

 

Foresight

And the final piece is foresight. As an industry, we may be valued at approximately 22 bn, but I think we have two very important things: the multiplier effect in GDP growth of M&E industry is very well known. In the top G20 countries this multiplier effect is in the range of as high as 5% to 20% of the growth. And it sometimes gets hidden because the size (of the industry) at this time appears small.

 

Our new esteemed prime minister recognized tourism as one of the most important things. Therefore the role which we can play as an industry to grow tourism in India -is by allowing shooting in the country, or whether by showcasing various parts of the country, there are several such things. It is the foresight which we bring in through

 

1. That we have a huge GDP growth multiplier effect

2. We have a huge impact on tourism as an industry
3. And finally when it comes to foresight, as the world moves forward, as India moves forward, convergence of media, telecom and technology will be the key thing as far as consumers are concerned. The implication therefore on manufacturing in technology and manufacturing in other sectors.

 

So with these four things, which are: very clear purpose, clarity of what we want to achieve, accountability, and finally foresight, that this industry has a big role to play, ability to generate direct employment of over 6 million and multiple more hired if you look at all the others concerned, I’d like you to address us and then all my esteemed colleagues to talk about specific issues.

 

Minister of Information & Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar noted the address from various CEOs from the TV, Films, Radio, Print, DTH fraternity. Mr Vats commented on Mr Javadekar’s response to the various issues brought to surface:

“The Hon. Minister of Information & Broadcasting, Mr Javadekar was extremely candid and open to discussion. He was receptive, and spoke from his heart with great conviction. He heard all of us CEOs across media domains and responded to each issue individually. It gives me hope, that if we work together, we shall achieve a 100-bn USD industry, that employs millions of Indians and createshundreds of IPs and products, and build the Shreshth Bharat.”

 

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