India: The Animation Hub?
A recent study on the animation industry by NASSCOM shows that the global animation production market is set for major growth. The study, which is based on multiple statistical projections on the market, from segments such as industry sources, Pixel Inc. and Arthur Andersen (Study on the Entertainment and Media sector) forecasts that the global animation market will generate revenues worth US$50-70 billion by 2005. Total animation production by Indian producers meanwhile is expected to touch US$1.5 billion by 2005 (Arthur Andersen’s study on the Entertainment and Media sector).
India is gradually positioning itself as a significant provider of animation production
services. The country’s strengths and edge in the market include the following:
• A vast base of English speaking manpower: animation, which requires a familiarity with the English language, benefits when the work is outsourced to India. Besides, a number of initiatives are underway in the country targeted at creating skill manpower for the animation market
• Presence of animation studios: a number of Indian cities already boast hi-tech animation studios (equipped with state-of-the-art hardware and software) which are successfully completing projects from overseas companies. There are atleast 12 animation studios in India that are global class with the relevant hardware software and communications infrastructure, experience, skill sets and consumer profile
• Low cost of animation services: India’s edge in terms of pricing is stated to be unmatched. Compared to countries like US and Canada or even Korea, and the Philippines, the Indian animation costs are the lowest. NASSCOM’s study shows that while the rates for production of half hour TV animation programme would be around US$ 250,000-400,000, in the US and Canada, it is in the region of US$ 60,000 in India
• India’s large entertainment sector: Owing to a prolific entertainment segment, India has a ready supply of content developers
• Heritage of traditional literature: Indian content developers also have exposure and access to rich heritage of traditional literature. This would offer the potential for content-based partnerships.
• Studios that are well equipped: The larger film production studios in India are equipped with state-of-the-art computer hardware and software platforms The main end use segments of animation, which constitute opportunity areas for animation producers in India are feature film production, TV programmes, Advertising/commercials and Games. The Indian domestic market too is throwing up revenue generation prospects for ICT solutions providers specializing in this market. The requirement by the burgeoning Indian television segment for animation and special effects related work is also giving a fillip to this segment. Recognizing this potential, a number of Indian software players are turning their attention to animation. Animation studios now dot
the country and the industry is also witnessing the arrival of training houses that are dedicated to building skilled manpower for this market. By all account, the animation production industry in India has the potential to grow into a major export engine for the country. Indian design studios are gradually establishing their credentials in overseas geographies, gaining valuable experience
and building their skill sets in this high potential global market. With some incentives provided to this segment, India can not only catch up with competitors such as the Philippines, Korea and Taiwan, it can easily exceed their potential.