* Last week’s Bollywood strike, the first major shutdown in four decades, marked a watershed. It was the assertion of the worker who feels left out as Bollywood soars with bigger money. Over the few years, it has transformed.
* India makes more films than any other country in the world. Ticket sales: 4 billion a year; 150,000 people work in the industry.
For decades, Bollywood relied primarily on private financiers, moneylenders and the mafia; that dependence also prevented modernization of business or progressive, pro-worker policies.
* It was recognized as an industry only in 2001, bringing in institutional finance and corporate giants — making cheque payments the norm rather than the exception, for the first time.
Growth is zooming, and so is the clamour for better pay and work conditions for the workers. India’s film industry has averaged about 14 per cent annual growth.
* Over the next five years, Bollywood revenues are projected to grow 13 per cent annually to Rs 17,550 crore by 2012. The industry worldwide is forecast to average 5 per cent growth in this period.
There are more than a dozen filmmaking companies in India that are now listed on the stock exchange, compared to almost none a decade ago. Some have seen revenues triple in 5 years.
* In 2007, the entertainment and media sector in the country got $211 million in foreign investment. Walt Disney has taken a stake in UTV and tied up with Yash Raj Films for animation movies.
Earlier this year, Steven Spielberg signed a $1.5-billion deal with the Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group to set up a studio that will help Indian directors gain a foothold in Hollywood and vice-versa.