India's prolific film industry is set to top revenues of $3.3 billion by 2010, as it rides new technologies and a booming economy to expand at 18 percent a year, an industry lobby said on Monday.
India makes about 1,000 films a year, second only to the U.S., but the industry remains fragmented and largely opaque, with formal funding still limited and profits rare in the face of largely formula fare.
Still, India's family-owned entertainment firms, most of which are in business in Mumbai's Hindi film industry called Bollywood, have moved toward a more corporate structure since banks were first allowed to fund films in 2001.
The Indian film industry's revenues currently stand at 68 billion rupees ($1.5 billion).
India needs to standardise taxes, promote multiplexes and boost the animation industry to drive growth in the sector, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry said in a report to India's Planning Commission.
"Though the (animation) industry is growing in leaps and bounds, the full potential is yet to be tapped," it said.
"With the cutting edge technological advancements and increasing penetration of PCs, mobiles and Internet, the segments like animation and gaming would witness unprecedented growth."
Once just outsourcing sweatshops that sketched, painted and digitised ordered content, Indian animation firms are now signing production deals with international studios to boost earnings.
With annual revenues of $310 million, the industry has grown so far on the back of outsourcing of animated computer images for television, cinema and the Internet at a quarter of the cost of that in the United States and Britain.
The trend is expected to help India's animation and gaming market quadruple to $1.3 billion by 2009 and employ about 30,000 animators, says National Association of Software and Service Companies.