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Hindi films abroad

The money-spinning Hindi film industry, will continue to win fans, in India and abroad.

india Updated: Jan 08, 2004 13:03 IST

India's entertainment sector powered by Bollywood, the money-spinning Hindi film industry, will continue to win fans globally as the industry explores new revenue streams to offset the downturn in the domestic market.

Revenues mobilised from exports of Indian movies in the overseas markets will witness a sharp growth in the years ahead with filmmakers embracing new marketing and brand building techniques, says an expert.

"The creative people in the Indian entertainment industry are becoming market savvy," said Amit Khanna, chairman of Reliance Entertainment Ltd. and a member of the FICCI Entertainment Committee.

"They are beginning to realise that if they have to succeed in the prevailing market condition they will have to explore new revenue streams that add to the existing earning sources," Khanna told IANS in an interview.

"The filmmakers are now forced to look beyond the traditional windows of opportunity. There is a huge demand for Indian movies overseas. Every sixth person in Southeast Asia is a Hindi movie fan.

"I see the trend growing rapidly over the next few years with film industry people focussing on marketing and brand building exercises. Indian entertainment industry has a global appeal and I don't see that changing in the near future."

Despite the recent surge in popularity for Bollywood in the West, revenues generated by the Indian film industry in the domestic market have been a downhill journey in the last one-year.

According to consulting firm KPMG, the entertainment industry grew 6.4 percent last year to a size of Rs.166 billion with television contributing the maximum to growth while movies and music revenues declined.

Despite the revenue loss in the domestic market, an Oscar nomination for "Lagaan" and a place in the foreign films category at the British Academy of Film and Television Awards for classical "Devdas" last year have given Hindi-language cinema a new visibility in the West.

Khanna said Indian filmmakers are beginning to realise that if they have to survive in the prevailing market condition they would have to explore new revenue streams that add to the existing earning sources.

He said the industry is brimming with a new confidence as it undergoes a revolution.

Khanna, who has worked in theatre, radio, television, journalism, advertising and films, says the Indian entertainment industry has the potential to replicate the success achieved by the domestic IT sector in the past few years.

"The entertainment industry is one of the fastest growing sectors in the Indian economy today. I think the industry has all the potential to emerge as the next best industry in India after the IT sector."

KPMG has projected a 20 percent plus compounded annual growth rate for the entertainment industry in India till 2007, which would take its revenues to Rs.419 billion.

On the menace of piracy in the domestic entertainment industry, Khanna said as much as 30 percent of the sector's total revenue are lost due to piracy.

"If it is reduced by even 10 percent, we will have a boom in the industry. The domestic music and entertainment industry is being badly impacted by large-scale piracy. The industry needs to get its act together and take action against piracy."