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Indian Animation
Industry – Future
— Kulwinder Singh
Head – Global Marketing and Communications,
Satyam BPO

he global animation industry terity to partner with the clients for
is all set to explode to double better customer service. Also most of
digit growth with India fast the workforce in the Indian anima-
emerging as a leading animation tion outsourcing industry has better
and visual effects outsourcing hub understanding of English language
for Hollywood filmmakers. Produc- and this places them ahead of other
tion houses in the U.S. are making countries.
a beeline to outsource large chunks Cost factor
of work to India, catapulting Indian Consider this. It costs anywhere be-
professionals to a different league of tween USD 200,000 – USD 400,000 to egories, mainly technical skills and
big-budget blockbusters. produce a 30-minute animated show soft skills. Programming expertise,
Although the Indian outsourcing in the US. The same work is execut- analytical ability, and proficiency on
industry is at a nascent stage, the ed in India at a cost of USD 70,000 the software are basic requirements
industry’s growth has been phe- (Rs. 0.32crore). Companies like Walt for technical skills. The number of
nomenal, largely due to the reputa- Disney Pictures, Time Warner’s professionals joining the animation
tion that the Indian outsourcing has Cartoon Network, and Sony Pictures industry has been growing at a com-
earned across the world in a short have already outsourced work to In- pound annual growth rate (CAGR) of
time. The National Association of dia. Though initially it all started 18.2 percent and is expected to grow
Software and Service Companies with low-end bulk work, Indian com- at the same rate. Though India pos-
(NASSCOM) has estimated that the panies have worked their way up sesses the manpower with the requi-
global animation market will grow the ladder and are now working on site skill set, what remains an area
from USD 59 billion in 2006 to USD high-end animation. The Indian ani- of concern is the education imparted
80 billion by 2010. The global mar- mation outsourcing industry started to this manpower from the quality
ket for animated content and related work on the cost arbitrage platform perspective.
services is estimated at USD 26 bil- but soon moved to the quality pa- This has resulted in mushrooming of
lion and is forecast to cross USD 34 rameters for deal making. Now the multimedia institutes. What is inter-
billion by 2010. The Indian anima- deals are quality, delivery timelines, esting is that quite a few reputed or-
tion industry is expected to reach and adherence to norms which have ganizations have come forward and
USD 869 million (Rs. 4084.3 crore) ensured that we have an enhanced started a chain of multimedia insti-
by the end of year 2010 at an esti- reputation in the global market. tutions for two reasons. One, they
mated CAGR of 52.2 percent. Skills can use the trained professionals for
The animation industry is still young. in-house animation development and
Why India is the hub? Indian cinema is yet to make its secondly, use this education channel
Qualified professionals mark on the global stage. The boom- for market diversification and pene-
One definite answer is that large ing animation outsourcing industry tration. However, companies need to
numbers of qualified and employable is constantly demanding new skills invest considerable time and money
professionals in India, combined and fresh infusion of new talent into in bringing these students up to the
with increasing interest amongst the the industry. As such, it is impera- levels where they start earning rev-
younger, college-going strata, make tive that we have a healthy pipeline enue for the organization.
the country lucrative as an outsourc- to supply talent to the industry. Look at what some Indian anima-
ing destination. Moreover, India’s Skills required in the animation field tion companies, especially those op-
workforce is known to have the dex- can be clubbed under two broad cat- erating in the outsourcing sphere,

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are doing to meet the quality man- positing, and set extension. A clutch ket. Countries like Singapore and
power. The solution involves hiring of companies is putting their ener- Canada are giving stiff competition
beginners from the market and then gies behind similar work for films. to the Indian outsourcing industry.
imparting training to them so as to This involves not only convincing They have been able to do so due to
bring them up to client expectations. customers about the assured quality the support of their governments.
They are also bringing in experi- but also training the resources for In Singapore, the animation indus-
enced professionals (especially from delivering international quality of try has made great strides due to
Hollywood) to train the workforce. work. Companies like Satyam BPO the immense support provided by
Some organizations have even gone and Prime Focus have built capabili- the Economic Development Board
to the extent of hiring international ties in the VFX arena. Other creative of Singapore. It has even formed a
talent. studios like Cinesite have also done Media Development Agency to facili-
the same. tate the same. India, though being
Where is Indian animation the pioneer of outsourcing industry,
heading? Partnership model has not found much initiative being
With the Indian television and mov- taken by the government to promote
The Indian animation industry is
ie industry creating content worth animation industry. The IT industry
currently at the bottom of the ani-
hundreds of hours each day, it is is a great example of how industry
mation pyramid. Presently, global
but obvious that Indian outsourcing beneficial policies can help industry
outsourcing happens at the produc-
firms would also look at this form of growth. What the animation out-
tion stage. This involves creation of
outsourcing. In an age when ‘Con- sourcing industry requires now is a
animation, air-brushing of charac-
tent is King’, many firms like DQ En- whole set of policies for its benefit.
ters, lip synchronization, scanning,
tertainment are looking at not just Intellectual property. Outsourcers
and compositing. As with all the
outsourced work but also at co-pro- have always been concerned with the
work that we do in the outsourcing
ducing/sole producing movies. This protection of their intellectual prop-
space, we are steadily moving up the
helps them gain content rights and erty in India. India is one of the few
value chain. The industry is pitch-
build their portfolio. These initiatives countries which have failed to take
ing for business in both pre-and-post
place India firmly on the outsourcing stern action against its infringe-
production stages. In the pre-produc-
world map. Many boutique anima- ment. India needs to strengthen its
tion stage, Indian firms are target-
tion outsourcing firms are now solely IP policy and ensure that companies
ing activities like
focusing on generating content and operating in the outsourcing sphere
ll Storyboarding
selling it to various organizations. take stringent steps to take care of
ll Dialog writing
This is not only in the field of movies clients’ IP rights.
ll Layout preparation
and episode-based programs but also Ability to scale operations. Indian
Post-production work primarily re-
in the arena of marketing and edu- firms are facing a talent shortage
volves around audio and music edit-
cative programs. Organizations are which affects their ability to scale
ing and film compositing. The ma-
targeting the huge market for inter- up their operations based on client
jor work in this field is happening
active marketing and e-learning and demands. This also affects the cli-
around content development for TV
using the expertise gained in anima- ent’s confidence in offshoring large
and broadcast mediums. The pres-
tion outsourcing to service leading chunks of work. Though Indian com-
ent quality of work being delivered
customers in these areas. panies have put in place huge expan-
by Indian companies is encouraging
sion plans, these are often marred by
outsourcers to look at sending out
Challenges various reasons. Tie-ups with educa-
even high-end post-production work
tional institutes are helping over-
to India. This will enable Indian The Indian animation industry, how-
come this difficulty.
firms to focus on end-to-end delivery, ever, is not without challenges.
with the client focusing on the cre- Quality manpower shortage. Indian
ative and pre-production work.
Future Perfect
firms are looking at innovative ideas
Indian firms are also pitching for for shoring up their workforce. Apart India is well on its way to becoming
work in the visual effects (VFX) are- from calling in industry experts, the the hub for animation outsourcing. A
na as the demand for the same is in- industry is also tying up with insti- step further, Hollywood filmmakers
creasing. It is VFX which constitutes tutions to develop and impart indus- are looking at shooting their movies
majority of the work in the post-pro- try specific course content. in India. The Indian entertainment
duction stage of films. Indian compa- Government support. The Indian industry is booming like never before.
nies today are focusing on low-end animation outsourcing industry In fact, there could be a time when
work like wire removal, removing has grown at a scorching pace. This Hollywood flicks will be shot in India,
tracking markers, crowd multiplica- gets dwarfed when compared to the the post production work done here,
tion, green matte removal and com- opportunity available in the mar- and the movies sold out of India.

40 | BROADCAST & CABLESAT | OCTOBER 08 | | An ADI Media Publication

Kulwinder Singh (Industry).indd 40 10/16/08 12:26:24 PM

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