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Published : Friday, 22 July, 2016 7:17 PM
Mr. Siddharth Roy Kapur, MD and CEO, Disney India conducted a one hour session on ''Media Industry: Opportunities and Challenges'' on, July 22, 2016 in the Mani Ayer Auditorium from 11.45 am to 12.45 pm. The Mani Aiyer Auditorium was packed with eager students from across batches as they gathered to attend the lecture, organized by MICA Leadership Series (MLS), a student-run committee in MICA.
Talking about the opportunities in the media and communications industry, he said, “This is the right time for media and communications. In earlier days it was difficult to have a professional career and be taken seriously in a field like media and entertainment and the preferred path was to get into an FMCG and trace your path back to the media industry. There wasn’t even the concept of an MBA that would get you into the movie business, as the industry used to be highly fragmented,” he said.
He proceeded to narrate his journey and the experiences that shaped them. He quoted his experiences working for P&G and how he entered the media industry early, following it up with his work on KBC and how difficult it was to get Amitabh Bacchan to the small screen.
“It's good to be in a position that something that you are involved in is something that the whole country is talking about, something that becomes part of the cultural zeitgeist,” he said. He also was a part of the team that was funnelling viewers towards the K serials in the country.
He made an interesting comparison between Rang De Basanti and Khosla ka ghosla, by emphasizing that based on the reputation of the cast and crew, even though both movies had the same marketing budget, Khosla ka Ghosla had double the production budget of RDB. Khosla ka ghosla, he said, was a diamond in the rut. “We enjoy being associated with something that people can connect to emotionally,” he quipped.
Talking about the media and entertainment industry, he said that the average ticket price in India is just half of what it is in the US. “The problem in India is that we subsidize the consumers so much that the value of content is reduced for them.”
About Disney India, he talked about the wide and differentiated content across multiple touchpoints leading to customized experiences for the consumers. With limited attention spans, he observed, the need is for availability of compelling content on the go and on demand.
Following this, was a question & answer session with the students, where he answered questions about Beauty and the Beast and infrastructure needing to develop in order to cater to the demand for other such shows. “We’ve got the ability to be able to cater to audiences in different ways. We translated the Jungle Book and made it more relevant to India. Hindi cinema needs to buck up. We’ve become self conscious now, after years of being influenced by the west,” he said.
He also opined that content is driving the merchandising business allowing people to take home something that they already love. He also remarked about the recent push towards diversity in America, which is why, he mentioned, someone like Priyanka chopra is doing so well there. “We are not consumers of smarter content, we are just consumers of different content,” he said, quoting the example of PK which made 20 million dollars in China.
Following the lecture, Mr. Siddharth was presented with a live portrait which was made by a student during the lecture. As is the tradition at MICA, Mr. Siddharth also planted a sapling in the MICA premises, to mark the occasion of his visit.
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