|JBIMS hosts Mr. Siddharth Roy Kapur, CEO, UTV Motion Pictures for an interactive session|
The first year students at JBIMS, got an inside view of the glamorous movie business. The occasion was an interactive session with Mr. Siddharth Roy Kapur, CEO, UTV Motion Pictures. Mr. Kapur, an alumnus of JBIMS batch of 1997 spoke on various aspects of the movie business, from changing trends in film industry to various avenues for management professionals to make a career in the entertainment space. Few excerpts from the interaction:
On Impact of Multiplexes on the Film Industry:
Multiplexes have aided the growth of cinema to a large extent over the last 5-7 years. The average ticket prices have grown significantly, and because of that average revenues from each film has grown. And creatively, it has encouraged film makers to make movies, which 7-8 years ago may not have even got funds. For e.g you cannot even imagine a film like Dev D being made even as early as the year 2000.
On the changing trends in Film Industry:
We are moving from analog to digital, from 2D to 3D, from 2G to 3G to 4G. Movies today are consumed on cinema screens, TV, mobile phones, iPads, and tablets. There is a tremendous change in the way the content is consumed, and there is no way that it will not impact how content is created. Earlier revenue streams were largely India theatrical collections which accounted for 90% of revenues. Today, there are various other revenue streams.
In FMCG, you are able to balance out your revenues on a quarter by quarter basis, because you are able to de-risk yourself across various product categories where each has their cyclicality and seasonality. But one will balance out the other, depending on the quarter in which you are. Similarly in films if you make only romantic comedies or only dramas or only musicals, the mood of the nation is not always going to be the same.UTV has believed in having a diversified plate always. So, in a year when you had a ‘Rang De Basanti’, you had a ‘Khosla ka Ghosla’. In the year when you had a ‘Rajneeti’, you had an ‘Udaan’. And Last year when you had a ‘Delhi Belly’, you had a ‘No one killed Jessica’.
On Marketing Innovations in Films:
It helps to have a mindset which you management students are having, and will have over the next 2 yrs. You are thinking about marketing in a structured manner, in an industry where most people think marketing really is publicity. Actually both are quite different. But today, what you really need to do is break the clutter. So you need to do something innovative, centred around the film. For e.g. Seamlessly integrating brands with films like a Sunsilk with ‘Fashion’ or starting ‘No One Killed Jessica - Thappad Mar’ help line campaign against eve teasing.
On Role of research in Films:
In movie business, you are anticipating the mood of the nation 12-15 months later, which may be very different to what it is right now. You have to take the analysis from the research and use your mind to figure out that - this is the as-is, where-is situation and this is the socio – political - cultural context in which this is being said or thought of and therefore what are the trends I can anticipate 12-15 months later. One should be led by research and not bound by it.
Movies adapted from books:
Various Indian Authors of books like Chanakya's Chant, books by Chetan Bhagat, truly capture a cultural context which might not be possible for a non-Indian author. These books are written very cinematically and have captured the imagination of a large section of our society. Hence they make good investments for scripts to be adapted into movies.
Unlike a cable industry (say) where the end user would not be interested in the making of the final product, the Film industry is quite the opposite. The entire film-making process is a movie in itself, where the audience is interested not only in the final product but also desires to know details about every stage in the process of making the film, including location details, behind the scenes, casting calls and auditions. Hence this information can also be monetized to add to the revenues.
Opportunities for MBA graduates in the Industry:
Today, the entire media industry is well-organized and is looking at hiring management professionals in varied fields such as production, cost-budgeting, planning, scheduling, marketing, finance. Ultimately the key to a successful career is to work in an industry that one feels passionate about.
Benchmark to ‘Box-Office’ Hit:
The true measure of the success of any movie is its number of admissions i.e. number of people who watch the movie in the theatres. Although, over the years, the number has not increased significantly but yet with the advent of Multiplex culture, the average price of tickets has increased helping it touch the ‘100 crore’ benchmark.
Effect of Global Economic Slowdown on the Hindi film industry:
For the overseas Hindi Film business, the demand for Hindi cinema is relatively inelastic. Even in times of an economic slowdown, the audience for these films would still prefer watching them in the cinema halls.
Extent of interactions between the Creative and Marketing Team:
Both these teams need to be well coordinated right form the conception of the script to identify scenes where various brands be tied up for in-film advertising. Marketing team needs to start ideating from the very beginning to understand the challenges the film could face and work in sync with the director and the creative team do develop marketing strategies to overcome them.
A relatively unstructured industry like the media industry requires one to think with a broader perspective, and not be rattled by changes but rather think on your feet. Five-year plans are harder to be implemented in an industry where the future is fairly unpredictable. Hence one needs to be fine-tuned to the changing dynamics of the industry and the audience preferences.