The Indian Animation Industry is abuzz with acquisitions, agreements and new ventures what with major players like Sony Imageworks and Thomson getting into the space.
Here‘s another name to add to the list, Geodesic, which recently acquired a 100% stake in the children‘s books publisher, Chandamama. An investment of close to Rs 100 million was made towards purchasing shares from existing shareholders as part of the acquisition.
On being asked about the strategy behind the acquisition, Geodesic‘s MD, Kiran Kulkarni shared with Animation Xpress.com, “At Geodesic, we have always believed in convergence of the web content, the computer and communication devices (wireless devices). Chandamama, a 60 year old brand has strong values but hasn‘t really taken advantage of the new mediums (Internet and mobile devives). It has been providing people with fables, mythology, folk-lore and edutainment and the idea of dissiminating and cross-selling Chandamama content over Mundu; our Instant Messaging tool was exciting for us at Geodesic”
He added, “Needless to say, the combined product would further allow users to collaborate on Chandamama stories and build a hard-to-get-away from community”
“Chandamama to most Indians has been a mix of pride, nostalgia and value and we at Geodesic are excited at the prospects of presenting Chandamama values and morals in styles and formats that appeal to people in this day and age” he added.
The company is still working on the various feasible business models which include subscription, licensing, as well as advertisements. Chandamama would be available to readers across print, web and mobile devices and would be targeted at families with a host of themes such as mythology, science, environment and games.
Shared Vishwanath Reddi, former MD of Chandamama, “Soon after acquisition, Chandamama should be entering a digital era with technical expertise drawn from Geodesic. We have been looking for some passion-driven and highly talented team like those in Geodesic to join us to take Chandamama to the next level, and go digital to serve the future kid. I would like to tap all mediums to reach out and present our content, say, through print, cyber and mobiles. Who knows we may even go a step further to join hands with Animation production houses, when the right time comes!”
As part of the company‘s future plans, it proposes to put together the 60 year old archival collection on CD as well publishing an e-magazine.
Established in 1999, Geodesic is primarily a webproducts‘ company. It has previously developed the universal instant messaging system, Mundu (www.mundu.com) which offers a consolidated solution that integrates IM users from across various leading networks.
On being asked about his role after the acquisition Reddi commented, “I‘ve been a custodian of the brand Chandamama for the last 40 years and I wish to play the role of a father figure, which I hope to hold for some years, while I train worthy successors to carry on the mission, which was started by my father and his good friend sixty years ago, so that Chandamama can continue to enjoy the goodwill of the future generations.”
Thanks to going digital, the content that served as a cultural beacon for over six decades now continues to shine.