Guest Column | Decoding international market demand for Indian animation – Anish mehta

We live in a very exciting time. It is the coming of age phase of Indian animation.  India has now been able to embrace the idea of making novel and believable animated products. With the likes of animation products like Motu Patlu, Inspector Chingum, and Chotta Bheem, the animation industry is evolving. The scope and reach of animated content are growing rapidly. According to a recent FICCI report, the animation is growing at a phenomenal rate of more than 20 per cent YoY. Contributing to this growth, we have created a huge wealth of content, i.e. 1000+ half hours of high quality animated content, and we add 30 half hours every month to our content bank. Content nowadays is traveling to places unimaginable prior to globalisation. The changing dynamics have provided a firm footing to Indian studios. Indian animation has evolved and so has our business model. We can foresee the next evolution cycle of Indian animation because till now, a pre-school success has not come from India. Pre-school animation links itself very well to licensing and merchandising, which is a big revenue generator globally. The market dynamics are changing and hence animation is evolving. The animation is not just a function of production. A meaningful contribution to the value chain can only come through a successful, strong and diversified distribution network. Globally, Peppa Pig today is worth more than $3 billion to which merchandising alone contributes around 70%. For that matter, Frozen, a standalone animated film had toy sales to the tune of more than $500 million. The merchandising business has not taken off in India but with e-commerce evolving fast, the future of merchandised goods seems bright. With the entry of American biggies like Walmart and Amazon in India, we can expect E-commerce to lend itself to lessen piracy.
Motu Patlu
Indian studios are in the process of creating IPs with solid licensing and merchandising potential. There are more than 400 million kids in India which is a huge opportunity. Chhota Bheem and Motu Patlu are strong cases of Indian IPs bringing about this sort of a co-existence between the two businesses and we are currently focused on developing the successor to this legacy. When I was growing up, I remember being fascinated with He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. International brands have now evolved and Indian kids are still very much attracted to them. In fact, now digital as well as linear TV penetration allows exposure for global brands to make a headway into the country. It is sort of a personal target for me to create such a successful crossover show of Indian origin. It is sort of a personal target for me to create such a successful crossover show of Indian origin. We aim to evolve the market system within India to such an extent that international content is part of Indian content and vice-versa. Everything is an opportunity for us to go further and grow further. (This article has been contributed by Cosmos Maya CEO Anish Mehta and does not necessarily subscribe to these views).