How Telangana is changing the ‘IMAGE’ of the AVCG industry?

One of the most under-rated industries in the entertainment segment, animation and gaming has long been neglected, specially when it comes to getting the government’s attention. But with the new government at the centre and different state governments like Karnataka, Maharashtra and now Telangana, the creative industry is set to see a lot of positive changes, which will also act as an encouragement for both private as well as government bodies who are working in tandem to take it to the next level.

The recent announcement of the incubation centre IMAGE (Innovation in Multimedia, Animation, Gaming and Entertainment) in Hyderabad and also the introduction of new policies for the AVCG industry is reason enough for one and all to stand up and take notice of Telangana, which is soon becoming a hotbed for upcoming start-ups who want to venture into this creative workspace.

Inaugurated by the Telagana state IT minister K T Rama Rao and partnering with Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) the incubation committee is currently in the process of formulating minute details before the new policies are launched around 28 December when Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is to visit the centre.

According to our sources, once the new policies are launched, the incubation will be operational from the month of January in full swing with a seating capacity of around 232 in the 30,000 sq ft space in the Hitech City.

The companies who are pitching for the incubation space need to be registered under the Telangana state and should be under 3-5 years of operations. The strength of the start-ups could be anywhere between 1-30 , and the seating of each member will be heavily discounted with the centre providing resources like high speed broadband, networking and even electricity at discounted rates.

Image used for representative purpose
Image used for representative purpose

Currently, the incubation centre is taking in the entries from the interested companies who want to avail space and will start the pitching process from the selected lot soon. Soon after the launch the incubation centre plans special mentorship programs and regular workshops with industry experts from India and abroad along with a combined conference for all the four sectors, which will be an annual affair.

One of the problems that start-ups face is that they have great ideas and also know how to implement it, but selling the idea to the right person or the company to realise their dreams becomes difficult and knowing the ropes of business right from the word go is something which doesn’t come naturally to them. Thus, sometimes managing everything can be a bit difficult. But with the incubation centre in place, the start-ups will have access to a treasure trove of knowledge and investors, financiers and production houses that could help ease out the process.

As a state, Telangana comprises of almost 20-30 gaming studios like The Awesome Game Studio and EA Mobile, animation companies like Green Gold Animation and DQ Entertainment International and VFX too has been an important part with outfits like FireFly Studios and Makuta VFX having their offices in the state. Of all the four AVCG segments, comics as an industry hasn’t quite picked up in the state even though the Hyderabad Comic Con, being one of the biggest pop culture event, which has been occurring in the state since the last 2 years.

With the 70,000 sqft start-up incubator T-Hub launched in November this year, Hyderabad is set to become the next Silicon Valley for start-ups and the state government has invested over Rs 40 crore to build T-Hub, whereas IMAGE has been developed with a budget of Rs 8 crore in mind.

Also, big news from the inauguration of IMAGE was IT minister KT Rama Rao saying that Game City is top priority for the new government after it was announced back in December 2013, but not much was done regarding the same. The Minister further added that the work is underway and designs for the same are being worked out.