Entertaining world with Indian content:Sanjay Jain CFO,Head,India Cast Media

‘Our aim at MIPCOM is to reach out to the ever increasing base of partners and showcase our strong content offering’, says Sanjay Jain, CFO & Head of International Business, IndiaCast Media Distribution

Globally we have seen that language is no longer a barrier for consumers and good content fi nds resonance across geographies

What’s IndiaCast’s focus and objective at MIPCOM 2016?

MIPCOM allows us to engage deeper and understand the core consumer behaviour across our markets. Indiacast over the years has seen the interest of global television executives grow manifold in Indian content. Our aim is to reach out to the ever increasing base of partners and showcase our strong content offering. We expect to increase our already strong footprint across the globe and create stronger and more meaningful partnerships with our existing clients and newer prospects.

IndiaCast syndicates content in over 100 countries in multi-languages. Can you elaborate?

We have been growing our syndication business at a very fast pace and it is one of the strongest growth stories that we have. We now syndicate our content to over 135 countries across 30+ languages dubbed or sub titled in the local language We have a strong bouquet of differentiated content from our large portfolio of channels in India- be it Colors, MTV India, the regional Indian language channels and the News channels. The power of Indian way of storytelling, universal emotional hooks and fresh presentation has broken all barriers and most of our series have received huge responses from viewers across territories

Where are you heading?

Globally we have seen that language is no longer a barrier for consumers and good content fi nds resonance across geographies. At MIPCOM this year, we plan to explore virgin territories for Indian content. Our current focus is on Central America & LATAM. Additionally , the biggest game changer is the digital platforms where the consumers are the king. We are seeing huge growth opportunities for Indian content on digital platforms and it is a big focus for us.

What’s the challenge of heading the international business of IndiaCast and also being a CFO of the company?

I have been associated with business very closely and hence the transition has been smooth… yes the only difference is that as international head, you look at cost as investments. As CFO, you would tend to put more controls but wearing business hat, now I tend to empower my team more.

Do you see a rise in export of Indian content as a genre global markets? Who gets attracted to Indian content?

Most certainly, as Indian content is now serious competition to the Latin Telenovelas, Turkish & the Korean dramas. Viewers in CEE, CIS , SE Asia, South Asia, ME and Africa are enthralled by the Indian social, romantic and family oriented drama series.

What are the new emerging markets for Indian content? Tell us some of the content from your catalogue trending across global markets?

Recently Turkey has started to showcase Indian content to audiences there. Depending upon the performance we anticipate a good growth story there. There is a lot of cultural resonance between Turkey and India. Additional territories are opening up in SE Asia and Africa. We expect that soon we will receive positive response from China., Korea and LATAM . Balika Vadhu (The Young Bride) and Uttaran (Second Hand) have been our top performing series. In fact in certain territories both series rate more than the locally produced dramas

What’s the market scenario for syndication? Is emergence of platforms like Netfl ix and Amazon Prime is set to alter the distribution landscape of the media vertical?

Digital platforms are an opportunity and we look at it as a platform that will deliver newer audiences in newer regions and newer demographics like the millennials. But on the larger point, we feel both traditional and digital business will coexist. Currently the OTT players are mainly focusing on Bollywood movies for Indian content but we expect that reality shows and drama series will soon be showcased on these platforms.

How much of analytics is deployed for business results at IndiaCast?

Analytics and real time feedback is changing business paradigms across sectors and entertainment is no exception. As far as our syndication business is concerned, we do in-depth analysis on key revenue contributing markets ranging from discussing with our partners on the kind of stories that work in different territories though I would like to say that Balika Vadhu is an exception. It is a trailblazer across regions. We are looking at syndication as a long term business opportunity and we do not offer any series which we believe will not work for the territory for immediate gains. We also monitor the ratings from each territory for our series

Is automation key to content syndication in the coming days?

Automation is more a business process optimization and improvement endeavour. It is currently in its infancy but yes we do agree that automation will eventually play a key role in freeing up important system resources and get more management focus on understanding consumer preferences in market.

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