The Indian media and entertainment sector, currently valued at $24 billion is expected to grow to $30 billion by 2024, according to the country’s Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur.
“I personally feel with the growth rate we have and I’m sure it’s going to grow more than that. By 2030 we expect it to double and even more,” Thakur told Variety at the Cannes Film Festival.
Thakur spoke with Variety on Wednesday at the Cannes India Pavilion after he launched a filming incentive that offers up to 35% reimbursement on local spend to international productions shooting in India.
“I think it’s quite lucrative and I expect a lot of people to come and shoot in India, because our major focus is to make India the content hub of the world,” said Thakur. “India has lot to offer, we still need to grow and go ahead from here. And I expect these incentives may help in the future to attract a lot of business.”
“By the end of the Cannes Film Festival you will see the word has spread that India has announced this much – others may come with better packages and all that,” added Thakur. “In a competitive world, you can’t stop here, you have to keep moving. It has to be on a real time basis, you have to compete with the world. It is not only the incentive incentive — yes it is going to impact — it is also the locations, skilled and less expensive manpower and a huge domestic [India] market available for them as well.”
Thakur said that the reach of Indian films, where big ticket films currently release day-and-date in 50 territories globally, has the potential to grow beyond that, citing the recent global success of “RRR” and “K.G.F: Chapter 2.”
“We have to create content for the world, not only for the domestic [India] market. Keeping that in mind, I’m sure if they [the West] could have the Marvel’s superheroes, why can’t India?,” asks Thakur. “We have a 6,000-year-old rich cultural heritage, we can showcase it to the world in a beautiful manner.”
In 2021, the Indian government introduced a self-regulation code for streaming platforms that they are required to adhere to. This is a different regime from theatrical films, where content is classified by the Central Board of Film Certification.
“I think few sectors have to own it and there has to be maturity, because if you have trusted them, I’m sure so far it’s working well,” said Thakur. “There are some concerns, which we raise with them, when people raise with them directly as well, which are addressed. It’s just a beginning.”
“With the growing popularity of the OTT [streaming] players, and the subscribers going up with each passing day, they will also understand the responsibility they have to play,” Thakur added. “I’m sure it’s going to work because in the news media sector also we have left it to the print and electronic media. They do it on their own. We don’t get into that. Similarly here we want the creativity to be better with each passing day.”