By Utpal Borpujari
With animation, gaming and visual effects (VFX) industry emerging as the biggest export revenue earner after the IT sector, the government is moving forward to set up a world class institute to churn out professionals to work in this sector.
The Information & Broadcasting Ministry, which sometime ago had appointed a consultant to prepare a detailed project report for the planned National Centre for Animation, Gaming and Special Effects (NCAGSE), has also asked industry body FICCI to come up with a focused roadmap for the industry.
FICCI has been asked to prepare the focused roadmap after the body presented to the ministry a “general” roadmap about how to develop the three inter-linked sectors, I&B Ministry sources said here.
The government is excited about the prospects of the industry because of its growth pattern, the sources said. According to industry estimates, the animation industry is expected to grow to Rs 27.8 billion by 2011 from the current Rs 23.2 billion, with a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 18.7 per cent.
The gaming industry is also expected to grow from Rs 9.8 billion to Rs 14 billion by 2011, with a CAGR of 32 per cent. Both growth rates, according to FICCI’s roadmap, are much higher than overall media & entertainment sector growth rate of 13 per cent.
With cutting edge technological advancements and increasing penetration of PCs, Internet and mobile phones, these segments should witness unprecedented growth, the roadmap said.
Ministry sources said the huge manpower potential resulting from the projected growth had prompted the government to push for setting up of the NCAGSE. “I&B Minister Ambika Soni has taken this up as one of the priority projects during the first year of UPA-II, along with that of upgrading FTII-Pune as a global film school,” the sources said.
In 2010, the gross revenues of the Indian animation industry and gaming are expected to exceed $ one billion and $350 million respectively, much of it coming through the outsourcing model in which production houses provide services to overseas clients.
“The I&B Ministry is looking at it as a big employment generator, since by this year end, according to industry estimates, the country will need 30,000 professionals in content development and animation,” the sources said.
As of now, the country has about 300 animation, 40 VFX and 35 game development studios, according to FICCI estimates.