India needs to explore animation, gaming sector: Kiran Karnik

NEW DELHI: India has a strong footing in entertainment and IT segments, but has failed to make much progress in allied sectors like animation and gaming and support from the government is needed for the industry to go global, said Nasscom president and former country head of Discovery India Kiran Karnik.

Speaking today at the FICCI Frames Knowledge series seminar on "Career Opportunities in Animation and Gaming" Karnik said considering the large pool of talent and the growing market of TV and other visual entertainment in India, it is a "disappointing factor that India has succeeded little in developing high value items."

Nasscom (National Association of Software and Services Companies) is an apex body of IT software companies in India.

Elaborating on the enormous opportunities that exist in the animation and gaming sectors, Karnik pointed out that market has been expanding phenomenally and "currently there is a strong imbalance exists in demand and supply of animated products.

"The emerging opportunity for high value products are enormous in terms of domain specialisation and simulation, but creative talent and skills are insufficient to meet the demand that exist now," Karnik said.

Also in the field of architecture, the animation technology upgradation from two dimension to 3-dimension and the walk-throughs, which give effects of reality, is providing opportunities for career seekers.

Talking about the challenges that India faces in the global animation market, Karnik said that transforming India into a credible base for high quality animated products with quick delivery will change India's position.

"Once India is developed as a credible destination of supply, the demand will take it to greater heights and Indian animation will be at par with Indian IT sector in the global market," he said, adding, that India will then move from the position of a product provider to the level of product developer with its won intellectual property rights.

For achieving this supporting factors like effective marketing, development of world-class institutes that trains talents in the field of animation and scriptwriters, who can produce script, which is cross-cultural and acceptable to the markets, plays a vital role, Karnik pointed out.

He also called for government intervention by way of providing adequate support and incentives like direct subsidy and announcement of policies that can enhance the demand so that the sector becomes a competitive one.

Animation experts who participated in the seminar said that the countries advanced in animation are looking for the area with maximum potential 2-D animation. India should pitch for this segment if it wanted to be noticed in the international animation scenario. Actual animation production is done in 2-D, which normally required 15,000 to 18,000 drawing and when these are put together, they contribute to a 22-24 minutes animation episode.

Looking at it from the costing perspective, a 22 to 24- minute episode would cost between $ 200,000 and $250,000 in the US and Canada, while in Europe it would cost $250,000 to $300,000.

The experts said that a similar project in an Asian country, however, would work out between $50,000 to $75,000.

In 2-D animation, at the moment, most of the pre-production is done in the West. India does not really figure in the picture except for a few companies and is competing with countries like China, Philippines and Korea.

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