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M&E to add 1 mn jobs in 5 years: Sudhanshu Vats

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MUMBAI: The Indian media and entertainment (M&E) sector is likely to be worth $1.7 billion in terms of service exports. The figure was estimated by Viacom18 group CEO Sudhanshu Vats while speaking at a CII inauguration.

India’s services exports were $163 billion which is likely to hit $320-330 billion in five years. The M&E sector is a $21 billion industry with eight per cent being exports. By 2022, the M&E sector will contribute $8.5 billion worth of export revenue. In the overall pie of service exports across industries, M&E makes up one per cent and is likely to hit three per cent by 2022.

Vats went on to state what makes the M&E sector apt to become the next big thing after IT in the country. With job creation being a government priority, the M&E industry directly employs 1.1-1.2 million people and with indirect employment that will be 3.5-4 million jobs. India’s current total employment is about 480 million and 10-15 million being added every year. The M&E industry will easily add one million direct jobs in five years and though the number may be small, they will be quality jobs that will be future proof.

For other sectors, added factors build onto export cost such as the cost of product development/customisation, packaging, logistics, maintaining overseas offices etc. But in M&E, this is negligible. The only costs will be QC, subtitling, bandwidth, etc. “ Overnight, I can’t start making a drama that will be loved by say the citizens of Papua New Guinea – but I can make good dramas for Indian audiences – that might resonate in Papua New Guinea as well! This has an important corollary – while it holds true for other industries as well, it holds even more true for our sector where every almost output is a tradeable item – any domestic public policy aimed at making us competitive in India, will make us competitive across the world,” he said.

The sector has an ability of a multiplier effect on other industries such as tourism, travel, healthcare, etc., the effects of which cannot be ignored. “We have all that it takes to ensure that India takes her rightful place with the next industrial revolution – one that will make human capital, creativity and cognitive ability even more important. From one per cent of our services exports today to about three per cent by 2022 – and significant, disproportionate upside from the standpoint of India’s labour markets, social policy, economic growth and global standing – that is the promise we hold,” he concluded.

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