KAM Summit brings together advertisers, broadcasters, studios in the animation space for better collaborative ecosphere

The day-long summit became the mouthpiece for stakeholders to discuss their concerns and expertise

MUMBAI: India’s first kids’ animation summit, KAM (Kids Animation and More), organised by, saw an insightful array of sessions ranging from fireside chats to exclusive presentations and elaborate panel discussions orchestrated around key themes of the kids’ animation ecosystem followed by the ANN Awards, India’s first and largest premium and full-scale award function to celebrate the excellence in the animation sphere of the M&E space across Indie studios, major Indian animated shows, prestigious brands, students, animation studios, institutes, and aspirants.

Bringing the industry stalwarts under one roof, the event took place at Mumbai’s The Lalit on 30 August 2019. Kicking off with the customary lamp lighting session, KAM summit set the tone for the summit with a welcome note. The starry day marked the growth trajectory of India’s animation ecosystem, creating memorable moments and engaging industry veterans in the most constructive ways.

The proceedings of the day began with a fireside chat between Sony Yay! business head Leena Lele Dutta and founder, CEO and editor-in-chief Anil Wanvari who discussed about the challenges faced by Sony Yay being a new entrant in the segment.

Denying that being a latecomer is a shortcoming for them, Dutta said that she rather sees this as an opportunity. She noted, “The only challenge is that children already have so many characters entrenched in their minds, so we have to do something disruptive enough to disperse them from their minds and make a memorable IP. We see a lot of unconventional brands also coming to our channel.”

This was followed by a presentation by Discovery Kids’ Vednarayan Sirdeshpande, where he spoke about the upcoming IP Fukrey Boyzzz, displayed an exclusively comic portion of the animation show.

Next was an insightful panel discussion named “Building on 200 million eyeballs”, that tried to answer the important and difficult question of how advertisers can capture the attention of kids audience.

The panel moderated by Publicis Worldwide managing director Srija Chatterjee included big names from the brand side - Hamleys India head of marketing Sivaraman Balakrishnan, Baskin Robbins India head of marketing Samyukta Ganesh Iyer, Pidilite Industries category head – consumer products division Kartik Subramanian, KidZania India marketing director Tarandeep Singh Sekhon, Parle Products senior category head marketing Krishnarao S Buddha, and Mattel Toys head – consumer products Permendra Singh.

The panel called out the need for broadcasters to create more relatable and successful Indian animated characters that they can license to create advertisements that can connect better to the audience. They also discussed how kids today have become smarter and are guiding their parents to buy certain products and hence it becomes necessary to communicate with them in their own language.
The next item on the agenda was a presentation by Mondelez International licensing head – India & MEA Suparna Madan who gave a perceptive presentation on reaching out to the kids’ audience with an analysis of parenting patterns over the years.

The day was taken forward by a free-wheeling chat between Wanvari and Sphereorigins Multivision founder Sunjoy Waddhwa, and HopMotion Animation business head Anish Patel.
The trio turned the cart in the direction of the way the panelists materialised their visions into success stories.

Speaking about the success of creating Choti Anandi, Waddhwa said, “The show was already a hit on Colors so the fact that it had a built-in audience also helped. It fact it did better on Rishtey in terms of viewership.”

They also threw light on their partnership and the studio pipeline. HopMotion Animation business head Anish Patel shared, “We specialise in 2D but we also have a 3D facility. It's a harmony-based studio. We also cater to service studios.”

Following that, BARC India head – product leadership and excellence Elbert D’Silva took on the dais to elaborate how Indian kids consume TV and how advertisers can utilise the opportunity to connect with them.
D’Silva also spoke on the impact that NTO had on the viewership of kids’ channels, saying, “Kids genre saw a drop post NTO but redesigned with the increasing trend leading to summer vacation.”
The second half of the day began with a panel discussion on Animation 2020, between Green Gold Animation founder and CEO Rajiv Chilaka, Sony Yay! programming head Ronojoy Chakraborty, DQ Entertainment COO Manoj Mishra, Viacom18 programming head Anu Sikka, BIG Animation COO Tejonidhi Bhandare, and Cosmos Maya AVP revenue and corporate strategy Devdatta Potnis, moderated by FICCI chairman animation and gaming Ashish Kulkarni.

Discussing the way forward for the animation industry in the coming years, they elaborated more on the opportunities and challenges that the industry currently faces. The panel insisted that there is a big need there to have more successful animation studios in 2020.

Discussing his visions about the future of the animation ecosystem, Chilaka shared, “I wish to see more successful Indian studios. I realise the pain of running an animation studio. You have to keep on upgrading the hardware and software. You need to understand the pain of the employees. On top of all this, there is GST also now. But I’m happy that Chhota Bheem paved the way for domestic animation. Motu Patlu is a roaring success. We need more passion and more young blood coming with us. We need to reach out to the Indian diaspora. Being number one is something we never dreamt of. We need to reach the benchmark of Rs 100 crore and then Rs 100 million.”

The next item on agenda was a fireside chat between Lodestar UM CEO Nandini Dias and Wanvari. The duo discussed how kids’ animation sector has evolved over years for the marketers and what opportunities it presents to the advertisers.

Dias mentioned, “Five years back, we would start with TV as the mainstay, but today often our conversation starts with e-commerce, digital, and factors like methods of discovery. Then comes television.” She further noted that apart from e-commerce, another thing that has boomed in the past few years in the gaming industry.

The chat was followed by another panel discussion titled “The Boutique Studios: Tomorrow’s Giants”. Discussing the power of studios in today’s creative world were Paperboat Animation Studios creative director Aashish Mall, Dentsu StoryLab EVP Kumar Deb Sinha, Vaibhav More Films founder Vaibhav More, PhilmCGI managing director Anand Bhanushali, and Bioscopewala president Nishith Takia. The session was moderated by industry veteran Krishna Desai.

The speakers discussed the ways in which the Indian animation scenario can be improved. The panel noted that there is a need to work on design forms and build on them to attract more audiences.

The proceedings were taken forward by Cosmos Maya AVP revenue and corporate strategy Devdatta Potnis who gave a presentation on Cosmos Maya’s journey and IPs. He also announced the launch of the upcoming IP “The Fukrey Boyzzz” based on a popular Bollywood franchise Fukrey.

 The next panel to take on the dais comprised of Videogyaan chief strategy operations Rangarao TM, Shemaroo SVP – animation, kids digital, and L&M Smita Maroo, Sun NXT senior manager Vidhyalakshmi TA, and Lattu Kids co-founder and CEO Vivek Bhutyani, moderated by Kinsane Entertainment CMO Pranab Kunj. The panelists shared their views on the evolution of kids’ content on digital platform.

Next, there was a discussion on the topic of “Making odd-screen animated hits” between Dream Theatre founder and CEO Jiggy George and Green Gold Animation chief strategy officer Srinivas Chilakalapudi. The duo discussed licensing and merchandising in a light-hearted yet informative manner.

Upon being asked about the challenges in licensing of the IPs due to the absence of L&M culture in Dream Theatre, George shared, “There wasn’t really a culture of L&M and India is a very diverse market. You can make a t-shirt for Rs 99 and high-quality ones for Rs 499. However, the biggest challenges remain to be piracy and counterfeiting.”

Speaking about his success with L&M, Shrinivas Chilakalapudi shared, “We have had success with licensing so you we have done Mighty Raju, Super Bheem, Mighty Little Bheem in Toddler’s Space.”

George added, “To the animation companies, my wish is that we need authentic characters. it's authentic when you do your own characters. Do what the Japanese do. Check which characters can be seamlessly integrated into the script. When it's seamlessly done, it easier for us. Otherwise we don't like to slap it onto the t-shirt.”

The final panel of the day discusses the topic of “Creating an Impact for Kids Audience”. Sitting on the panel were Grey India national planning director Arun Raman, Wavemaker managing partner Monaz Todywalla, and Omnicom Media AVP, PHD Media Asmita Pawar Reelkar. The panel was moderated by Sony Yay! VP marketing and OAP Sujoy RoyBardhan.

Arun Raman noted that segmentation within the kids’ genre creates a big problem for marketers. He insisted that kids’ content should be made more inclusive and relevant to audiences across categories including adults.

The knowledge-packed day culminated into the gala ANN Awards where top performers in the animation sector within the country were felicitated for their work.

Speaking about this first-of-its-kind initiative taken by AnimationXpress, founder, CEO, and editor-in-chief congratulated the whole team for their efforts and stated that he is proud to blaze a new trail in the world of animation. He requested the animation community to send more entries for the next year’s awards to induce a better competitive spirit and celebration of creativity in the ecosphere.

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