According to the KPMG India-FICCI Indian Media and Entertainment Industry Report 2017, the Indian animation and VFX industry grew at 16.4% in 2016 to reach a size of Rs. 59.5 billion, driven majorly by a 31% growth in VFX, with animation remaining steady at a growth rate of 9%.
The animation services market in 2016 continued to be dominated by outsourced projects from television and film sectors, which account for around 85% of the total animation services turnover in India. Going ahead, digital advertising and films are likely to see a larger share of the animation services pie. However, the domestic contribution to the same is likely to remain tepid.
Broadcasters are partnering with animation studios for original content, with channels like Sonic and Nick having 50% of their content localised with shows such as Motu Patlu, Shiva and others. The digital space, too, saw a spurt in demand for kids’ content with the introduction of channels such as ChuChu TV, CVS 3D Rhyme on YouTube and global players such as Amazon Prime and Netflix signing exclusive content licensing deals with various studios in India.
International projects continue to account for the lion’s share of the VFX industry revenues (contributing around 70%) - with Hollywood studios leveraging the skill set and cost advantages of Indian talent. “The animation industry is definitely evolving in India. It has witnessed unprecedented growth rates in recent times,” informed US-based Avneet Kaur, who had lent her creative touch to projects such as Tangled, Frozen and Zootopia. Kaur added, “Additionally, leading Indian production houses like Tata and Reliance are now investing in the animation market and collaborating with Indian filmmakers to make animated features that have broad mass appeal and has the capacity of entertaining local audiences.”
India is said to have nearly 300 animation, 40 visual effects and 85 game development studios with over 15,000 professionals working for them, and these cater to not just the movie market but also to small screen content for children and regional platforms.
Career options in animation
Work opportunities for quality animators and related professionals exists in following sectors -
Online and Print News Media
Film & Television
Opportunities exist both with government and the private sector. Animation itself is an industry and it is expanding. There exist numerous animation houses both in India and abroad who work for diverse clienteles. An animator and multimedia professional can also work as freelancer or start his/her own enterprise given that he/she has the right entrepreneurial skills and required investments.
The major obstacle for the animation industry in India remains the lack of home-grown characters. “The Indian animation market basically started a decade ago for services that came from the West. When we started the animation industry here, we primarily looked at mythological concepts as compared to the West where they’ve created characters like Spiderman and Batman,” said Tejonidhi Bhandari, Chief Operating Officer, Reliance Animation, which has made films like Krishna Aur Kans (2012) and television series like Little Krishna.
Animation and VFX is one of the fastest growing segments of the entertainment sector. Also, the number of professionals joining the industry is rising. In fact, there are around 26,000 jobs in the sector which requires a graduate degree or above. In the next ten years, it is estimated that the sector will require 24,000 professionals with an educational qualification of graduation or above while on the other hand, there will be around 16,000 students graduating from the recognised degree-awarding institutes.
Rahul Puri, Managing Director, Mukta Arts Ltd., stated, “The talent potential in India is immense. What is lacking is good quality film institutes to hone their skills. The time has come to give equal importance to media education. We can begin by introducing it at primary education level and establishing world-class higher technical training institutes. The government and private players will need to collaborate to provide the right infrastructure and opportunities.”