On October 4, 2017, senior executives from India’s motion picture, television and digital industries concluded that a digital first and innovation focused mindset, integration across organisational DNA, data analytics, data protection and IP security are the key pillars of successful digital transformation.
The 2017 Fast Track India: Digital Building Blocks, a Knowledge Series forum by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce (FICCI) in association with the Los Angeles India Film Council (LAIFC), supported by the Centre for Content Promotion (CCP), focused on the evolution of content strategies from creation to monetisation, the need for organisations to have a digital DNA in order to remain relevant today, the impact of evolving digital infrastructure on content consumption patterns and the rise of online piracy – threats and remedies.
The forum and networking occasion was held at The Club, Andheri (W), Mumbai.Welcoming the dignitaries and delegates, Dr. Ashish Kulkarni, Chairman, FICCI Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming and Comics Forum said, “This Knowledge Series has become a significant platform to discuss issues and share knowledge related to the digital media”.
Digital revolution continues to gain significance in every sector of India. The media and entertainment sector has evolved rapidly over the last year with the emergence of new digital technologies and content distribution models. The FICCI LAIFC KPMG report entitled The Digital journey – How OTT platforms can remain ‘on demand ready’ launched at the event highlighted that, the era of on-demand content has reached a tipping point with consumption becoming on-demand across mobile screens and going ‘mass’ – particularly on the back of pan India 4G roll outs by telecom operators. OTT consumers continue to demand seamless access to services, compelling stories and value for money. The four pillars of digital transformation outlined in the report comprise a holistic approach including; clearly defining the organisation’s digital vision and strategy, thorough understanding of the customer proposition, accurately assessing the business design and, lastly, carefully designing the execution plan.
Vijay Singh, CEO, Fox Star Studios, India in his keynote address highlighted the need for M&E businesses to be future ready. “Digital transformation of the M&E industry is unstoppable and companies will need to focus on innovation and disruption! It will be important to get the digital building blocks to fall into place – be it in content creation, or getting the right business model to fall into place.”
At the inaugural, Girish Menon, Co-Head, media and entertainment, KPMG in India said, “OTT consumption in India has reached a tipping point, with the 4G rollout and related data wars which have resulted in a dramatic and rapid growth in internet penetration and video consumption. This has also fundamentally altered the consumption demographics and patterns, with OTT viewership becoming more mass. Organisations can no longer afford to take baby steps and will need to wholeheartedly commit to building out their digital businesses. However, pivoting to a digital business requires a change in organisational DNA and a ‘digital first’ mindset. Building a digital business is an evolving process and organisations would need to adopt a systematic approach balancing scalability and flexibility with speed to market and customer centricity.”
On building a robust enforcement model to protect content in a digital economy, Stephen Jenner, VP Communications Asia Pacific, MPA, said, “Around the globe, close collaborations between multiple stakeholders have lead to a number of successful content protection initiatives. This bodes well for growing digital economies, and the many creative people contributing to media and entertainment in those markets.”
Speaking about the roadmap to become a digital company, Nachiket Pantvaidya, CEO, ALT Digital Media Entertainment Ltd. said, “Watching videos on internet, especially shows is slowly becoming an integral part of every Indian’s life – Thanks to quality internet being offered by Telco’s at affordable prices. We, at ALTBalaji, believe that this trend can be effectively monetised by offering multi targeted, exclusive, original Indian content at a never before seen scale.”
During the second panel on digital infrastructure transforming content consumption, Jamie Kenney, Business Head, BARC said “India’s digital ecosystem is more advertising driven. As infrastructure grows, digital content consumption will grow and that makes measuring this landscape important. Currently everyone is speaking a different language when it comes to defining measurement. BARC India’s Ekam measurement will provide consistency and comparability to advertisers and publishers. Like in television, our transparent cross platform measurement will help the industry grow and show true ROI.”
Saurabh Doshi, Head – Media Partnerships, Facebook, said, “Being passionate or even finicky about user experience is the key to building a successful digital platform. In this age of hyper competition, it is imperative to focus on building a strong brand that is differentiated. With over 200 million people in India every month and millions globally on the platform we think deeply on the best user experience we can provide and instant articles, LIVE etc. are such examples.”
Blaise Fernandes, President and CEO, The Indian Music Industry, said, “Digital India is attracting a lot of investments in content creation and distribution over the various digital platforms. This sets off a multiplier effect, employment generation, tax revenues, soft power. While all this happens it is necessary for protection measures to be in place, glad that FICCI and the LA India Film Council are giving copyright protection in the internet age adequate weightage in their various forums.”
According to Gaurav Gandhi, COO, Viacom 18 Digital Ventures, “The transition into the new era where there is big focus in building direct to consumer digital businesses, one can derive substantially better results if one uses the power and the collaboration of the entire organisation – particularly the established broadcast businesses. Successful businesses will be built when both units (digital and broadcast) synergistically operate and when one ensures participation of maximum number of people in the organisation in this digital journey.”
Other eminent speakers at the Fast Track India forum included Ajay Chacko, Co-founder, Arre, Akash Banerji, Voot, Hiren Gada, Shemaroo Entertainment Ltd. Aamod Gupte, Eros International, Anju Jain, Disney India, Thomas George, Viacom 18, Rajkumar Akella, Rentrak, Tuhin Menon, Culture Machine, and Sagar Gokhale, Qyuki Digital Media.