Last year, the Telangana government along with Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) had launched an incubation facility ‘Innovation in Multimedia, Animation, Gaming and Entertainment’ (IMAGE), for startups in Hyderabad. Spread over 30,000 square feet in Hitec City, the IT hub, the installation has been developed at a cost of $1.1 million (Rs 8 crore), said STPI director C.V.D. Ramprasad.
The facility IMAGE can seat 232 startups/new companies in the sector. To work under the umbrella of T-Hub, it will create the eco-system for the newbies. And now, AnimationXpress has learnt that one more IMAGE facility is going to crop up, however it won’t be an incubation centre.
This new centre will follow a PPP model and will encourage the growth of the AVGC industry as a whole. Government of Telangana’s Information Technology, Electronics and Communications (ITE&C) department principal secretary, Jayesh Ranjan says, “We have finalised the design for the centre and we are planning to run it in a PPP model (Public Private Partnership). Currently, we are in the process of engaging a consultant which will structure the project on a PPP model and then we will call for expression of interest wherein interested private parties could join us. So in the next three months we will expect a final date.”
The centre will be set in the IT corridor in Gachibowli area and will spread across a massive 4,35,600 square feet (10 acres) of land. Since it’s a PPP based project, the government will majorly provide the land and all the facilities, infrastructure, permissions, water, power for this new IMAGE facility. The core investment in building it will have to be put by private investors. “When I said we will be calling for expression of interest that is the purpose. And the privte investors will have to show interest and then whoever gives us the best terms, will be selected.”
When enquired if any private firms have reached out to them, Ranjan adds, “We have received some interest that were shown informaly by people who are willing to take up this project if we announce it.”
Since the incubator part is already there with STPI, this new space would be everything except the incubator. It will have common facilities, render farms, studios, motion capture facilities, design studios, office space, training institution and much more.
Animation, visual effects and gaming, these three sectors have always been considered when it comes to forming any policy related to the AVGC field except comics. Comics have always been treated as a neglected child and for that, “We will ensure that comics are also included in this new centre’s policy. Once the investor is identified, between the investor and us, we will jointly design the master plan which will decide the space to be alloted to Comics, VFX, Gaming and Animation,” assures Ranjan.
“As for the criteria: Unless the investor doesn’t come in, we (the government) won’t be able to say anything, unilateral decisions will be taken.”
With T-hub, IMAGE incubator centre by STPI and Government of Telangana and now this new IMAGE establishment in picture, the Telangana government is leaving no stones unturned to make Hyderabad the Silicon Valley of India.