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NITI Aayog CEO Kant Suggests Ranking States by Quality of Media and Entertainment

CII-BCG report on M&E pegs the contribution of the sector at 2.8 percent of GDP and job creation potential at 7 - 8 lakhs in the next five years.

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Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog, proposed indexing and ranking States on media and entertainment (M&E) sector-specific parameters, as they do for ease of doing business, which will have states compete to offer a conducive environment for this sector’s growth. He was speaking at this year’s Confederation of Indian Industry’ Big Picture Summit, with ‘Media and Entertainment - The Digital Takeover’ as the theme.

Kant added that India is the most liberal media market in the world, and the Government will continue to support the industry in every way to realise its full potential. The M&E sector offers tremendous potential, he emphasized, adding that it could be a major growth driver. The next growth spurt for the sector would come with smart phones at lower costs and availability of content in more.

Shashi Shekhar Vempati, CEO, Prasar Bharti said that human capital, creativity, and freedom of expression make India well placed to be the global ‘Vishv Guru’ - the global hub for creativity. He emphasized that digital is the new reality and the future is all about the convergence of technology and content. The private and public sectors need to create the right technology ecosystem. India’s share in the global M&E market is rather small and the country should have a more powerful global voice.

Ramesh Sippy, the film director and producer, stressed the need to create a skilled workforce given the changing nature of the sector. The rapidly changing technology is like a double-edged sword, he said, which will add new categories of jobs while making some obsolete. The Government and the private sector need to work together to create appropriate education and skilling opportunities for this sector.

Sudhanshu Vats, chairman, CII National Committee on Media and Entertainment and group CEO, Viacom 18 Media, said the M&E sector employs about 1.2 million jobs directly, and about 5 million jobs indirectly, and offers tremendous potential for job creation. He suggested that due to its strong linkages with other sectors such as tourism and sports, holistic policies are required. Further, companies should engage in skilling and technology adaptation. He also stressed on the need for having a system of rewards and recognition for the entire value chain in this sector. In terms of changes in society vis-à -vis education, he felt that the education system should become more broad-based allowing a student to study finance and creative writing.

Mr Amit Khanna, advisor, CII and writer, film maker and media guru noted that the churn in society, in media, its proliferation and consumption is moving at various levels, requiring the Government to play a stronger role as facilitator rather than a regulator. He also highlighted that while India produces the largest number of films in a year and is amongst the largest producers in other categories such as music, the industry is highly under-capitalised. The media and entertainment industry needs more investments and new policies for the new era of new opportunities.

A CII BCG report on M&E pegs the contribution of the sector at 2.8 percent of GDP and job creation potential at 7 - 8 lakhs in the next five years. It recommends building a strong pipeline of talent and re-skilling of the current workforce, among others.

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