the room next door
The Head of Technicolor India uses the phrase “the room next door to Soho” when describing his 3500 person facility in Bangalore. This site acts as a back end for The Mill and MPC servicing VFX, commercials and VR projects. During the same trip Framestore signed a deal with Anibrain from Pune, and obviously DNeg is owned by Indian post group Prime Focus, reinforcing an impression that the Soho / India link is very well established and thriving. From my perspective the quality of work is way ahead of what I saw on my first visits here a few years back, and as a result the services provided are much further up the supply chain, including creative development, to the cheap and nasty outsourcing of old.
Within immersive technologies Indian businesses are at a similar position in terms of experimentation as other markets. A tangible difference is that the innovation lead tends to be technical expertise rather than creative content development. This tech excellence is common across both larger corporations and early stage start-ups.
There is a belief that exponential mobile data growth will drive the lower end of the consumer market first, with some LBE experiences linked to Bollywood and a tangible interest in enterprise applications.
Bangalore and Hyderabad both displayed significant local Government interventions in support of a growing creative economy, with a very specific focus on the technical end of that spectrum.
Govt of Karnakata (Bangalore) is funding a “centre of excellence” to provide shared resources, skills training and a focal location
Govt of Telangana (Hyderabad) has made multiple investments (mainly land and taxation levers) including support for the expanding T-Hub Accelerator and plus other mixed creative developments at scale.
Whilst the UK Government is funding significant support for this sector, the scale of Indian interventions to accelerate economic growth is very impressive.
Overall, whilst this is still a country with many challenges, the sense of hurry up towards a reinvented (technology focused) economic future is tangible. And the consistently high quality of people and skills combined with a proactive international partnership approach is driving the cities forward very quickly.