The Secretary, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Shri Amit Khare has said that the Indian Media & Entertainment sector is very important, since it generates millions of jobs, generates significant revenues and is growing at a fast rate. He said that the sector has a big role in enhancing India’s image on the global stage. The sector is led by the private sector. In view of the above, the role of the Government has been that of a facilitator, not that of a regulator. He was speaking at the opening session of FICCI Frames 2019, delivering the keynote address at the 20th edition of the three-day conference, in Mumbai today. The theme of the conference is ‘FRAMES @ 20: Global Goes India’.
Speaking specifically of the broadcast sector, the Secretary said that less regulation is better than more regulation, and self-regulation than regulation by the Government. He said that self-regulation and less regulation complement each other very well, if the regulation is spelt out in clear and unambiguous terms.
He said that policies and regulations in India have developed platform-wise, not content-wise. Now in 2019, when there is a convergence of platforms, we need to rethink and realign some policies for providing a level-playing field, said the Secretary.
The media has a significance which is far higher than what is reflected by the revenues it generates; it can create a change in perception among the people. Hence, it needs to be treated differently, the Secretary added. Stating that certainty of policies is important, he said that the Government wants to grow together with the industry and that it has high expectations from it.
The Secretary briefed the audience about steps being taken by the Government in order to encourage the growth of the sector , and to help the sector better realize its potential. He said that forums such as FICCI Frames are very helpful, in enabling interaction among various stakeholders engaged and interested in the sector.
The FICCI – EY Knowledge Paper on the M&E industry in India and Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas Law Book were launched by the Secretary and other dignitaries on the occasion.
Delivering the Media Mastermind Keynote, Chairman & Co Founder, Up Grad, Mr. Ronnie Screwvala highlighted the need for more entrepreneurs, founders and leaders in the M&E sector, to steer the industry forward. Giving a word of advice to aspiring entrepreneurs, he spoke of the importance of resilience and of sticking it out. He also spoke of the need for more investment in the sector. Mr. Screwvala said that the media companies of tomorrow will not be media companies, but consumer companies, with a strong focus on the consumer. He said that the industry needs to look more at innovation, origination and ownership.
Noting the universal power of stories to inspire and the profound social impact of media, Chief Executive Officer, National Geographic Partners, Mr. Gary Knell asked the industry how we can harness the power of storytelling to encourage the young Indian generation to explore and change the world. He exhorted everyone to commit to our posterity to play our part in the future growth of the industry.
Chairman and CEO, Motion Picture Association of America, Mr. Charles H. Rivkin said that he sees a marvel of creativity in Bollywood. He is a big fan of India’s film & TV entertainment industry. He said that MPAA wants to partner with the country in many mutually beneficial ways. Noting the disparity between films produced and screens where they can be shown, he stated that building more screens can be a game changer for the sector.
Vice President, FICCI, Mr. Uday Shankar said that India is one of the most exciting markets for the M&E industry. Emphasizing that the Indian media story has just begun, he said that the sector can play a crucial role, perhaps more than any sector, in realizing national aspirations.
Secretary General, FICCI, Mr. Dilip Chenoy gave the concluding remarks for the opening session.