There is massive interest among youth in the animation industry but India’s share is less than one per cent of the global market

Chota Bhim, Krishna and Mogli – all widely popular names in Indian households, and not just among the youngsters.

These have another common thread – they are all whimsical characters in a colourful, animated form.

In the recent past, one may have noticed the surge in the frequency of animated mode of programming on Indian TV channels, and the number of animated movies produced based on Indian mythology, which is a clear indication that India is on its way to secure a firm footing in this industry.

The growing tendency among youngsters to spend endless time nurturing their fascination for 3D animated games is also being seen in India. However, the country remains an almost insignificant player in the industry, if observers are to be believed.

“India is less than one per cent of the global market. We have been in the animation industry for only 10 to 15 years compared to many other countries that developed local and/or international businesses more than 30 to 40 years ago,” said Biren Ghose, the country head of Technicolor India, the global arts and sciences corporation involved in the media, entertainment and technology industry.

Potential

About the potential of the industry, he said that the industry grew to Rs. 44 billion in 2010-2011 from Rs. 18 billion five years ago, which amounts to 31 per cent growth. India can get a lot of work from all over the world, provided it grows the necessary talent, he said.

In the backdrop of its enlarging and evolving picture, the Indian animation industry can offer challenging and attractive career options to youngsters in the coming years, he felt.

Work environment

Asked about the work environment and the projects of an animator, he spoke of the existence of an “informal air for relaxation and a pressure zone.” Indian studios have worked with international majors such as Disney, WB, DreamWorks, Sony, BBC, Cartoon Network, EA, Rockstar, and Ubisoft.

He further added that the Karnataka Government's Animation, Visual effects, Gaming, and Comics policy (AVGC) 2012 has been set in motion to bring more investments into the animation sector.

Exploring avenues

Satish B., Academic Head of Jain Animation School, said that the contribution of the animation industry to the GDP is equivalent to the IT industry and in the recent past, various fields such as medical animation, architecture animation, and technical animation are being explored by the industry.

He also mentioned that currently in India, graduation and diploma courses in animation are offered and the number of students taking up animation is on the rise as many international studios have come to Bangalore. Voicing his opinion on the future prospects of the industry he said it is limited by creativity, but there is no limitation to its growth as the projects outsourced to India are high presently.

Challenging

As for the students, the creativity involved appears to be the major pull.

Surya H., who is pursuing Diploma in Animation at Animaster Academy, Bangalore, said, “The reason I took up animation is because I wanted to do something challenging everyday. Animation is a creative field and there is no monotony. I want to pursue my higher technical education in the U.S. where the institutes have high standards of teaching. My main interest is in advertisement animation and there are lots of opportunities in India.”