With the boom in visual media applications in many sectors, the animation industry is set to grow, despite fears of a recessionary trend in economies world over, experts in the field say. Kerala too has started realising its potential, and the industry is expected to strengthen its roots in the State.

Several companies having tie-ups with international film production houses have been getting orders to execute animation programmes. Such companies are mostly concentrated in metropolitan cities such as Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai in the south. Certain enterprises and institutes have been engaged in the animation sector in the State too, but awareness among students has not been up to the mark, Shine Antony, a computer science engineer and coordinator of a degree programme in animation started in a college in the city in association with Toonskool, an established entity in the animation field, says.

As the entertainment industry is certain to go ahead irrespective of the recessionary influences, the opportunity is immense, Mr. Antony says. It is ideal for those with creativity and passion, he says. Some well-known institutions across the country conduct graduate and postgraduate programmes in animation. The city-based college's initiative in the field was started in 2007.

A report recently released by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry, in association with the global consulting firm Deloitte, says the Indian animation industry, estimated at Rs.2,325 crore last year, is expected to mark a compound annual growth rate of 23 per cent and reach Rs.4,375 crore by 2013. The gaming market estimated at Rs.900 crore in 2010 will grow with a compound annual growth rate of 53 per cent to touch Rs.2,125 crore.

 The animation entertainment sector that develops content for television, films, or DVD is highly fragmented and most skill sets are primarily involved in labour-intensive production and post-production activities. The custom content development and education segment comprising 64 per cent of the animation industry is expected to see momentum largely owing to corporate e-learning programmes and grow at 11 per cent per annum.

The rising number of TV channels, greater accessibility to the Internet, and proliferation of mobile devices that lead to popularity of video and gaming content offer a huge potential for animation. The study says the TV advertisement industry is expected to increase to Rs.15,000 crore by 2013.

 India is the second largest mobile market with nearly 750 million mobile subscribers and 12 million subscribers being added every month. The growth potential on 3G platform for gaming is phenomenal. Nearly eight crore Internet users and over 65 per cent of the population that is under the age of 35 years present an added advantage.

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