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Friday, December 2, 2011

Reliance MediaWorks partners VenSat Tech for Chennai VFX studio

Anil Ambani-led film and entertainment services company Reliance MediaWorks Ltd (RMWL) has got into a strategic alliance with VenSat Tech Services to expand its visual effects (VFX), computer graphics (CG) and animation capabilities the country. As part of the arrangement VenSat will also set up a studio in Chennai dedicated exclusively for VFX, CG and animation projects allied with RMWL for Indian films.

Anil Arjun, chief executive officer, RMWL, termed the alliance as a strategic win for the company in many ways. “The alliance augurs well with our market positioning as an end-to-end service providers to the Indian media and entertainment inducts wherein VenSat gives us direct presence in Chennai enabling us to strengthen reach in the southern film market. This apart, their creative and technical expertise adds depth to our existing capabilities to execute projects in the Indian film market,” said Arjun.

As part of the arrangement, one of VenSat’s co-founders Venkatesh Roddam will take over a new role and join RMWL’s management as CEO of its entire film and media services division based out of RMWL’s Los Angeles office in the US. The alliance with VenSat is RMWL’s second initiative to beef up presence in south India media and entertainment market. Earlier, towards October end this year, the company had taken over management of Hyderabad-based Annapurna Studios, which is owned by veteran Telugu actor Akkineni Nageswar Rao’s family.

While financial details related to setting up of the new facility in Chennai were not disclosed, RMWL official said that VenSat already operates with over 200 artists from a studio spread across 14,680 square foot at Ascendas IT park in Chennai . The new dedicated studio will be carved out from the existing space and will house a team of 50-odd artists who will work exclusively on Indian film projects bagged by the alliance. Adding the Chennai facility will further enhance RMWL’s present strength of over 1000 artists between its Mumbai and London studios that handle domestic and international projects respectively.

Not restricting the services to just south film industry, the alliance will tap film projects from across the country thereby gaining a significant pie of the film and entertainment services business in the country. The size of animation, VFX and post production industry, according to KPMG, was pegged to be at Rs 2,360 crore in 2010 and witnessed a growth of 17.5% as compared to 2009. Industry experts envisage the growth momentum in this sector to continue in the coming years with a cumulative annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.5% to reach Rs 5,590 crore by 2015.

In terms of value-proposition the alliance will offer its clients vis-a-vis existing competition in the market, Satyanarayana Mudunuri, executive director and co-founder VenSat Tech Services Pvt Ltd, said that competition continues to intensify both domestically and around the globe.

“The market situation calls for identifying key competitive advantages and focus on core competencies. Developing and harnessing the right competitive advantage will greatly improve our chances for success in getting new projects. We (RMWL-VenSat) will be able to leverage and complement out combined strengths and competencies to create meaningful synergies that would augment the market place. There are a few players in the industry but a strategic alliance as this will certainly bring great value to customers,” said Mudunuri.

VenSat, co-founded by Satyanarayana Mudunuri and Venkatesh Roddam in 2009, is a global provider of creative services for the international motion picture, television, home entertainment, gaming and mobile entertainment markets. Among some of its big budget projects include high grossing films namely Dabangg, Robo, Bodyguard and Ra.One.

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