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Sunday, June 23, 2013

Prime Focus to launch ops in China

This story first appeared in DNA Money edition on Thursday, June 20, 2013.

Prime Focus (PF), a provider of media and entertainment (M&E) services, is making a foray into China and will set up operations by the third quarter of this fiscal, said Ramki Sankaranarayanan, CEO.

PF’s initial bouquet of services in China would include visual effects and 2D-to-stereo-3D conversion. The company will also explore hybrid cloud technology-enabled asset and workflow management solutions for broadcast industry.

The move to set base in China follows the joint venture (JV) formed by PFs, AID Partners Capital and Zhejiang Jingqi Wenhua Chuanbo in March.

Sankaranarayanan said, “The decision to enter China was a mutual understanding between partners. A key construct of AID Capital’s investment in PF was that PF bring its creative and technology expertise to benefit the M&E market in China.”

A promising 3D market opportunity and the overall M&E industry prospects in China, one of the world’s largest content markets, were key factors that propelled PF into China.

Namit Malhotra, founder of PF, said, “After India, Europe and North America, China was the growth story waiting to happen. The AID Partners relationship has gone beyond investment in a formal market entry vehicle to expand our footprint into one of the most influential markets in the world.”

According to the Chinese State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, China’s 2012 box-office receipts increased 30%, thanks largely to imported films, placing the People’s Republic as the world’s second-largest box office next to the US (surpassing Japan).

It was too early to decide on a greenfield set-up of PF in China as details about the size of infrastructure, office space and employee strength are yet to be determined, said Sankara narayanan.

“As of now, we are opening a marketing and sales office in Beijing. We will offer a complete suite of creative and technology services. Our investment in the JV is $3 million, which will be deployed for future investments,”said Sankaranarayanan.

Market accessibility and client intimacy will be key focus areas versus cost arbitration, he said.

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