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Animation Task Force Will Help Establish Progressive Policies in India: Industry Experts

Setting up a task force for the animation, visual effects, gaming, and comic (AVGC) sector with participation from the industry will help establish uniform, progressive policies that will promote growth and investments in the sector, according to industry experts.

The government on Tuesday announced the setting up of a task force to recommend steps for the promotion of the animation, visual effects, gaming, and comic (AVGC) sector.

The sector offers immense potential to employ youth, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in her Budget speech.

“An AVGC promotion task force with all stakeholders will be set up to recommend ways to realise this and build domestic capacity for serving our markets and the global demand,” she said.

Commenting on the announcement, Jehil Thakkar — partner and media and entertainment sector leader — Deloitte India, said the move will help India achieve its potential of 20 lakh jobs in the sector.

“These are critical skills for the growth of the metaverse and India is poised to take advantage of this ecosystem,” he said.

Mobile Premier League (MPL) co-founder and CEO Sai Srinivas said the announcement highlights the need to build capacity to serve domestic and global markets and is a strong indicator of the impetus that the government is willing to provide for its growth.

“It is also heartening to see the government’s commitment to work with the industry, allowing for a balanced approach that accommodates the needs of all stakeholders and strengthens the ecosystem holistically. A progressive tax regime, predictable regulatory framework and supportive funding policies will allow the industry to compete on the world stage…” he said.

Echoing similar views, Nazara Technologies CEO Manish Agarwal said India presently commands around 10 percent of the global AVGC market and has the potential to reach 20-25 per cent by 2027. “This task force will facilitate employment for the youth, build domestic capacity to serve the Indian markets and also meet global demand,” he said.

He added that replacing the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) Act with new legislation that would enable states to become partners in becoming development hubs is a crucial and well-timed move. “For the gaming industry, such partnership with states on SEZs would help strengthen the supply base of animation and production studios and encourage the development of the existing animation and gaming capacity,” Agarwal noted.

Pioneer Legal Partner Shoubhik Dasgupta said the recommendations of all stakeholders will hopefully pave the way for better laws on gaming in the country, provide the much-needed clarity and thereafter, invite investments.

Zupee founder and CEO Dilsher Singh Malhi said for gaming companies, many of which are homegrown startups, the extension of the existing tax benefits from three to four years will further accelerate growth in the sunrise sector.

“The creation of the AVGC promotion task force is a welcome move. The initiative with industry participation will help in establishing uniform, progressive policies that will promote growth and investments in the sector, which in turn, will lead to job creation, revenue generation, and engagement opportunities,” he added.

Ketan Patel, Managing Director at HP India, noted that setting up the AVGC task force can be a catalyst for a further boost of the sector in India, given that it has the potential to create lakhs of job opportunities in the next few years.

Games 24×7 Chief Financial Officer Rahul Tewari highlighted that the AVGC task force can provide the long-term policy impetus and bring together the various stakeholders to turbo-charge the vibrant ecosystem in gaming and animation.

“India has a deep and very high-quality talent pool of developers and creative artists who will transform India into a global player in the interactive entertainment space in the coming years. We hope this paves way for regularity clarity for gaming…the commitment to roll out a 5G network in the next fiscal year is a very promising announcement for the tech startup space in general and gaming in particular,” he added.

IndiaTech.org CEO Rameesh Kailasam said building courses, training and capacity will not only build capacity but also enable new startups in this space to emerge for India and the world.

It is equally important to build regulatory clarity for this sector in coordination with the states, which is essential for further growth, he added.

Fantasy Akhada founder Sumit Jha said an AVGC-specific task force will help bolster domestic capacity, helping meet the burgeoning market demands on a national and an international level.

Paavan Nanda, a co-founder of WinZO, said gaming is a soon-to-be trillion-dollar industry, and the company will be willing to work with public stakeholders to attract the best talent to this growing industry.

JetSynthesys Vice Chairman and MD Rajan Navani said building a task force that will address the needs of this industry across various ministries would be a very proactive approach towards strengthening this industry.

Anwar Shirpurwala, CEO of Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports, said the development will fuel the industry’s capabilities as a major employment generator and a sunrise sector.

“As a fast-growing industry, fantasy sports has created an economic impact driven by its size and scale. Over the next few years, the fantasy sports industry is capable of cumulatively contributing Rs. 11,000 crore in taxes, including GST and TDS, to the government exchequer, attracting FDI worth over Rs. 10,000 crore and creating 12,000 additional jobs by generating employment opportunities for individuals skilled in fields like graphic design, motion design, creative writing, storytelling, user experience researchers, data analysts, software programmers so on,” he said.

Harsh Jain, CEO and co-founder of Dream11 and Dream Sports, said the task force will provide the much-needed clarity and certainty for the fantasy sports and e-sports sectors by providing more upskilling and career opportunities for the youth to be a part of India’s sunshine sectors.

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