India’s media and entertainment sector set to double, says minister

India’s media and entertainment sector, currently valued at $24 billion, is expected to grow to $30 billion by 2024, according to the country’s Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur.

“I personally feel with the growth rate we have and I’m sure it will increase more than that. By 2030 we expect it to double and even more,” Thakur said. Variety at the Cannes Film Festival.

Thakur spoke with Variety Wednesday at the Indian Pavilion in Cannes after launching a filming incentive that offers up to 35% reimbursement on local expenses to international productions shot in India.

“I think it’s quite lucrative and I expect a lot of people to come and shoot in India, because our main goal is to make India the content hub of the world,” Thakur said. “India has a lot to offer, we still need to grow and move forward from here. And I expect these incentives can help attract many businesses in the future.”

“By the end of the Cannes Film Festival, you’ll see that word has spread that India has announced so much – others may come with better packages and all that,” Thakur added. “In a competitive world, you can’t stop here, you have to keep moving forward. It has to be in real time, you have to compete with the world. It’s not just the incentive incentive – yes, that will have an impact – it’s also the locations, the skilled and cheaper labor and a huge domestic market [India] market available to them too.

Thakur said the reach of Indian films, where big movies are currently being released day and date in 50 territories around the world, has the potential to grow beyond that, citing the recent global success of “RRR” and “KGF: Chapter 2”.

“We need to create content for the world, not just for the domestic market. [India] market. With that in mind, I’m sure if they [the West] could have Marvel superheroes, why not India? asks Thakur. “We have a rich 6,000-year-old cultural heritage, we can present it to the world in a beautiful way.”

In 2021, the Indian government introduced a self-regulatory code for streaming platforms which they are required to abide by. This is a different scheme from motion pictures, where the content is graded by the Central Board of Film Certification.

“I think few sectors must have it and there must be maturity because if you trusted them, I’m sure so far it’s working well,” Thakur said. “There are certain concerns, which we raise with them, when people also raise them directly, which are addressed. It’s only a beginning.

“With the growing popularity of OTT [streaming] the players and subscribers who are increasing with each passing day, they will also understand the responsibility they have to play,” added Thakur. “I’m sure it will work because in the news media sector too, we left it to print and electronic media. They do it by themselves. We don’t get into that. Likewise, here we want creativity to be better with each passing day.