Eros Intl. maps growth strategy; to set up global film funds

MUMBAI: With an aim to emerge as the Big Daddy in the global film production space, Eros International has chalked out an extensive game plan. The company’s first target market is but naturally India.

In the first step towards achieving this, Eros has shipped its top brass executives comprising chief operating officer Jyoti Deshpande and executive vice president corporate & business development Marcus Stuart Vannini from London to India.

Furthermore, there are as many as eight big ticket announcements lined up for the year 2008. These include joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions and funds with Indian and international companies.

Speaking exclusively to on the company’s road ahead, Deshpande says, "India is where the growth is coming from. Our shift is a part of the next phase of the consolidation strategy. We will be looking at mergers and acquisitions beyond the filmed entertainment space. Our aim is to not just look at films as a vertical but the entire entertainment space as a horizontal."

Eros is looking at selling format rights of Indian films to Hollywood and other film global industries. Apart from India, the company is looking at tapping markets like Russia and Latin America for content. "Russia and Latin America are rapidly growing markets where we see great potential for mutually beneficial partnerships that leverage India’s expertise and leadership position in media and entertainment in Asia. We are in talks with several leading players to work together on co-productions, new formats and film funds," informs Vannini.

Eros will be looking at distributing Indian films that have cross-over potential to these markets by directly associating with companies there. "If we have a movie, which can be remade in their language or if their movie can be adapted for the Indian market, then we will sell / buy the remake rights as appropriate," Vannini says.

That apart, Eros has also trained its eyes on the Middle East and is also advising and supporting local companies to set up film funds. Vannini questions, "What is Bollywood doing in the Middle East? Nothing, when compared to what Hollywood is doing! Eros plans to lead the way in that market. We are tying up with key public and private players in the Middle East to support the broader development of Bollywood in the Middle East as well as local language productions the Indian film industry can support."

The company also has a total of 35 films lined up for 2008. These include Hindi as well as Tamil films. With its plans firmly in place, the company is now poised to tap the global media and entertainment space.

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