Pritish Nandy forays into exhibition business

MUMBAI: Pritish Nandy Communications Ltd, which is primarily involved in movie production, has now forayed into the exhibition business. The company will be looking at investing close to Rs 1.50 billion (Rs 150 crores) over the next 18 – 24 months for the same.


The exhibition business will be under the brand name of PNC Boutique Theatres, which will have two operating brands namely – Flix and Flix Grande. The first Flix multiple screen boutique theatre will be ready and running within six months and the second before the year end.


The company’s stock touched its 52 week high of Rs 80.00 on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) today (5 June). The company’s scrip closed at Rs 79.95, which was 9.90 per cent (Rs 7.20) up from its previous day’s close of Rs 72.75.


Speaking to Businessofcinema.com, PNC chairman Pritish Nandy says, “We are aiming at launching our first screen within the next six months. In 18 months’ time, we will have at least 10 screens operational and that will increase to 15 in two years’ time.”


However, the company is looking at only the city of Mumbai for launching its multiplexes in the first phase. “We will first focus on the Mumbai market and then if the business is big enough, we will probably look at expanding to other metros like Delhi. In Mumbai we have identified a few properties for launching our theatres,” Nandy informs.


“Our objective is to have at least 10 Flix screens in operation in the best locations in the city of Mumbai in the next 18 months and we are already working towards this. After that, we hope to quicken our pace of growth in the exhibition business,” says Pritish Nandy Communications director and CEO Pallab Bhattacharya.


Nandy adds, “Flix will attempt to be a distinctive experience from the current chains of multiplexes in India and will cater to special audiences. Flix will not be in competition with either traditional single screen theatres or the current crop of multiplexes. It will be a separate and unique experience. It hopes to build a new community of movie watchers specially committed to the theatrical experience.”


The Indian exhibition industry, which accounted for 78 per cent of the film industry in 2005, is estimated to grow at 14 per cent CAGR to Rs 102 billion by 2010. Players like PVR, Adlabs, Cinemax, Shringar, Inox and Fun already have aggressive plans to step up their property offerings. With players like Pritish Nandy Communications foraying into the exhibition business and speculation of Yash Raj Films’ entry into the same; existing players can expect some competition from production houses, who also provide software to them.

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