PVR & Cineplex to invest Rs 1 billion in new joint venture

MUMBAI: PVR has entered into joint venture agreement with Thailand based lifestyle entertainment company – Major Cineplex Group, to set up Blu-O, a bowling brand which will now bring fashion bowling to Indian consumers. The two companies will be investing a total of Rs 1 billion (Rs 100 crores) in this venture over the next three years to set up 500 bowling alleys in approximately 20- 25 centers.

While PVR will invest 51 per cent, Major Cineplex Group Plc will invest 49 per cent in the venture. Blu-O’s first 24 lane bowling centre in India commenced operations at Ambience Mall in Gurgaon, where PVR already has presence with a multiplex.

Apart from Gurgaon, other key cities which have been identified include Bangalore, Delhi, Chennai and Mumbai amongst few others. PVR’s Gautam Dutta has been appointed the CEO of this new venture.

Equipped with 24 cosmic bowling lanes, World Cuisine lounge, 2 Platinum Lounges for Private Dining and variety of entertainment lounges, Blu-O has also tied up with ITC for smoking lounge, Xbox for Xbox 360 Entertainment lounge and Pepsi for their first Youngistaan Bar. Apart from these, it will also have Tattoo Walla for in-house Permanent/ Temporary Tattoo Studio and pro-shop.

PVR managing director Ajay Bijli said, “This is another step towards our continuous efforts to evolve PVR from a filmed entertainment company to a retail entertainment player with a focus to enhance the out of home entertainment experience for our patrons. We aim to provide world-class lifestyle entertainment concepts to the Indian consumers, tapping on the changing consumer preference patterns owing to increased exposure to global standards. PVR Blu-o will bridge the gap of higher aspirations vis-à-vis lack of organized entertainment experience in India.”

When queried as to why PVR is venturing into bowling, which never really took off in India, PVR Blu-O CEO Gautam Dutta said, “Bowling failed in India because it was pegged as a sporting destination rather than a place for entertainment. Also, inadequate infrastructure, ambience provided etc. didn’t really appeal much to the audience. On the other hand, PVR has a proven track record of understanding what a consumer wants. Today, consumer’s taste is evolving and our research shows that consumers are willing to spend money, if product offering matches up with his needs, desire and aspiration.”

Major Cineplex Group Plc’s Somkit Tantadvanichkul added, “It is our pleasure to foray in India. With the vast experience of operating bowling and allied entertainment activities that we possess along with PVR’s understanding of Indian consumers, together we have created an outstanding product and I am sure that people in India will surely love it.”

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