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Animating success via franchising

By Neha Gohil Feature Writer

Being passionate about education industry, Animation Live was created. The company is offering the complete range of Animation and Multimedia programs. In an interview Hitendra Singh, National Head (Channel Development), Animation Live, tells us about the growing animation industry.

Neha Gohil (NG): Share with us your entrepreneurial journey?

Hitendra Singh (HS): I belong to a business family. In my past experience of over a decade in varied businesses I have clearly identified that ‘Quality is the best business policy’. I have learnt a lot in my initial days by participating in various family businesses like retail, manufacturing and education, which is very close to my heart. I am a commerce graduate with Post Graduation in Business Entrepreneurship (PGDBEM).

I was always passionate about movies, playing games on computers and about the virtual world. Therefore while starting up my own brand ‘Animation Live’, I thought of animation training first. As we are growing today, I am sure we made the right decision at the right time. Today Animation Live has seven centres and is spread across Punjab. In our second phase we are entering Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, UP, Delhi and Rajasthan.

NG: How did you conceptualise this business idea and what motivated you to start up this business?

HS: Education is our passion. The promoters of Animation Live have a large experience in the training industry. We wanted to venture into Animation training space because we saw a huge opportunity. Today more and more manpower is required as 2D and 3D animators, web designers, graphic designers and in several other specialised domains. The industry is going to get even bigger with 80 - 110 million TV homes, hundreds of TV channels in variety of regional languages, more than 60,000 cable operators.

NG: What is the USP of Animation Live?

HS: We stand out in terms of our reach in Punjab, quality of education delivery and our offerings. We offer the complete range of Animation and Multimedia programs, and extend our offerings to web designing and development, Graphic designing, programs in coding like Flash Action Script and PHP. We also have our own production house that provides practical trainings to the deserving students.

NG: What are your future plans in terms of expansion via franchising?

HS: We are looking at expansion across North – Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, UP, Delhi and Rajasthan. We started from Chandigarh and today we are spread across Punjab. In the phase two of our expansion, we want to spread across the north zone.

NG: Animation Institute can be a lucrative business venture. What are your views on it?

HS: Talent development in Animation Industry is very important at this point of time as the industry is growing rapidly. As per NASSCOM reports Animation industry is growing at 30 per cent and Gaming industry at 49per cent. Indian entertainment industry is pecked to be around Rs 17,200 crore this year. All this reflects that more and more manpower will be required to ensure that the growth is maintained. Animation Live has trained more than 3,000 students in the last six years from Punjab, Haryana and Himachal.

NG: How many franchisees do you have? What motivated you to expand via franchise route?

HS: Currently we have five franchise centres and two company owned. We started with our own centre in Chandigarh the state capital for Punjab and Haryana. We got tremendous response. The youth today has several career options and they want to experiment. In a short span of time we realised that the demand for quality manpower in the Animation and Multimedia industry is greater than the supply. We could not have opened centre all over the state ourselves therefore, we started to pass our expertise through the franchise route. This would help us create talent faster.

NG: What according to you are the advantages of running a franchisee of Animation Institute? Mention few challenges and how can they be overcome?

HS: There are many advantages – to start with get a prototype ready which guarantees success, the youth today which is our TG is really excited about animation and multimedia, you get a lot of academic support since there are many schools and colleges starting courses in animation and they need expert’s support. Challenges are that you need to be fit on street while marketing for these courses and that the initial investment is little higher because of the infrastructure requirement. These can be overcome by proper planning of BTL activities in the town and product mix selling. Our courses are there for all kinds of TG.

NG: How much investment and area required by a franchisee?

HS: Depending on the city the investment may be different. The space required is from 1,000-1500 sq ft. Investment would be between 15-25 lakh depending on the city.

NG: What can you say about the future in this field? Is the Animation Institutes section promising for entrepreneurs?

HS: Education is a good business since the customer pays you ahead of execution of task. Animation training in terms of revenue accrual is no different. As per Jakob Neilson, the Indian offshore industry will require to employ around four lakh interaction designers to achieve the $63 billion software export. Entrepreneurs will surely gain from this emerging business line.

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