Adlabs Films, India’s largest multiplex chain, controlled by billionaire industrialist Anil Ambani, is launching one of the country’s biggest outsourcing businesses to service the global movie and television industries.

The new unit will digitise films and television shows from clients’ archives or libraries, restore old prints and adapt content for use in different formats, such as DVDs or mobile phones.

Its first contract is from the state-run National Film Archive of India in Pune to digitise and restore 1,000 films.

“One [area of work] is the old legacy content, which has to be converted into digital, including all these studio classics – Paramount, Mickey Mouse and all of that – and then there is all of the television content,” said Anil Arjun, chief executive officer of Adlabs.

Mr Ambani’s Reliance group is not the first Indian company to target media outsourcing, but it claims to be the largest effort yet attempted, with a dedicated workforce starting at 300 people and scaling up to 1,200 in one year.

The company says India’s competitive advantage is outsourcers’ ability to build quickly the scale necessary for large projects, such as the contract from the National Film Archive of India.

Adlabs operates 430 multiplexes in India, the US and Malaysia and has a film and media services unit specialising in post-production and processing among other things.

The company is a unit of Mr Ambani’s Reliance ADAG group, which also has a tie-up with Stephen Spielberg’s DreamWorks. It argues that its 25-year history in the film industry will enable it to trump competition from existing operators that are more experienced in outsourcing.

These include a joint venture between outsourcing company Genpact and media group NDTV, and a separate tie-up between another conventional outsourcing group Infosys BPO and TV 18, a media conglomerate.

The joint venture between Infosys and TV 18, Source18, does not have a dedicated team for media outsourcing but instead assembles teams as necessary when contracts come in.

via FT.com / India.

Advertisements