The multiplex operators conclave brought up some of the burning issues that were addressed by the expert panelists. Chairing the session, Deepak Asher, president, Multiplex Association of India, put forward some of the pros and cons of the new age cinema viewing. He claims, “Though ten years might be a short history, multiplexes have been successful in bringing the audience back to the theaters.”
Deepak Marda, joint MD, Cinepolis India elucidates, “It is a business of hits and misses but being a debt free company always helps to boost the growth factor even if the market seems saturated. However, piracy has captured a huge chunk of the gray market by burning DVDs, but there still remains a ray of hope. One cannot ignore the fact that there still is a big crowd out there who would want to watch their favourite movie stars on the big screen.”
Putting forward some smart marketing strategies, Rishi Negi, COO, Fame India emphasised on the need for newer channels of promotions like loyalty programs, Face book or the Twitter social networking sites for instance.
The debate also brought up the issue as to whether the lease model worked better than the sale model for malls. From his years of experience, Atul Goel, MD, E-City Ventures, shares, “Most of the successful models have a rental model. It is always a good idea to lease assets rather than sell them. By owning the property, the mall developers can experiment with the retail mix better.”
It was interesting to note that almost all the speakers agreed upon this key learning.
— Sayanti Banerjee, Mumbai Bureau