We have signed around 350 screens across India

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Cinepolis India, a wholly owned subsidiary of Mexico-based multiplex chain Cinepolis, is targeting to be the market leader in a couple of years. Milan Saini, MD, Cinepolis India, takes us through the company’s growth plans.

The film exhibition industry in India has evolved over the last few years. Where does it stand today?

The film industry is rapidly switching to digital projection and 3-D technology. This improves the user experience and reduces the print cost for film producers and distributors.

Among additional trends, the multiplex roll-out continues at a decent pace across the country as the theatrical exhibition infrastructure in the country gets a major upgrade. Going forward, expect to see much larger screen formats, including the introduction of megaplexes – theaters with 10 screens or more.

What is the share of Cinépolis in the film exhibition industry?

Globally, we are three times the size of the modern multiplex industry in India.

Cinépolis plans to open 500 screens by 2016. Which markets are you targeting?

We are already open in Bangalore, Thane and Amritsar and Cinépolis will open in six additional cities by the end of the year. Overall, we are targeting the top 40 cities in the country and in each of these cities we are looking for high quality shopping malls for our multiplexes. So far, we have signed around 350 screens across the country, including 14- and 15-screen megaplexes which will come up in the next 12 months.

What kind of rental tie-ups do you have with shopping malls?

Our rental arrangements are based on a progressive model of ensuring the highest sustainable returns for our developer partners. We have noticed that individual situations vary and we customise our offers keeping the best interests of both parties in mind.

How much do you plan to invest in your expansion? Will it be done through internal accruals or external funding?

On an average, we spend around Rs.2 crore per screen. But the investment we make depends on the number of screens we open, which, in turn, depends on the timely delivery of shopping malls. This year we plan to open close to 50 screens. We are internally funded for all of our growth.

Where do you see yourself a few years down the line?

For India, we are targeting to be the market leader in a couple of years.

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