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The Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming and Comic (AVGC) sector has grown manifold in last two decades. Chennai has become a key player in this sector with many Hollywood movies doing not just their visual effects and graphics here but also much of post-production work. Anticipating its growth trajectory, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman during her budget speech has announced setting up a task force to match the infrastructure development for AVGC sector growth.

AVGC takes the fiction to a new dimension. The sector has become part and parcel of movie production clocking a steady growth in last ten years. AVGC companies also employ a sizeable workforce. The Confederation of Indian Industry and Boston Consultancy Group have estimated that India-based AVGC companies carried out 10% of global projects. A BCG – Sequioa India report states that gaming industry in the country earned $5 billion last year.

AVGC sector employs 1.7 to 1.8 lakh people. The growth of Indian AVGC is attributed to US and European companies outsourcing their computer software operations here. AVGC is not limited to movies but it has grown to be deployed in fields like architecture, life sciences, law, education, industry, town planning, sports and digital realms.

The Finance Minister’s announcement on establishing a task force to boost AVGC has created a lot of expectations.

Multimedia organizations and movie makers have welcomed the announcement. Noted film producer and industry voice S Dhananjayan said: “If we want such growth in AVGC, the sector should get tax benefits from state and central governments.”

Industry sources say that they need concessions on power and studio management to attract foreign investments. Centre should rethink about the 18% GST on AVGC.

Many cinema production companies have moved from Los Angeles to London. They were given a tax rebate of 30% when they did so.

A visual effects expert, not willing to reveal his name, said that many cinema production companies have moved from Los Angeles to London. They were given a tax rebate of 30% when they did so. Similar steps were adopted in New Zealand and Australia and that resulted in the growth of the AVGC sector there.

The expert talked about how the British government supported AVGC professionals when Covid19 crippled film production. The support was timely and helped the sector bounce back when the pandemic weaned off. Sadly, AVGC has no such infrastructure and it remains an unorganized sector in our country, he said.

Many Hollywood production companies outsource AVGC to India because they can get quality work at cheaper rate. On the flip side it means, we don’t get good money for the best work, he said.

Chennai attracts sizeable projects after Bangalore, Hyderabad and Mumbai

Bangalore tops when it comes to AVGC companies in India. A centre for AVGC development was established in the city last month. After Bangalore, AVGC sees a handsome growth in cities like Hyderabad, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Thiruvananthapuram and Chennai. Chennai attracts sizeable projects after Bangalore, Hyderabad and Mumbai, say industry sources.

Cloud engineering, database engineering and image processing are some of the AVGC skills. When the central government establishes a curriculum for the digital university, it should include topics relevant AVGC. This would give a great boost to the employability of the candidates studying it and boost its standing globally, industry figures say.

The budget announcement should drill down to the task force and other projects announced for AVGC. Only then, the announcement will truly benefit AVGC, they add.

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