Its pivotal role in the ongoing boom in the Indian Design & Animation Industry
In a country that is dominated by Engineering, Medical, Finance and Management sectors, no one would have thought that making a career in an Art based sector would amount to anything, let alone succeeding in it. Indian Entertainment industry is much revered and is one of the biggest industries, largely due to “Bollywood” movies, crafts such Acting, Film-Making, Music, Dance etc., are wildly popular and passionately followed by majority of the people here, but for a long time, one key sector of this industry was overlooked and frowned upon for some reason and it is known as Animation, and even more overlooked was Graphic Design, which is one of the biggest part of this small industry.
Now, not to bore you with the history of it all, but in the past 10 years, there has been a significant rise of talented individuals and even of the work that we get, still the number of talents is outweighing the opportunities available as it is still a nascent industry in India, with not enough people and/or companies stepping up to expand the business, mainly scared of taking any risks because of the lack of awareness in general. However, the same cannot be said for countries such as USA, UK, Canada, Japan etc., as for them it has already stood the test of time and came out successful for years and so they’re not afraid to give opportunities to talented artists. As a result, outsourcing of talents from other countries came about. It has widespread and is getting bigger every year.
Many entertainment giants such as The Walt Disney Company and IMAX are beginning to outsource an increasing amount of their animation production to Asian countries, particularly India, while other companies are outsourcing animation from India for commercials and computer games. The Walt Disney Company has outsourced a number of major animation projects to studios throughout India. Cable and satellite station Cartoon Network is buying animation films made in India while MTV has added India to its outsourcing center along with the Philippines and South Korea.
Even the MNCs like Whirlpool, GE, LG, Philips and Bosch are setting up research and design centres in India. And some others like Reckitt are offshoring design work to Indian design houses. Outsourcing design jobs to India started in a small way, but is going to be big. This is the latest trend in the world of manufacturing. A product is today conceived in the US, designed in India, manufactured in China and sold in markets across the globe.
Design outsourcing is probably one of the big things to happen over the horizon. U.S. corporations might want to take a look at a number of Indian design consultancies that appear to do great work. India’s National Institute of Design graduates hundreds of highly trained designers a year. India has a vast manufacturing infrastructure in place — something US and European and Japanese companies are discovering. The expertise of Indian designers in 3D modeling and plant engineering in sectors like aerospace, automotive and industrial design has already caught the attention of leading companies from both Europe and America.
Overall though, the main reason why foreign entertainment firms are flocking to India is the cost advantage the country offers, as artists here don’t charge by the time as opposed to the charge-by-the-hour system in the developed world. As an example, US artists can cost about $125 an hour; in India, they cost $25 an hour. Studios in India are also able to provide a large supply of low-cost, high-quality software engineers, even going so far as to establish studios outfitted with state-of-the-art hardware and software to carry out production overseas. The only stumbling block, industry insiders foresee, is the low number of skilled professional designers in the country today. As compared to the UK which boasts of over 150,000 designers or China and Taiwan, which have a population of over 1 lakh designers each, India still has only around 3,500-5,000 skilled designers. (Approx. figures)
Offshoring of jobs to India which started off with call-centres and back-office jobs like accounting has today spread to include high-end product design work and even packaging and graphic designs. As manufacturers look at reducing costs and product development cycles, India is fast emerging as the new-age design board for MNCs.
India, for the past 3-4 years, especially at this very moment, is in the core of the latest advancement in the technology, which is largely due to the IT boom from the Offshore IT outsourcing we witnessed few years ago, now because of this there are many companies outside India that outsource the creative content development work to India. The primary outsourcing services comprise of graphic design outsourcing, animation/VFX outsourcing, custom web design and programming, word press blogs and Joomla websites. The companies into web design outsourcing provide a range of services right from basic graphic rich website design to comprehensive e-commerce website portal.
The growing number of outsourcing jobs, industry experts say, is now prompting Indian design houses to set up representative offices in US and Europe in order to be close to their existing clients, and also expand their client base. And as their order books swell, this multi-crore design outsourcing industry seems all set to replicate the success of software services.