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Lack of Labor in India Spurs Studio to Set Up Animation House in China

Bangalore-based game development company Dhruva Interactive is planning to set up a studio in China due to what it reports is a severe workforce shortage in the animation industry in India, it was reported in the zDNet India News.

"We will be setting up a studio in China in the next 12-18 months as we cannot increase the size of our teams in India," said K. Rajesh Rao, ceo of Dhruva. "We are planning to employ about 150 people in China for the studio," he adds.

Rival producers are in agreement about the labor shortage in Indias animation industry, which earned estimated revenues of $200-300 million in the last fiscal year.

"While the animation industry requires about 30,000 people today, there are only about 5,000 people working for the industry," added P. Jayakumar, ceo, Toonz Animation India Private Ltd. "This huge gap between demand and supply needs to be filled."

"There are not enough animation schools in the country today," offered P. C. Vikram, creative director, pre-production, JadooWorks Private Ltd. "This apart, the people who teach at many animation academies are people who have just passed out of such academies and do not intend to join the industry," he added. "We need more trainers from the industry itself."

JadooWorks, with 450 people on its payroll, has recruited about 80 people from the rural areas. "We have brought artists from Tanjavur, Jalgaon and interiors of Andhra Pradesh and have trained them for this industry," said Ashish Kulkarni, coo of JadooWorks.

While JadooWorks spends about six to eight months training these recruits, Kulkarni said, It has been difficult for us to convince the parents to let their children join the animation industry."

Kulkarni said medicine and engineering are perceived in his country as more secure fields and that people do not, realize the potential that the animation industry has today.

As major animation companies in India contemplate expansion plans, the demand for more trained workers is likely to increase.

Toonz is planning to increase its present workforce of 450 by about 150 by this months end. Dhruva Interactive, with 60 people on its payroll, plans to increase this number to 120 by the end of the year. Pentamedia Graphics is also planning to double its workforce of 250 in-house and 150 freelancers by March.