Mumbai: The three-day-long media and entertainment convention, Frames, closed on Thursday without the information and broadcasting (I&B) minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi’s promised valedictory address as he couldn’t make it to the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry’s (Ficci) event.
Though attended by around 2,000 delegates from within and outside India, Frames 2008 was marked by the absence of several industry leaders and questions about its relevance for an Indian industry estimated at Rs51,300 crore in media and entertainment revenues.
“Frames is no more just about the big media houses. It is a platform for small and aspiring media and entertainment entrepreneurs to come and get a glimpse of the challenges and the opportunities in the industry,” said A.P. Parigi, chairman of Entertainment Network of India Ltd and a member of the organizing committee.
New and emerging media, such as animation, gaming, the Internet, out-of-home advertising, radio and films, were the main focus areas at the event this year. “If you ask me, technology was the defining theme across the board this year,” said Amit Mitra, secretary general, Ficci.
The mounting concern over piracy and a report by the US-India Business Council that Rs16,000 crore is lost every year to counterfeiting also dominated the conference.
I&B secretary Asha Swarup said the government didn’t favour an “inspector raj” to tackle piracy, as recommended by the industry and would rather encourage supply-side measures that disincentivize piracy.
SC to hear plea against Forest Act today
New Delhi: The Supreme Court will on Friday hear the first petition against the Forests Rights Act, which aims to give land and other rights to tribals and other traditional forest dwellers. Petitions against the Act have been filed by the Bombay Natural History Society, Wildlife Trust of India and Wildlife Society of Orissa.
Four other similar petitions have been filed earlier in the Bombay, Madras and Andhra Pradesh high courts.
The legislation, which is critical for tribal-dominated states in this election year and aims to settle the rights of forest dwellers, has been caught in a controversy. While wildlife conservationists say enforcement of the Act will destroy the country’s green cover, wildlife and pro-tribal activists are seeking its speedy implementation. Padmaparna Ghosh
Norwest to float $1 bn fund next year
Bangalore: Palo Alto-based venture capital firm Norwest Venture Partners (NVP) says it will raise a $1 billion global fund in 2009.
The proposed fund would be utilized for investments in the US, India, Israel and China. The company currently invests out of a $650 million fund that was launched in 2006. A fresh corpus is generally launched by venture capital firms after they exhaust 60% of their current fund. NVP says it will be in that position next year.
One of the first Silicon Valley venture capital firms to start investing in India three years ago, NVP says it will not have an India-dedicated fund, saying a global fund helps it ‘cushion’ adversities of regional economies. Niren Shah, managing director, NVP India, says the company, which focuses on investment in early and select late stage technology firms, will look beyond technology sector in the country. Deepti Chaudhary.
Focus on customer service: new AI chief
New Delhi:National Aviation Co. of India Ltd’s (Nacil) newly appointed chairman and managing director Raghu Menon on Thursday said he will focus on Air India’s customer service to lift the airline’s overall market share, seek government support by way of more equity infusion amid increasing losses and aim at completing nearly 70% of the merger process in the next one year.
“I genuinely believe that we can improve Air India’s financial health, load factors, its yields—everything—if we can attract customers (and) give them a great flying experience and great travelling experience and retain the loyalty of clientele,” Menon said addressing a news briefing after the formal announcement of his appointment on Thursday.
Menon will take charge of Air India on 1 April, and will continue in service for more than three years until his retirement.
As an airline board member, Menon has been part of all critical decisions made over the last three years including acquisition of 111 new aircraft at a list price of nearly $10 billion (Rs40,200 crore) to the airline’s entry into the Star Alliance. Tarun Shukla