Home / Companies / News /  PVR to diversify into F&B post covid-19 pandemic

NEW DELHI: India’s biggest multiplex chain, PVR Cinemas is looking at diversifying its portfolio and plans to launch a range of food and beverage products that can be sold at both online and offline stores.

“Rescue, revival and reinvent are key words right now. F&B contributes 30% of our revenue right now but that has turned to zero since the pandemic," Ajay Bijli, chairman and managing director, PVR Ltd said at a panel with Workplace Trends, a global forum to connect industry leaders and stakeholders.

The company plans to offer a bouquet of food products that can work as takeaways and also can be sold on e-commerce sites, Bijli said, expressing hope about audience flocking back to theatres gradually.

Along with co-panellist Arjun Sharma, chairman of the Select Group that owns the mall Select City Walk in Delhi, Bijli said he was hopeful of cinemas reopening by 15 August but admitted having yet to receive a nod from the government.

“A bunch of big-ticket films like Akshay Kumar’s Sooryavanshi, sports drama ‘83 and Salman Khan’s Radhe that are waiting for theatrical release have reposed much confidence. However, Indian films can only come September onwards. If we reopen in August, we will have Hollywood offerings like Christopher Nolan’s Tenet," Bijli added.

Select Group’s Sharma agreed that cinemas will be a big draw to woo customers back. Though footfalls in Sharma’s Saket mall have been touching the 6,500 mark daily of late with food and beverage sales at 3-4 lakh, the wait is for theatres to open up.

“We are all responsible businesses and sooner or later, the government too will realise it is much safer to be in a cinema hall than many other places," said Sharma who is opening two anchor stores in the coming weeks, fashion retailer Zara and sports goods brand Decathlon.

Sanjeev Mohanty, managing director, South Asia, Middle East and North Africa, Levi Strauss & Co. said brands will have to provide authentic intrinsic experiences to users going forward. With cinema and merchandising being inherently conjoined, it wouldn’t be uncommon to see a Top Gun (the upcoming Tom Cruise movie) style jacket designed by Levi’s available at PVR Saket that would give all three brands a share of the pie and help them reinvent with new and disruptive ideas, Mohanty said.

Lata Jha
Lata Jha covers media and entertainment for Mint. She focuses on the film, television, video and audio streaming businesses. She is a graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism. She can be found at the movies, when not writing about them.
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