We are not scared of competition: Sanjeev Bijli

September 17th, 2009 - 5:33 pm ICT by IANS  

By Ruchika Kher
New Delhi, Sep 17 (IANS) They introduced the multiplex concept in India in 1997 and now when other players are increasingly entering the market, Sanjeev Bijli, joint managing director of PVR Ltd, maintains that competition does not bog them down as they always strive to do something different.

“Every industry has competition, similarly in our industry too, but we are not scared of it. I feel that our industry has relatively less competition. Hence, it is not very difficult to tackle it,” Bijli, who also looks after the distribution side of their film production arm, PVR Pictures, told IANS in an interview.

“There is plenty of room for everyone. Also, we have always believed in providing the best. Best of locations, quality and good customer service at all times,” he added.

After PVR, among others to have stepped into the industry are Big Cinema’s, Satyam Cineplex, Adlabs Films, Inox Leisures, Fun Multiplex and Cinemax India.

In order to keep themselves ahead, PVR recently organised a same date Indian release of the film “9″, an animated film produced by Tim Burton and directed by Shane Acker, Sep 9 to celebrate the 09.09.09 phenomenon.

Bijli specified that even though there are benefits of a same day release, it is not a cakewalk to get the ball rolling.

“It’s tough to have a parallel release in India because India is not a prime market for English films, so a lot of convincing is required. Also when you want a same day release in India, you need prints, market material and other things in time. All these factors are very challenging and proper co-ordination is needed”, he explained.

But at the same time he admits that they have been benefited by the effort.

“Having a parallel release has its benefits. It benefited us since we were the only ones to release it on time. Then customers don’t have to wait for long for the India release of the film. Hence, it curbs piracy because the film is available onscreen,” he added.

There has been economic meltdown, but overall the Indian film industry is expected to grow to $4.3 billion by 2011, according to the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).

And the multiplex giant allocated a budget of Rs.150 crore to invest in the exhibition business by adding 57 screens across 10 properties, taking the total to 165 screens by the end of this year.

Apart from the metro cities, PVR has screens in smaller cities like Chandigarh, Hyderabad, Indore, Latur, Lucknow, Ludhiana and Vadodara and has plans to expand their reach further.

“We are planning seven screens in Chennai, seven in Ahmedabad, eight in Surat, and also a few in cities like Bhopal and Raipur, in order to increase our reach and not limit ourselves to bigger cities alone,” informed Bijli.

But will people in smaller cities be able to pay exorbitant prices for tickets?

“We follow the multiple pricing scheme. Under that we survey and see how much people are willing to spend on films. Accordingly, we fix the price of the ticket in different places. Tickets in Delhi, Mumbai are more expensive, while tickets in some smaller cities are as little as Rs.60,” he added.

Bijli further said PVR would be distributing many upcoming big budget films like underwater thriller “Blue” and laugh riot “All The Best”.

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