B.A.G. eyes films, mobile content & animation

B.A.G Films is planning to raise up to Rs 600 million to meet its funding requirements in the arena of television programming, feature films, mobile content, animation and the newly launched media school.

The Delhi-based production house is considering a mix of debt and equity options. Says B.A.G Films managing director Anurradha Prasad, “We are looking at partial debt and equity to raise this amount. We are ramping up our primary and secondary businesses with increasing television programming hours and also foraying into the mobile content. Animation is also an area we are looking at making serious inroads into. On the films front, we have already started work and are currently working on three movies.”

The company, at its annual general meeting on 13 September, authorised the board to approve borrowing and raising up up to Rs 600 million. Prasad points out that while the enablement was up to Rs 600 million, the amount that would be raised was not yet frozen upon.

The production house is currently working on three feature films. The first is titled Bend in the River and is directed by Saurabh Narang. The second venture is a Punjabi film directed by Gurbhir Grewal while the third, which is in Hindi and yet to be titled, is being directed by Tanuja Chandra.

While production for the three has already commenced, these films will be ready for release in mid-2006. All the three films fall in the mid-budget range, costing between Rs 30-50 million.

Prasad adds that Rs 120 to 200 million of the money raised would be allocated towards film production business. B.A.G. Films is also launching a four-year integrated post graduate (PG) course (which includes graduation + PG) as a new offering in their newly set up media school. The plan is to ramp up the campus which is located in Greater Noida, Delhi.

On the animation front, which B.A.G. Films is seriously looking at, the details in terms of seating capacity of studio and hardware infrastructure are still being ironed out.

Television programming hours, which is B.A.G. Film’s primary revenue stream, will also be getting into the overdrive mode, with new media like mobile content being a focussed area.

Prasad states that the time line for these ventures to unfold would be two years.

B.A.G. Films has been seeing a steady rise in its revenue year on year. While in 2003-04 the production house recorded a turnover of Rs 182.70 million, 2004-05 saw a 100 per cent growth with the company clocking revenue worth Rs 370 million. The first quarter of this year has recorded a net sales of Rs 135.08 million. Prasad estimates the turnover for 2005-06 to also grow by 100 per cent, fueled by the increase in television programming hours and the income generated from the media school.