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AVGC industry taskforce will build domestic capacity, meet global demand

Gaming industry representatives said the task force formation will help bolster their domestic capacity, helping them meet the burgeoning market demands on national and international level.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on February 1 announced the setting up of an animation, visual effects, gaming and comic (AVGC) promotion task force while presenting the Union Budget for 2022-23.

“AVGC offers immense potential to employ youth. An AVGC promotion task force, with all stakeholders, will be set up to recommend ways to realise this and build domestic capacity for serving out markets and the global demand,” she said.

Players in the gaming industry have expected the formation of a task force to help boost employment in the sector.

Taskforce will facilitate employment

“The AVGC promotion task force will provide means to the new talent in the industry with direction and opportunities and in turn, cater to skilled manpower needs in the gaming space,” said R Rajendran, Co-Founder and CEO, Next Wave Multimedia Pvt. Ltd.

Manish Agarwal, CEO, Nazara Technologies said that India presently commands around 10 percent of the global AVGC market and has the potential to reach 20-25 percent by 2027. “This taskforce will facilitate employment for the youth, build domestic capacity to serve the Indian markets and also meet global demand,” he added.

Vishwalok Nath, Director, World Esports Cup said that there is a huge scope of employment for the youth in the gaming industry. “Esports and video games is a versatile industry and there is a huge scope for professional gamers as well as other jobs like casters, commentators, and other support staff appointed by the esports tournaments like producers, editors, analysts, among others.”

Jehil Thakkar, Partner and Media and Entertainment Sector Leader, Deloitte India noted that the setting up of the AVGC promotion task force will help India achieve its potential of achieving 20 lakh jobs, according to Deloitte projections. “These are critical skills for the growth of the metaverse and India is poised to take advantage of this ecosystem,” he said.

Sumit Jha, founder, Fantasy Akhada thinks that this sector will be booming for the people who are taking gaming and tech as a career opportunity.

“The task force has come at the right time for those pursuing a career in gaming as the sector is booming right now and needs more talented youngsters to grow,” added PlayerzPot’s CEO Sunil Yadav.

According to Shrenik Gandhi, CEO and Co-founder of White Rivers Media, the outsourcing economy is big in India and the talent in the country is incredible.

Harsh Jain, CEO and Co-Founder, Dream11 and Dream Sports said that the task force will provide clarity and certainty for the fantasy sports and Esports sectors by providing more upskilling and career opportunities for the youth to be a part of India’s sunshine sectors.

Regularity clarity

Along with job creation, experts said that the task force will give regularity clarity.

“The establishment of the AVGC promotion task force will hopefully pave the way for better laws pertaining to gaming in the country, provided much-needed clarity and thereafter invite investments,” said Shoubhik Dasgupta, Partner, Pioneer Legal.

Rameesh Kailasam, CEO, pointed out that it is critical that the Centre takes states into confidence when it comes to the gaming industry.

“In many states currently gaming is being looked at from a negative perspective. There are 5-6 states that have banned gaming. Hence, states should get aligned with the Centre’s vision.”

PlayerzPot’s Yadav hopes for transparent and progressive regulation that will help differentiate games of skill from those of chance as this is a key area of concern for the industry.

Priyanka Khimani, leading global IP legal and business expert pointed out that the industry needs adequate support in terms of budgets and regulations to be able to do justice to the immense talent and capability that India has to offer.

“A progressive tax regime, predictable regulatory framework and supportive funding policies will allow the industry to compete on the world stage,” said Sai Srinivas, Co-Founder and CEO, Mobile Premier League (MPL).

In addition to regulation, Kailasam said that the task force should look at where the manpower is required and whether courses should be brought out on gaming. “Second, it (task force) should build on what benefits these sectors should get. What kind of checks and balances are required should also be looked at by the task force,” he added.

On the formation of the task force, Lokesh Suji, Director, Esports Federation of India and Vice President of the Asian Esports Federation (AESF) suggested that it should consist largely of people who have been part of the video game industry and are playing an active role in shaping up the Indian video game industry. Moneycontrol

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