Building Trade Links Gateway Asia and the Indian Film Industry

Introduction and Background

  1. Gateway Asia and the Indian Film Industry Workshop was held on Wednesday 29thSeptember 2010 at the Brunel University, Uxbridge from 5.30m pm to 10pm. The workshop bought together SME’s from London’s media, entertainment and creative industries who are interested in expanding their business activities in India. The creative and media industries represent the fastest growing sectors of the UK economy and many of the emerging markets.


  1. Over 100 people registered their interest to attend the workshop ranging from film and television production and post production companies, Consulting, Government agencies, media legal and financial companies, Higher Education Institutions and content distribution companies. List of all those who registered for the conference is attached. There were many last minute cancellations, especially from the mainstream SME’s and some of the reasons are given in the report. But despite the rain and venue location, 47 delegates including 7 speakers attended the workshop. There were some 25 SMEs, 9 from PVL list and 16 from the GA list (20 were invited) and the rest were other public related organisations.


  1. The workshop opened with a welcome address and introduction from Andrew Ward, Director of Corporate Relations, Brunel University who set out the universities engagement with media and creative industries. This was followed by remarks from Ash Verma, Chairman GBC and CEO Gateway Asia who gave an overview of the Indian economic growth story and the services provided by Gateway Asia to support SME’s in their engagement with India.


  1. This was followed by presentation from four industry speakers, produced by Parminder Vir OBE, who addressed the following issues from an industry business perspective:



Parminder Vir OBE, PVL Media Consultants

  • Overview of UK and India Media industries
  • What are the challenges for UK media companies
  • Where are the opportunities in the creative industries
  • Solutions for doing business


Parvinder Bhatia, Former COO, Prime Focus

  • Experience of bringing Indian companies to the UK and taking UK companies to India for business growth.
  • Prime Focus an example of Indian company to the UK and its growth story
  • Challenges and what made a difference between success and failure?


Sarah McKenzie, Head of Export Unit, UK Film Council

  • UKFC’s initiatives for bringing UK and Indian SME’s
  • Work of the Export Unit
  • What are the key challenges and opportunities


Crispin Buxton, UK Line Producer for Indian films shooting in UK

  • Working with Indian producers, shooting in UK
  • Opportunities for UK film producers shooting in India
  • Leveraging the value of the Indo UK co-production treaty
  1. This was followed by brief presentations from three local creative business owners, sharing the challenges of doing business with India including:


  • Dr Pushpinder Chowdhry, Founder and Director of Tongues on Fire (rebranded as The London Asian Film Festival)
  • Bina Mistry,Firefox Productions
  • Armaan Kirmani,Actor, graduate of Actor Prepares, a Gateway Asia initiative

Workshop Outcomes

  1. The workshop was video recorded, so Gateway Asia has a record of all the presentations. In addition Gateway Asia has the following copies of the presentations on its computers. These should only be used with permission from the speakers.
  • Overview of UK and India Media Industries, Parminder Vir OBE
  • Prime Focus – Case Study, Parvinder Bhatia


  1. Overall feedback was very positive, with delegates saying they found  the presentations interesting and informative. Many of the delegate said they learnt a lot about the size and scale of the opportunity and how best to prepare themselves for engaging with India. They felt they were given a lot of very useful information and guidance on how to work with India. All the speakers remained for the networking which followed the formal presentation and engaged with the delegates on one to one meetings over drink and food. This was again very welcomed by the delegates.


  1. The workshop certainly full filled its aim of raising awareness, providing information about the industry and different strategies for UK companies who are considering working with the Indian media and entertainment sectors. The workshop provided an opportunity for interaction as well as exchanging information and knowledge through input from professionals, case studies and networking.

Issues and Challenges

  1. Gateway Asia has the contact details of all those who attended and will follow up with each delegate on how it can support them through mentoring business to business development.


  • While the event was a success, it would have been even better had we had more of the SMEs who had registered attending the evening. As the first event organised by Gateway Asia for this sector, this workshops marks a good start and foundation on which to build for future events.


  • There is clearly a need for workshops of this kind for the media and creative industries sectors and India is a key market for business growth. It is one of the priority areas identified by UKT&I and the Asia Task Force, Co-Chaired Rt Hon Vince Cable MP, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skillsand Lord Powell of Bayswater KCMG. Parminder Vir OBE, producer of Gateway Asia workshop, is a member of the Asia Tasks Force, and well placed to promote this as an important initiative for reaching SME’s.


  • To enable wider participation, Gateway Asia may want to consider holding future events in central London. Many of the SME’s working in the film and media sectors are based in and around central London and would find it easier to attend.


Opportunities and Next Steps

  • Promote the Gateway Asia business delegation to India with promise of high level one to one meetings with Indian media companies.
  • Organise a series of workshops in London focussed on the growth sub sectors such as animation, digital media.
  • As a follow for those who attended the workshop, Gateway Asia can set up a Media Surgery, led by sector specialist, for bespoke advice on working with India.
  • Engage a specialist advisor to identify 15-20 SME’s to help them develop their market entry strategy, identify partnerships and broker deals in both India and UK. Gateway Asia could charge a fee for this service.

Parminder Vir OBE

Producer, Gateway Asia Indian Film Industry Workshop

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