Building A Synergy With Investors
As a Chairman and MD of SP Cinecorp, I am under constant pressure to keep myself aware of the happenings in the film industry and nothing is more important than the financial aspects of film making. And in these times when the Indian media and entertainment industry is poised to grow rapidly, there is a need for investments for interesting cinema projects for the future. This is where individual & institutional investors of today need to realize that opportunities in the film industry are manifold.
At the same time, the fear ruling their minds is not entirely misplaced. The standardization of financial investment through the Studio model of film production has been ongoing and it will take time for investor trust to come about. In the meantime, it becomes pertinent for Producers like us to understand how we can do our best to allay their fears and to assure them that their investments are in the right hands.
Two things come to my mind in this respect: Trust & Accountability. Both go hand in hand and complement each other. I am interested in every aspect of film making, particularly related to financial expenses. In the three year time, I have been involved in gathering finances from various investors. What is noteworthy is that your availability, frankness, and forthright conduct does half the job. Indian investors are patient and are willing to sacrifice resources when they are assured that you take interest and their concerns into account. A personal touch goes a long way in establishing trust.
Some investors are purely into making money, but some investors invest in a film project because they feel it is something they want to contribute to. The least we as producers can do is to establish a financial discipline, auditing and expense control. During production, certain exigencies may arise which may not be foreseeable. It is most appropriate to at least convey them for the requirement of additional funds and if done transparently and honestly, they will not mind and will you help you out.
Box office is no longer the only revenue source. There are many distribution deals in digital, satellite broadcast form. Also, OTT platforms too are in vogue. Hence, film investment is much more secure than ever. Informing investors (without revealing too many details) about relations with distributors, TV channels that are already in place, will assure them that their investments will have returns. It is also important to present a realistic timeline of when they can get their returns and how much, since they will have a stake in any profits earned. I do not make false promises which I cannot keep. I am always realistic with them, I show them what can be done and what cannot be done and soon a good relationship goes a long way for me.