DISTANCE NO BAR - Rajesh Mishra, CEO, UFO Moviez India Limited, on satellite connectivity - Part IV

UFO Moviez's Nova cinemaz initiative in Nagpur
UFO Moviez's Nova cinemaz initiative in Nagpur



UFO will continue to use satellites for all future projects, over the years to come. According to Mishra, the increased use of satellites will reasonably curb the high price of bandwidth. “I wish the cost of bandwidth was lower than it is now. If it happens, it could open up the options of transmitting heavy DCI files through satellites,” he added.

UFO believes in value-creation, not value-shifting. “Cinema advertising never caught up in our country due to the micro-level fragmentation involved at every step. It is actually the best form of advertising,” affirmed Mishra. UFO gets nominal revenue from its rental business, but that just covers the maintenance of equipment. Another source is the print charge from distributors, which covers the subsidisation costs. A large chunk of their profit is from advertising. “We envisaged this source of revenue from the beginning. Mind you, nobody advertised in cinemas in earlier times. We thought of changing that. We provided them the equipment for free, in exchange for advertising rights. Effectively, I wasn’t charging them an ‘x’ amount. I created a source to earn the ‘x’ amount by myself and keep 75 percent of it. This is called value-creation,” explained Mishra.

Indian cinema is a highly regulated industry, which leads to the control on the availability and usage of bandwidth. The journey hasn’t been easy, for Mishra. From initial teething problems like government licenses to permissions, there were hurdles all along the path. “Ours is a cut-to-cut business, with the dynamics changing by the day. We have to accommodate last-minute changes, censor cuts and edits,” said Mishra. But today, the satellite technology is an accepted norm, with UFO being the only provider delivering to almost all multiplex brands across India. “We kept pushing it, because we believed in the technology. We made people realise and cognise the concept.  Our learning curve has been enriching, and we are adding value to our services every day. The satellite has been an enabler for us, on which the backbone of our company rests!” concluded Mishra.

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