Career Focus

Great opportunities in multiplexes industry

According to entertainment industry estimates, the number of multiplex screens countrywide will increase from the present 900 to 2,000 in the next three-five years. A whole range of jobs and career opportunities has opened up for youth in the multiplex cinema industry

One of the glaring paradoxes of the Indian economy is that while the overwhelming majority of the population is mired in deep poverty and ignorance, the country also boasts a large — and growing — middle class whose number is variously estimated at 150-300 million. This segment of the population with considerable purchasing power constitutes a market for entertainment and lifestyle products and services equal (in numbers) to the US and six times the size of the UK and France.

This is the explanation behind the unanticipated and phenomenal growth of urban India’s multiplex cinemas boom. According to movie and entertainment industry estimates, the total number of multiplex screens countrywide will increase from the present 900 to 2,000 in the next three-five years. Consequently a whole range of jobs and career opportunities have opened up for youth of both sexes in the multiplex cinema industry.

Graduates and postgraduates in hotel management, marketing, finance, human resources, and mass communication are most suitable for jobs in this sunrise industry. The qualities required for success in this field are good commu-nication skills, financial acumen, leadership, integrity and willingness to create and retain customers. Pay and remuneration packages are as good as in the three-five star hotels and civil aviation industries.

“The evolution of multiplexes has generated a large number of jobs for people interested in working in the hospitality industry. With the devel-opment of this new industry and its growing requirement for skilled and trained manpower, people from the retail and allied sectors are moving into the multiplex services industry. Being a customer-driven business, we need customer-centric youth with people management skills to operate in a dynamic work environment. Currently we have more than 2,200 employees and are looking to hire frontline operations staff for our upcoming properties,’’ says Ashish Kumar, chief human resource officer, PVR Ltd, a pioneer multiplex corporate whose 100 percent subsidiary company, PVR Cinemas acquires, distributes and screens Indian and international films countrywide. PVR Cinemas which owns the largest multiplex cinema property in India (11 screens) sited in Bangalore, is on an expansion spree having established multiplexes in Chennai, Ahmedabad, Allahabad and Raipur recently, and is poised to impact its footprint in Kolkata, Bhopal, Visakhapatnam and several other cities in peninsular India.

A sociology postgraduate of Delhi University with personnel management and industrial relations certification from the Institute of Mass Communications, Jamia Millia, New Delhi, Kumar began his career with Century Plywood in 1990, transforming into an HR specialist, and served with Convergys India, Hewitt Associates and Stryker Medical before signing up with PVR in January last year (2009).

A visiting lecturer at several B-schools in the national capital and at the Delhi School of Economics, Kumar believes the multiplex industry is all set for revolutionary changes. “With techno-logy evolving rapidly abroad, the Indian multiplex industry has also responded positively and is introducing new technologies. This means exciting developments are imminent in this industry,” says Kumar.

Given that the crystallising multiplexes industry is completely customer-driven, robust recruitment and selection processes are imperative according to Kumar. “To create satisfied customers, we have put together a dedicated customer relationship management team equipped with technologically advanced tools to reach out to customers through telephone, company website and social networking sites. Therefore competencies such as customer centricity, communication skills, financial acumen, friendliness, assertiveness, integrity, and keen interest in cinema are important employee attributes. We are looking for people committed to meeting customer needs and expectations,” he says.

With plans to add 45-60 screens in the current finan-cial year, PVR Cinema offers employment opportunities in various departments including operations, customer relations, food and beverages, sales and marketing, cinema design and maintenance, programming and other support functions. “Every projection and screening unit operates as an independent business supported by the requisite human resources,” explains Kumar.

Looking ahead, he believes that 21st century India’s entertainment industry — and within it multiplexes — will be in the high growth orbit as the middle class expands. “Small-town and rural India is as yet untouched by the lifestyle entertainment industry. There’s a huge market out there which requires the attention of trained entertainment industry professionals,” he says.

That’s attention they’ll undoubtedly welcome!

Indra Gidwani (Mumbai)