Mr. Manoj Mishra, COO DQ Entertainment, India shares the DQ story with India Licensing Post.
- Tell us a little about your company and your key brands
We are one of the largest producers of Animation and Children’s Entertainment content and associated globally with major Intellectual Properties (IP’s) such as The Jungle Book, Peter Pan, Lassie, Charlie Chaplin, Iron Man, Casper, Little Prince, and many more classical and iconic properties in partnership with international and national broadcasters, distributors, licensees and large independent producers from Europe & USA. These partnerships include entertainment and media companies such as Nickelodeon-USA, The Disney Group-worldwide, BBC Worldwide, Discovery Kids-USA, Electronic Arts Worldwide, Cartoon Network, TF1, France3, France 2, RAI- Italy, ZDF-Germany, NBC Universal, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Turner Group, Mattel-USA, ABC Australia, and many International broadcasters and distributors.
We are also proud to be co-producers of Miraculous Lady Bug, ZAK Strom & Sammy with ZAK Toons and Method Animation. Soon we will be starting production for Power Players, Pixie Girl and Ghost force another three fantastic productions from the slate of ZAK Toons.
- How has the journey in India been thus far?
It has been both challenging and interesting for us when it comes to India. Our Intellectual Properties (IP’s) such as The Jungle Book, Peter Pan, Lassie, Charlie Chaplin have been acquired for broadcast by major channels such as Disney India, Nickelodeon India, Cartoon Network, Discovery Kids India, Chutti TV etc.
We have started to witness success in the licensing front too with our flagship IP the Jungle Book finding great traction among Licensees here. With the increasing brand awareness amongst the kids in India, we believe our licensing efforts will start paying huge dividends soon.
- Is it difficult selling animated content in India? What are the common pitfalls?
While it has not been very easy for us, we have been producing quality content for over a decade. This is content that is popular globally and generating great interest from different leading broadcasters in India. We can proudly to say today that most of our animated shows have been acquired for broadcast by all leading kids’ channels in India due to their high quality of animation and storytelling. For example, The Jungle Book has been airing very successfully on Nick India while Robin Hood and Charlie Chaplin are on Discovery kids India.
Animation branding and L&M as a segment is currently under-exploited in India. With no special law to deal with any issues related to character licensing , any concern is dealt with by taking into consideration trademarks, copyrights, and common law principles. Further to this piracy is a serious challenge that has crept into character licensing in India.
- What are the key facets you look for in a potential licensee of your content?
We evaluate our potential licensing partners based on multiple aspects. Primary among them is their conviction and belief in our property, followed by the strength of their distribution and sales capabilities .The reputation and experience of the licensee in their sectors also play a very important role while choosing our potential licensee. A combination of all these traits helps us to narrow down while choosing our licensing partners for each of our shows.
- What are some of the upcoming IP’s you have or are looking at acquiring/creating?
Our latest comedy, adventure and fantasy IP 5&IT is currently in production and is co-produced with Disney Germany and France, and very advanced negotiations are on-going for it to be acquired by Disney in EMEA and Asia.The series is expected to be ready for broadcast by end 2017
Our globally successful flagship IP the Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling, has now gone into the production of season 3 after the huge global success it witnessed for its first two seasons. The series was co-produced/acquired by major global kids broadcasters such as ZDF Germany, DeA Kids-Italy, TF1-France, Telequbec and TVO-Canada, JCCTV-Middle East , ABC -Australia, Disney Asia, Nickelodeon-India to name a few and was broadcasted in over 160 countries worldwide
Peter Pan Our second global IP has been broadcast in all major kids channels in over 150 countries. The show attracted high ratings on France TV, ZDF Germany, KIKA, DeA Kids and Sky TV Italy, Telequebec Canada, RAI Italy and many other channels worldwide.
The Quest for the Never book ( 90 min Feature film) is a fantastic spinoff from our very successful TV franchise. Now Peter pan the movie is under completion and will be ready for worldwide release soon in English and French.
ROBINHOOD – MISCHIEF IN SHERWOOD is doing extremely well in France, Italy, Germany and many of the neighboring Europeans countries. Robin hood has now gone into the production of season 2 with all the major broadcasters renewing and is expected to be ready for telecast by end of this year.
- What is your key mantra as an IP owner and how do you percolate this down to your team?
As a business, we strive constantly to work towards our vision of producing iconic brands and quality entertainment in a content-driven world. They are intrinsic and deeply ingrained into the organizational culture and bind us together. Our core values are consistently exhibited by our top leadership and core team and also percolate down to the rank and file of the organization. Few of the awards such as The Emmy Award, Studio of the year at Cartoons on Bay, Italy amongst numerous others are the testament to this.
- Which of your brands has been a success in Licensing and what are your plans for licensing in India?
DQE’s licensing and distribution efforts are proving increasingly successful both domestically & on a global scale and have created long-term and sustained value for us by forging new partnerships across various markets, platforms and product categories.
Our series ‘The Jungle Book’ has been witnessing great traction in India. We have done multiple deals for Jungle Book in India through Viacom who are our Licensing agents for Jungle Book in India.We have done deals in multiple categories that include Apparel, Plush Toys, Promotional Licensing, Socks & Innerwear Apparel & Bags, Non-Paper Stationery, Water Bottle, Snack Jar, Ice Cube Exercise Book, CR Book and Drawing Book. Recently, United Biscuits Private Limited licensed the property for Promo Licensing of Mc-vities biscuits where the famous Bollywood Actors Kajol was the brand ambassador.
We are looking to expand our Licensing success & efforts in India to our other popular shows such as Robin Hood which is currently very successfully airing on Discovery Kids Channel and also Peter Pan the first season of which had been picked up by Turner Broadcasting for India.We are presently discussing with several potential licensees for both the properties in India.