It was the first edition of India Licensing Expo, when Dhimant Bakshi, Joint CEO of Imagica met Green Gold Animation who at that point in time was looking to venture into categories high on experience. Barely six months down the line, Adlabs Entertainment’s theme park Imagica announced a partnered Green Gold Animation to introduce character ride ‘Chhota Bheem The Ride’. This association will unlock new dimensions for theme park licensing in India, asserted Bakshi in a candid conversation with License India.
What potential did you see in alliance with Green Gold Animation?
If you look at the theme park and amusement business globally, character inspiration is a well accepted strategy for the theme parks. This adds a flavor and strong content to the park thus elevating the overall consumer experiences. That is where we saw opportunity with Green Gold Animation, who at the same time, were looking to extend the IP of ChhotaBheem into theme parks. This alliance summed up in a differentiated experience to Indian consumers. Globally Justice League: Battle for Metropolis in Six Flags theme park, Harry Potter and transformers in Universal Studios are widely accepted phenomenon. Unfortunately India has not seen any such integration so far. While there have been a lot of conversations at different stages with different parks; we thought of making this happen and with active participation from green Gold, it became a reality.
How do you see theme park and Family Entertainment Business biz taking shape in India?
Launched in 2013, Imagicawas the first theme park in the country. Whatever India saw earlier was only amusement parks or at bests a water park. That was a mix of thrill and fun rides but did not add any themed experience to the Indian consumer story. Imagica ventured out to bridge this gap by offering an Indian content that we build to offer local content amalgamated with international experience and best quality rides sourced from all over the world. We have our own portfolio of 18 characters, out of which we are actively promoting eight characters. We believe that adding an external character of the stature of Chhota Bheem and Mighty Raju would be a profitable situation for both the parties. This would give physical presence of a character whom the kids have seen on the screen. Technically it translates into a live experience for the audiences.
How have you integrated ChhotaBheem in your existing model?
We have integrated ChhotaBheem in our character parades. Even in far east countries one does not find a character parade of the level at Imagica except Disney. Also we’ve integrated the concept in merchandise line and the best part is the roller coaster around ChhotaBhheem that is the centre of attraction.
Are you also associating with other licensees of ChhotaBheem for the merchandise store?
Green Gold has itself associated with all of their licensees on come on-board for creating a wholesome experience. Alongside our stars of Imagica, Chhota Bheem merchandise is available at our flagship store. Also, a customized store “World of Chhota Bheem” has been created to display a wide range of merchandise and we’ve given a free hand to Green Gold for establishing this store.