Nitin Kalra is the Regional Director for India, SAARC & MENA at the Hong Kong based Animation International Limited. Under his leadership the company manages the licensing & merchandising business for several popular global brands such as Doraemon, Shin Chan, Charlie Chaplin and Albert Einstein besides others. The company also has a strong Exports business, experiential licensing vertical called Xperiumand a creative servicesbusiness by the name of Illusium. Under his leadership, the company has also expanded operations in the neighboring countries of Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal& Bangladesh and even markets the United Arab Emirates, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and Japan.
Kalra started his career in 1996 as a freelance journalist covering beats such as entertainment & education for leading newspapers including The Times of India, The Indian Express, Deccan Chronicle, The Pioneer and The Statesman. After having contributed over 3,000 articles to leading national dailies, he set up his own media consultancy business in 2001. Some of the major clients his company acted as a consultant included Sony Entertainment Television, Nimbus Communications, T-Series, Universal Music Group, Rajshri Productions, Rajshri Media & several leading celebrities from the film industry.
In 2007 he joined STAR India Pvt. Ltd (A News Corporation Company) as part of their Licensing & Merchandising business where he was instrumental in setting up STAR TV’s licensed publishing business along with developing a robust CRM system for the network. He was also responsible for the successful implementation of a CSR initiative titled “Aapki Adalat – Aapke Dwar”, an on ground training program for social workers by the leading social activist & former IPS officer Mrs. Kiran Bedi. He left STAR to join Animation International as Business Head – Licensing in January 2010. He was elevated to be the Director of the company in October 2011.
As a Licensing Professional, Kalra has been involved with several initiatives to spread awareness of the industry through Licensing International Merchandising Association (LIMA) and otherwise. He has spoken at the prestigious Asian Licensing Conference in Hong Kong and has also been invited by several platforms such as License India, Animation Society of India, Food Forum India, MET College, St. Paul’s College and more for lecturing on Licensing and Related Opportunities. He has also written several articles on the industry, prominent one being in the “Total Licensing” magazine, which is a global magazine for the Licensing Industry.
In 2018, he was awarded as “Licensing Leader of the Year” at the India Licensing Expo organized by License India in collaboration with LIMA.