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Rohit Jain, Managing Director – Lionsgate South Asia  and Networks – Emerging Markets Asia, is an accomplished media leader. He started Lionsgate’s office in the region in 2017,  and has since built a high-performing team which he led in spearheading Network business for Lionsgate by launching its OTT service Lionsgate Play across multiple markets in South Asia and South East Asia markets – most recently, India, where, thanks to the extremely strong Lionsgate slate of cutting-edge content, its competitively priced one-service-one-price offering and a clear focus on SVOD, the Direct-To-Consumer OTT app has established itself on the mental homepages of lovers of video streaming in a very short time.

Rohit – who was also instrumental in establishing a robust multi-million dollar Licensing and Syndication business for Lionsgate in South Asia along with its Theatrical Distribution and Production businesses, shares in this exclusive piece how the pandemic was a blessing for the OTT industry. He also writes about the unique consumer insights that set Lionsgate apart from its competitors, their app launch during the pandemic, and looks ahead on behalf of Lionsgate at 2021.

Read on.

Every year typically has a few defining moments, but the past year has included so many world-transforming, paradigm-changing developments that it was hard to believe and accept.

2020: The year the world asked why!, deeply impacted people and businesses across the globe. It can be defined in three words – curse, blessing, or learning. It could have been worse for many industries due to the COVID-19 lockdown.

The lockdown created an opportunity for the video streaming industry. It was completely a blessing for the over the top (OTT) industry. For Lionsgate, the year 2020 was full of enthusiasm and hard work: Rohit Jain

However, the challenges thrown by the lockdown created an opportunity for the video streaming industry. It was completely a blessing for the over the top (OTT) industry. For Lionsgate, the year 2020 was full of enthusiasm and hard work.

In 2020, we witnessed a tremendous increase in data usage by a large and diverse population in India. With the closure of cinema halls, people across all demographics adopted OTT services and that created a huge and exciting opportunity for us to launch our Lionsgate Play app in December 2020.

We worked with unique consumer insight, “I spend a lot of time to find what to watch next”. Any product that can solve a real problem in a consumer’s life always sees wide acceptance. The tension is clear, I want to be entertained. I have the tools to be entertained but how do I make the choice.

The biggest truth is watching a movie, or a show is a time commitment and hence the consumer would love it if they could find the right one with ease. We took up a challenge to bring a solution to this problem and today we are proud to position Lionsgate Play as ‘Play more browse less’.

The biggest truth is watching a movie, or a show is a
time commitment and hence the consumer would love
it if they could find the right one with ease. We took up a challenge to bring a solution to this problem and today
we are proud to position Lionsgate Play as
‘Play more browse less’: Rohit Jain  

The team geared up for the app launch and tried every possible course of action to achieve a successful launch in the country. The edgy and exceptionally curated content from across the globe received a phenomenal response from the Indian audiences. It was the biggest year for us!

In the pandemic, with no access to conference room meetings or lunches with colleagues, the team missed the fun at the office. The virtual world was challenging at first but gradually we started adopting the work from home culture and the flexibility it provided helped to develop a work-life balance for the employees.

2020 has completely changed the office culture dynamics, it has taught us to trust in each other. This also helped us efficiently to build a stronger bond with our co-workers. It’s the year that taught us to focus on what and who is important.

Parallelly, we recognized the importance of a family and wished for everyone to be safe, and realized that Family is not just a word but an emotion that stays till the end. It’s a year that brought people closer and we will continue to build resilience by listening, validating, and caring for our co-workers and family.

With movie theatres still stumbling with low footfalls, it looks like 2021 will set a new era of video streaming giving loads of opportunities to the industry. We will also be launching Indian originals in the coming months, featuring untold edgy urban stories from some of the best creative minds in the Indian film industry.

Simultaneously, we will maintain the happiness quotient that comes from the work-life balance. We have experienced, and it has proven that work-life balance has numerous positive effects. This includes a good sense of well-being and heightened efficiency resulting in an exceptional outcome. I believe that when we’re happy, it brings out the best in us. We think more clearly, we perform better, and people want to work with us.

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