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PVR-INOX merger to take 6-9 months, to add 200 screens every year, say Ajay Bijli and Siddharth Jain

The impact of the COVID-19 on the film screening business and competition from streaming platforms were the key reasons for the merger between PVR and INOX, said top executives from both companies.

March 28, 2022 / 01:05 PM IST
 
 
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The impact of the COVID-19 on the film screening business and competition from streaming platforms were the key reasons for the merger between PVR and INOX, said top executives from both companies.

"Those two factors played a role for the two companies coming together. Business was booming pre-COVID. Our balance sheets were strong and we were earning money but in the past two years there was COVID impact and consumer interest was shifting to OTT (over the top) platforms. We realized that we need to reinvest in the cinematic experience and in order to do that there was no better than two iconic brands to come together," Siddharth Jain, Director, INOX Leisure, told Moneycontrol.

The national lockdown to combat COVID led to shutting down of cinema halls. It is estimated that at least 117 Hindi films released on streaming platforms in the last two years. For top multiplex players, Bollywood, or the Hindi film industry, contributes at least 60 percent of overall box office collections.

"Overall gross box office of India got impacted due to COVID-19. The idea was to give impetus to the sector which was languishing. The sector and we (theatre operators) can increase the revenue pie if we have more screens. Our focus is to increase screen count and put India on the global map in terms of screen count,” said Ajay Bijli, Chairman and Managing Director, PVR.