What started as a personal quest for Jatin Varma, founder of Comic Con India, has now become the biggest pop culture celebration in India.
And it is no overstatement to say the festival has become big, especially looking at the growing footfall.
Started in 2011, the first edition of Comic Con saw around 5,000 visitors which has now increased to 2,00,000.
“Overall, last year we saw a footfall of over 165,000 across Hyderabad, Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi. We expect to improve upon last year’s numbers by 15-20 percent,” Varma told Moneycontrol.
The expectation for growth in footfalls does not come as a surprise, especially if you have recently attended Comic Con Bengaluru. From Joker to Thor to Maleficent, people came in big numbers dressed as their favorite movie characters to show their love for comics.
It is this love for comics that is making Varma confident about the growing business of the festival.
“The past five years, we have seen our shows double in size be it scale or footfalls. Since 2014, our revenues have doubled with contributions from exhibition space, ticketing and sponsorships,” he said.
Varma added that “even though the market is a bit down this year, we don't expect any adverse effect on our topline, we still have three more shows to go and we are quite bullish.”
Comic Con next will be in Mumbai between December 7 and 8 and will then visit Delhi for three days between December 20 to 22.
And this year Comic Con has expanded its footprint to Ahmedabad after exploring cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Pune over the years.
“The city not only has a long legacy of culture and heritage but also a significant young population that is always ready to embrace the new and innovative,” said Varma.
The business of Comic Con is growing so is the love for comics in India which is not only restricted to books but extends to films, merchandise and more.
And this makes the festival an attractive proposition for brands.
According to Varma, Comic Con India provides a platform to all brands that wish to reach out to the premium youth segment.
“This year brands like Maruti Suzuki, Lenovo, Vodafone, Myntra, Doritos, Asian Paints, Hotstar, Lionsgate Play, Warner Bros, Disney India (Marvel, Fox, Lucas Film), Sony Entertainment (AXN, Sony Pix), Comedy Central, Mochi, among others associated with Comic Con,” added Varma.