Indian animation house DQ Ent. used to be one of the best-kept secrets in the business. However, this past year has been such a high-profile period for the five-year-old company that more people around the world are now familiar with its world-class toon production services. Not only has the outfit reported more than 100 percent grown in the past two years alone, it’s projecting revenues of more than $25 million by 2006.
As CEO Tappas Chakravarti puts it, “With over 2,500 animators working on 2D, 3D and Flash-animated projects today, DQ Ent. has now emerged as the largest outsourcing and co-production house. We also started working on 3D console gaming in collaboration with Method Films in France for the Skyland project."
In October, the Hyderabad-based company inaugurated its state-of-the-art building to house 992 experts working on its various projects. With partners such as NBC/Universal, Disney and Sony, DQ Ent. is currently working on such shows as Tutenstein, Curious George, Gloria Wilma and Me, Jet Grooves and bro’ Town. In addition, the company has launched PowerKidz, an active distribution, licensing and merchandising arm that is marketing and selling its properties as well as acquiring content from Europe, the U.S. and Canada.
"Indian animation companies can stay in business as long as they stay ahead of their competition globally through the knowledge of technology, timely delivery and reduction of costs through efficient processing, and of course, joining forces with global partners as co-producers to share risks and partially owning the properties for long-term benefits," Chakravarti opines.
DQ Ent. has certainly seen its share of the global limelight in recent months. Influential publication Red Herring put the company on its top 100 Asia list after evaluating the business models, analyzing profitability forecasts, assessing management teams and examining tech capabilities in various sectors. More than 500 submissions from companies all throughout Asia were considered for this noteworthy selection. In addition, Chakravarti nabbed a Daytime Emmy nomination for his role as exec producer of the acclaimed series ToddWorld (in collaboration with Mike Young Productions and Discovery Kids). DQ E’s bro’ Town series also received several kudos at the inaugural Screen Awards in New Zealand.
Although DQ has several CG-animated projects in production, Chakravarti believes that traditional and digital toons can co-exist and benefit from each other. "CG animation is a process which is assisted by software and computers, but the creativity and innovation of the human mind has to be there to create shows that will be loved by both children and adults," he says. "When we see CG-animated series succeed, it’s because they’re created with traditional animation sensibilities and incorporate strong storytelling skills."
He also stresses the importance of having CG animators who have solid knowledge of the traditional field. "Today, we have close to 700 CG artists at our company who work on producing top-notch shows from companies such as Disney and Method Films. They do their jobs with tremendous creativity and efficiency because they are al primarily 2D animators and know how to create timeless properties that will have a long life and universal appeal."
More information on DQ Ent. can be found at the company’s website, www.dataquestinfoway.com.