Address by Shri Anil Chopra at the inaugural
OPTICAL DISC REPLICATOR Technical Seminar
I would like to extend my compliments to all
present for being at the right place at the right time.
Studio Systems and I have in turn been complimented for organising this seminar, which I
am confident will prove to be a catalyst and serve its purpose in promoting growth of the
optical disc replicating industry in India.
I am glad in introducing the speakers from the leading manufacturers of optical disc
replicating equipment. The six reputed companies represent the leading edge technologies
in the processes their equipment perform.
We are privileged to have with us excellent and experienced speakers of high quality.
I would like to put the Indian market in proper perspective, from a global viewpoint of
the optical disc world wide market.
Even though all of us here are gung-ho and possibly satisfied with the market per se, the
Indian situation is nothing to be happy about. Of course we do have production and
the CD-Audio, CD-ROM, Video CD has definitely found a healthy market in India.
But what one must not forget is that the optical disc, the CD-Audio, arrived very late
into India. As such, the statistics for consumption and production of all optical discs is
comparatively very low in India. With regard to statistics, sadly none are available from
anybody. So all the figures I can quote relating to India are guesstimates.
We know that for sure in 1998 something like 30 million CDs were replicated in India
mostly music CD-Audio. This figure must be compared with the global total for 1998, which
is nearly or likely to be 2.5 billion CDs. This is an IFPI figure for music CDs only. What
is the % of Indian production - 1.2%. If we consider the production of all formats of
optical discs, that is video CDs, DVDs, CD-ROMs, i.e. Multimedia CDs, and Games CDs, and
software CDs, then I fear that the % of optical discs replicated in India would be even
less than 0.5%. The world total for all formats of optical discs is likely to be close to
There is no argument to justify this extremely low figure of production. Consumption is
only slightly higher. Met by the Far East CD replicators, both legally and illegally.
This is a technical Seminar but I will digress and speak only about the market scenario
and potential for optical media in India.
One of the chief factors is the % of CD in total music sales. In India, presently the
audio cassette accounts for nearly 95%. Elsewhere in the world - in countries such as Hong
Kong, Japan and Switzerland, CD accounts for 95% or more of Music sales. These are
developed markets. But even in markets comparable to India, CD sales account for an equal
share with cassettes already.
So the music market offers, I think the largest growth area for optical discs in the
The current production of optical discs in India mainly accounts for music CDs. I would
guess at more than 70%.
No statistics are available. As frankly not only is the optical disc industry in India in
the initial stages of development, but no association exists at present, which might have
been able to provide statistical data.
So what are we looking at in terms of growth in music sales on CD. Nearly 100% in the next
one year. I dare say a figure of 50-60 million CDs, just to satisfy the existing demand.
Which is definitely not satiated presently. And if CD sales would account for an equal
share with audio cassette or 50% of the music unit sales, then we are talking of a figure
close to 200 million CDs. Please accept this figure without any exaggeration, as it
corresponds to the IFPI published figure for music cassette unit sales for 1997 for India,
at 406.5 million. The question raised is by which year the figure of 200 million is to be
achieved? I remind you that this technical seminar cannot to tackle this question. That
would require, not a seminar, but a conference and with music companies and consumer
electronic companies. However we can use this opportunity to throw light not only on the
growth potential but on the state of the optical disc industry in India. There are in all
eight replicators operating. Within and outside export zones. Between these eight
replicators only 10 lines are in operation. Actually with these figures it is not really
large enough to be classified as an industry. In 1999, another 5 lines will definitely be
added, but that is not good enough. This will give us a production of around 45 million in
1999. I am just painting a situation now. Please do not take me up on this statement.
Hopefully the situation at the end of the year will not be so unexciting.
And I trust and hope this seminar will play its role in initiating investment, encouraged
by a more learned view of the manufacturing process. We have scanned very superficially
the music market. We have to also look at the other formats - Recordable formats as in
CD-R, and the prospects of DVD, and ultimately DVD-R, which infact is already growing at a
quickening pace in the developed markets, actually only Japan, & the USA.
CD-R. Well, as we all know there are no CD-R plants in India. But there is a certain level
A market guesstimate puts the consumption figure for India at 18 million CD-Rs in a
calendar year. Almost all the imports originating from Taiwan. The only CD-R project in
India worth mentioning is the Moser Baer project in New Delhi, which is a very large
project. Reportedly 10 lines or even more.
The world wide CD-R media demand is estimated by IRMA, the International Recording Media
Association at 825 million CD-Rs. India's demand will continue to grow on account of
increase of CD-R writers in use for commercial and legitimate applications. But with
respect to this recordable format, Indias % is again close to 1%.
Frankly with a CD-R available at Rs. 65/- only and prices under pressure, it may not be
too surprising that CD-R consumption in India might soon equal that of replicated
If the replication industry will not respond quickly to the emerging demand, the market
could be lost to the pirates.
On the other hand, we see that the Indian market can also absorb CD-R, or CD-Recordable
replication. Enough consumption and increasing demand exists for CD-Rs already. It is up
to those of you attending this seminar to respond with a decision and investments into
replication, which according to us requires to be done immediately.
Every passing day, the CD-Audio format is naturally growing from strength to strength. No
doubt that the quality of duplicated cassettes in India too is entirely satisfactory, but
as the customer is exposed to the CD the demand will shift, as it has all over the world,
and India cannot be an exception as the trend already is strong enough for us to realise
As per my analysis, the steady rate of growth of CD-Audio and Video CD consumption
witnessed in India in the past few years, without any dramatic influx of CD players,
especially low cost CD players, is a very strong signal about the latent potential, which
can explode or increase the rate of growth from the present 20 - 30% to even 100 %.
So by my reckoning, the 200 million mark can be achieved by Jan 2002. But we must
determine ourselves to this target as a goal. Any achievement is only attained
We have provided to each attendee a copy of the worldwide Optical Media Market
Intelligence Report. But do not take it as the last word. We have to ascertain, and study
our own market and respond to its needs.
DVD this product in fact has been keenly awaited in India. Difficult to believe for
the DVD manufacturing equipment suppliers. But this is the truth. DVD does attract
attention in India, from the large film catalogue owners, due to the fact that it is in a
way a final product as media for movies for the home.
India does not represent a strong sell-thru market for home movies media, but by way of
total consumption, there must not be any doubt about the success of DVD in India, and I
dare say sooner than later. DVD already a two year old format. Its entry into India is
guaranteed in 1999 itself.
Its very opportune that this seminar is in the beginning of the year and has
attracted such a healthy response, from bot the plastic industry as well as from the
We are all gathered here to listen to the technical information being presented by the six
reputed European companies. So I trust and hope the days proceedings will be useful
and wish all present to become successful replicators.