One of India’s largest Multiplex chain, INOX, has chalked out an aggressive growth strategy for the company that lost out on acquisition opportunities to rivals like, Cinepolis India and Carnival Cinemas. The company already has around 500 operational screens and another 700 signed, including two properties in prime locations in Mumbai, and properties in cities including Delhi, Gurugram, Jaipur, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Bhubaneswar, Kolhapur, Coimbatore, Salem, Cuttack and Gwalior.

INOX Leisure’s director Siddharth Jain has said that they are ready to learn from their mistakes and focusing on acquiring more and more properties and provide the best quality to the patrons going to the theaters. Jain envisages Rs 1,500 crore in capital expenditure for expansion, which he said will be taken care of by internal accruals. They are open to expansion and are looking for good cinema chains to expand to.

Inox at present has 496 screens across 124 properties in 61 cities. It also has a 10-screen deal with IMAX, out of which two screens are operational. Remaining 8 screens will be operational in the next 12-18 months.

Not so long ago, in this very same editorial I spoke about how there’s a need for more and more screens in this country and how a lot of multiplex chains are expanding to tier 2 and tier 3 towns and villages of India. This is again going to be a great move in the process of increasing the number of screens we have in India. Now, specially, this is needed. A lot of single screens have been converted to multiplexes and so on and still in this country there are so many screens that don’t support 2K projections and hence a lot of theaters missed out on releasing AVENGERS INFINITY WAR as the makers didn’t want to give sub standard view experience to their fans and gave them their money’s worth.

The expansion and the takeover of a lot of theater chains in India by these leading Multiplex chains is just the step in that direction and will also increase the number of screens simultaneously. A lot of films miss out at the box office as they can’t find enough screens to showcase their films on. This can be rectified for the future by adding to the current tally of operational screens in the country. China currently has around 50,000 screens in the country and India has close to 15,000. There is a need to bridge that gap in India and this is just another step in getting close to that goal.

By – Amul Vikas Mohan

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