03 / 04 / 23
The Amusement Industry is one of the most vibrant leisure industries in India which has witnessed substantial growth in the last two decades. Despite coming a long way, the industry still faces resistance in terms of value addition, optimum revenue generation, process management, standard operating procedures, productivity, and poor performance which extends to include various budgetary issues.
When it comes to amusement centers, one size does not fit all. Different types of amusement centers have different challenges and requirements. Responding to each of these challenges offers amusement centers opportunities for sufficient revenue and advancement. However, there are certain hidden stressors that are not unique to any one amusement center. Most challenges in particular are the same across all amusement companies.
Let’s take a closer look at the issues that plague the Amusement industry.
1. Share of wallet of amusement amongst all recreational activities is less in India.
When you consider the share of the wallet of amusement which remains markedly less amongst all other recreational activities in India, the major reason for the same happens to be the lack of amusement outlets in tier 2 & 3 cities. Moreover, people have less spending power which prevails as a bigger problem in this regard.
2. Amusement outings are still more prevalent in major cities and urban areas, Lack of amusement outlets in tier 2&3 cities
There’s a general trend of urbanisation of leisure. Urban cities are social and cultural hubs for leisure activities. However, with the rise of industrialisation, leisure is becoming a more important and clearly discernible part of the pattern of daily life in tier 2 & 3 cities as well, which needs to be nurtured.
Owing to the limited consumer exposure to the amusement sector, leisure spending on such activities has not become a norm yet. There are negative beliefs about leisure, particularly in today’s culture of chronic productivity, hustling, and side hustling.
3. Majority of equipment outsourced from outside of India
A majority of the equipment for creating amusement attractions is still outsourced from outside of India. Unfortunately, there are a handful of industrial setups that manufacture amusement-related equipment and machinery. Moreover, the quality of equipment manufactured in India is not at par with international standards. Until India itself becomes a leader in quality, aligning with world standards, the industry is bound to be largely underrepresented.
Alongside, there is heavy import duty on these items which makes the sourcing of products a tedious task. In order to promote the amusement sector, the government needs to encourage local manufacturers by incentivising more to manufacturers of amusement equipment and by removing the overheads in imports.
4. Major cost of development of such avenues goes into buying/ leasing the real estate
The major cost of development of such avenues in India goes into buying/ leasing the real estate, which takes such a major chunk that the industry looks less lucrative. Buying or leasing real estate and then creating an amusement facility is so capital-intensive that the overall business plan looks nonviable.
Thereby, in order to bolster this sector state govts must come up with policies for cheaper and easier land acquisition. Recently some state governments, such as Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh & Orissa state governments, have come up with such policies. However, in order to build a sustainable market base, other state governments must also consider undertaking similar initiatives.
Although these governments have rolled out policies, they are limited to bigger amusement parks and not for smaller (and closer to the urban areas) IACs, keeping it still an underrated business in the eyes of the policymakers.
Inadequate government support remains a primary challenge for the manufacturers and builders of amusement centers.
Fixing industrial issues is never easy, but starting by implementing little measures and improving one step at a time can have a major impact in the longer run. The above-stated measures can effectively treat the problems thwarting the amusement sector at the surface level and eventually get to the root cause when backed by adequate government and consumer support.
18 / 06 / 23