“Content consumption has become a big boon during the pandemic for the media industry. Every content consumer has become a content creator,” says, Mr. Mohit Soni, CEO, Media and Entertainment Skills Council (MESC), while talking about the impact of COVID-19 on the Media and Entertainment industry.
India’s Media and Entertainment industry has an impressive growth path, despite the pandemic. The industry is expected to grow at a much faster pace than the global average. This ever-expanding industry has immense opportunities for skilled and creative individuals.
We conversed with Mr. Mohit Soni, CEO, Media and Entertainment Skills Council (MESC) to know the impact of COVID-19 on the Media and Entertainment industry, various initiatives of MESC to continue skill training, training candidates for IndiaSkills competitions, preparing youth for in-demand jobs, among others.
These are few excerpts from our conversation. You can watch the full video on our YouTube channel.
Q: What is the impact of COVID-19 on the Media and Entertainment industry?
A: When I talk about the Entertainment industry in particular, COVID-19 has surely affected some of the sub-sectors. But looking at a wider perspective, content consumption has become a big boon during the pandemic. Every content consumer has become a content creator.
Content has ruled over everything with the introduction of new platforms like ‘Over the Top’ (OTT), short films, and more. Media and Entertainment is one of the sectors that kept people engaged during difficult times. OTT, gaming, digital filmmaking developed steadily during the pandemic.
Due to COVID-19, there was a high number of vacancies in production houses and animation studios. To address this, we conducted more than 800 virtual job fairs and placed around 10,000 candidates. The demand for jobs in the media sector is increasing day by day and the production houses are supporting to identify and nurture the best talent available right now.
Q: How is MESC continuing the skilling programs and providing rightly skilled people for the organizations to hire?
A: During this period, the industry was in need of skilled people, and training institutes were looking forward to placing the students, and they connected effectively with each other. MESC could bring them closer, by conducting short-term training modules for specific programmes with industry requirements across the network of our training institutions.
Our initiatives like Vidyadaan and Creative Warriors were able to support the entire training ecosystem. We brought the best of experts from India and abroad to deliver training programmes, completely free of cost.
We conducted over 300 training programmes during the pandemic, through which more than two lakh people were benefited.
MESC is also trying to support them in all those areas of the media sector which are in demand like Social Media Optimization (SMO), Gaming, Advertising, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Digital Marketing, etc.
We are continuously trying to bring the best professionals to train, upskill and groom the students to build their careers in this field.
Q: With an increase in demand for gig jobs and the gig economy, how is MESC making use of blended learning and other kinds of training to cater to the gig workforce?
A: Apart from technology platforms, we have started:
- Conducting programmes in regional languages like Telugu/Tamil
- We are focusing on a wider segment to develop someone to be a freelancer, entrepreneur or to build a start-up
MESC has established 11 Centres of Excellence, which we call Centre of Excellence and Creative Entrepreneurship. These work as incubation and innovation facilities for budding entrepreneurs. It helps people understand zero-budget marketing, fundraising, etc.
Various modules with live and recorded sessions are available to keep people engaged until the pandemic is over. We are also starting a platform ideally for budding entrepreneurs. Funding and investment professionals will come on board and see the concepts of different candidates who wish to raise funds for those who are interested in building a start-up and promoting them. This platform also showcases talent and creates jobs for the needy.
Q: During the pandemic what are the plans to keep the candidates engaged and enthused for the upcoming IndiaSkills competitions?
A: MESC has come up with plans like:
- Starting assessment modules for self-analysis and self-skill check for the candidates who have registered for the IndiaSkills competition
- Conducting the sessions with national and international experts to help the candidates understand the competition
- There are a lot of technical sessions providing sample question papers and assessment programmes
We have a network of training centres which have been focusing on training people for this competition as well as significantly working with several states to support them in training the trainers, in identifying the need and analyzing the skillsets of students who are looking forward to upskilling.
The candidates who registered for the competition have been kept engaged, motivated, and upskilled to prepare them to participate even with international participants. We also started a new technology called IDT which is a media sub-sector. MESC is also working on upgrading the candidates and developing a huge pool of trainers and jury members to upgrade themselves as skilled experts.
Also, read more about Media and Entertainment industry here – https://www.nationalskillsnetwork.in/mesc/
Q: How do you convey the importance of skilling to the people who are willing to join the Media and Entertainment sector?
A: Media and Entertainment sector does not look for anything apart from skills and creativity. Even a differently-abled person can join this sector. This industry looks forward to the people who have patience, observation skills, willingness to learn as this is a sector that has evolved from a black and white cinema to a virtual cinema, making it a lifeline to the Media and Entertainment sector.
Despite the pandemic, this sector is still alive because of the upgradation with platforms like OTT which can be watched on multiple devices.
Media and Entertainment is one such industry where the candidates have to be self-motivated, self-driven and they should upskill their talent as it is a skill-based industry.
Candidates need to improvise from national to international quality to increase their income. A person who well-knits, connects, and updates oneself will make a significant difference in this industry. MESC will always support them and keep them involved in the industry so that their talent is very well-acknowledged.