Mumbai-based Adlabs has come a long way since it started out as a film processing laboratory 25 years ago. Although the company continues to dominate that market — it processes 65% of Hindi films — Adlabs has expanded into several areas in India’s fast-growing media and entertainment industry. It has financed movies, introduced IMAX and multiplex cinema halls to India’s movie-hungry population, and made forays into television and radio. Adlabs recently took over Synergy Communications, which produces India’s version of the popular game show “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” In addition, it acquired 45 radio licenses and spun off a radio subsidiary at the end of 2006. Much of Adlabs’ recent growth has come after Reliance Capital bought a 51% stake in the company in 2005. Reliance Capital is part of the Anil D. Ambani Group, one of India’s largest conglomerates.
As the media and entertainment industry goes global, how will this shape Adlabs’ strategy in the future? India Knowledge at Wharton discussed this question with Manmohan Shetty, Adlabs’ chairman and managing director, at the Wharton India Economic Forum in Philadelphia. “We will be part of the growth of the Indian entertainment industry, and we will play a significant role in that growth,” he says.