INTERVIEW WITH MR MOHSIN YASEEN, HEAD OF MARKETING AND OPERATIONS CINEPAX LTD

KHALIL AHMED
(feedback@pgeconomist.com)
Sep 3 - 9, 20
12

PAGE: TELL ME SOMETHING ABOUT YOURSELF AND CINEPAX LTD, PLEASE?

MOHSIN YASEEN: I am Heading Marketing and Operations department for Cinepax Ltd. Our company is Pakistan's first dedicated company involved in Cineplex business. We started our company in 2005 and launched our first premier Movie Exhibition Center at Rawalpindi in 2007, which is one of the most popular entertainment destinations for the people of Rawalpindi & Islamabad.

PAGE: HOW WOULD YOU COMMENT ON FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT CENTERS IN PAKISTAN?

MOHSIN YASEEN: Till few years back, entertainment concept in Pakistan was only going to parks and restaurants. Nothing beyond that was available to us. But after the introduction of new improved cinemas, upgraded Malls, bowling alleys and gaming centers, it has changed now. People are now exploring these new facilities and are enjoying the options available to them in these facilities. If Pakistan's economic and security situation remains in good shape for next couple of years you will see further improvement in these family entertainment centers and investors will be keen to look for opportunities in this sector and people of our country will be benefiting from this at large.

PAGE : WHAT IS YOUR VIEW ON 3D DIGITAL AND GOLD CLASS (VIP) FACILITIES IN PAKISTAN?

MOHSIN YASEEN: Digital cinema has revolutionized worldwide cinema and movie business with an option of 3D movies. It has increased the revenue stream for both movies and cinema owners. Every year number of 3D movies produced is increasing. This year alone, we will have about 20 movies releasing in 3D format in Pakistan and there are about 6 new cinemas opening in 2012 with 3D facility giving audience lots of options to choose from. These days almost every film comes in digital format which has reduced the cost of movies and increased the penetration in the market. Gold Class facility is good addition to the cinemas these days. We are also launching our Karachi facility with dedicated Gold Class cinemas for audience which will be a unique feature for Karachiites to explore and in one of the screens we have clubbed 3D facility with Gold Class cinema.

PAGE: YOUR VIEWS ON FOREIGN FILMS BEING SHOWN IN PAKISTAN:

MOHSIN YASEEN: If you are show all types of foreign content (music videos / movies / talk shows / award shows etc) on TV, why there is big issue showing the same in cinemas? Local films are rear commodity in our country these days. There is only 1 or 2 locally made films available every year and the rest is regional language films (Punjabi / Pashto) which cannot be shown in metro cities and content of those movies is not very encouraging for family audience. This is the main reason that our local industry has died and it is very alarming for our business. If we can make good dramas and lend music to neighboring country for their movies, why can't we do it for our own country. In our business, we have to bank heavily on foreign films (English / Hindi) as there is no other option available for our audience. These films have given new life to our cinemas which were shut for years and without that I don't think there is supply of local product on which we can survive. If we don't import and release these films legally in cinemas, our audience will watch those movies on pirated DVDs or download that any way, which was very common few years back. Legal import of foreign content gives lot of income to our government in taxes & duties which were not there during last 20 years.

PAGE: YOUR COMMENTS ON GOVERNMENT POLICIES REGARDING YOUR BUSINESS?

MOHSIN YASEEN: Government is very supportive on movie import which has supported our business and Punjab government has also supported cinemas by giving break for 2 years on excise duty which was 65% of ticket price and has promised to reduce it to nominal level so investors can think about moving in to this sector

PAGE : COULD YOU TELL US ABOUT LOCAL/FOREIGN INVESTMENT IN THIS BUSINESS IN PAKISTAN?

MOHSIN YASEEN: I don't have the exact numbers but there are about 10 new cinemas coming up till 2013 and 6 of old cinemas being renovated and will be opening in next few months.