License to make a deal

The licensing business promises lucrative job options finds out Prachi Rege in an interview with Jiggy George, founder and CEO of Dream Theatre Pvt. Ltd.

The licensing business promises lucrative job options finds out Prachi Rege in an interview with Jiggy George, founder and CEO of Dream Theatre Pvt. Ltd.

Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse, Tom and Jerry and all your other favourite cartoon characters are liscensed to entertain. Besides characters, films, celebrities, entertainment shows, sports, fashion and art events too are licensed. Liscensing is a process in which ownership contracts are created and managed for a brand.

With an established consumer marketplace, licensing has seen a rapid increase worldwide and has become an accepted business tool in almost every country. Worldwide it is pegged at a smart USD150.8 billion and in India the business has seen a rise from USD450 million and USD.31 per capita in 2009 to USD 550 in 2011. According to a report by AT Kearney, with Indian retail business standing at the top fifth in the world, and growing at 15-20 per cent every year, licensing is here to grow.

In 2014, nations of all sizes and at various levels of economic development are slated to see licensing emerging and growing. Keeping this in mind, I launched the Dream Theatre Pvt Ltd, a brand management and licensing agency that creates and manages brands in the kids and youth space in South Asia," says Jiggy George, founder and CEO, Dream Theatre. In just four years the company has an impressive list like Warner Bros, Rovio for Angry Birds, DreamWorks Animation, Noddy, Skelanimals, World Wrestling Entertainment, and the Discovery Enterprises portfolio for Animal Planet as clients.

Job roles in this sector range from business development (charting the strategy, sectors and potential partners), sales (responsible for revenue. Identifying and closing deals with licensees), retail development (managing the retail relationships and optimizing placement of products), marketing (ensuring the brand is amplified across the various influence points), contract management/royalty reports (this function is the heart of the business and ensures that contracts are managed and royalties rationalised) and finance (involved with collections and the finance functions of the business).
"There are no specialised academic courses that get you qualified for a job in this sector. Law and finance graduates too have an advantage over others as the industry delves into legal and financial formalities," informs George.

The payscale is decent and ranges from anywhere between Rs 3,50,000 to 1,200,000 annually depending on profile. In the US the licensing business got taken seriously with the advent of the Star Wars series in the 80`s, and managed to attract Ivy League graduates to the business. There is a possibility that India too will see this upward growth trend in terms of hiring the best talent in town to work in the sector.
"Good news for aspirants of this industry is that it is still in an embryonic stage in comparison to the West but with India`s organised retail and entertainment sector majorly licensing their brands, I believe that this space is bound to grow," concludes George.

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