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June 23, 2008

Profile of comics venture ACK Media

Business Today has a profile of comics venture, ACK Media.
By acquiring Amar Chitra Katha (ACK) and Tinkle, two wellknown (and much loved) comics from its publisher India Book House. A long-time fan of both titles, (Samir Patil) is now in the midst of redesigning the comics, to suit 21st century audiences and expand the scale and reach of these titles to kick-start its revival. “Sales were growing very slowly and there were very few value-adds to both ACK and Tinkle over the last few decades,” says Patil.

...“We estimate that our target market is around 300 million people below the age of 16 in India and as many as 4-5 million households overseas. The latter hasn’t really been tapped by the animation industry,” says Patil. Besides digitising content and putting it up on the internet, Patil is also looking to monetise some of these characters by having games and other online content based on them. ACK Media is bank-rolled by Patil and his partner, Shripad Morakhia, a serial entrepreneur behind financial services firms such as SSKI and Sharekhan. The duo plans to build its one-year-old start-up and spread its wings into new mediums, including TV and the mobile phone.

Patil took the first step in this direction when he acquired Karadi Tales, which has some 45 titles in multiple formats (print, audio and video) and counts well-known artistes like Naseeruddin Shah, Gulzar, and Girish Karnad as narrators of its stories.

Arun Natarajan is the Founder & CEO of Venture Intelligence, the leading provider of information and networking services to the private equity and venture capital ecosystem in India. View free samples of Venture Intelligence newsletters and reports.