Anirights gets ‘big‘ 250 artists migrate to Pune, additional 110 join

Posted on: November 17, 2007

250 artists migrate to Pune, additional 110 youngsters join

Led by Ashish SK, Anirights Infomedia shifted from Bangalore to Pune a few months ago. The studio‘s 250 team members including more than 90 Artists along with their entire families and 160 (Bachelors) artists moved base too.

Even while the 250 artists were relocating to Pune, an additional 110 artists joined the company , a majority of these youngsters coming in from institutes including Graphiti School of Animation (Mumbai), Webel (Kolkata), MAAC (Delhi, Mumbai), Picasso (Delhi), ICAT (Mumbai & Chennai) with more artists expected to join from MAAC and Thumbnail in Pune.

Any relocation usually has a dropout rate of more than 50%, but in this case there were only 6 artists who did not move along with the studio. A highly impressive thing was the way in which the entire operation was carried out with a lot of attention and care given to the artists and their families needs‘. This exercise involved a lot of thought, efficient planning, execution and high spirited multi tasking by the team members. The studio ensured that the artists had choice in terms of housing, locations, schooling for children, Licenses, Domestic Connections, as well as bank loans for vehicles, etc

"We are a company that treasures its people and being focused on IP we understand the value that each and every artist, technician and professional brings to the table" shared Ashish Kulkarni, adding, "I salute the spirit and resourcefulness of my team which has approached this relocation exercise as they would an animation project. They had concepts, they did planning and pre production, they managed the logistics and executed everything smoothly. Even the post relocation work is going on extremely well and all this while there were simultaneous animation projects on in the studio"

Here‘s how they did it.

Around June ‘07, two special task force teams of around 8-10 members each were created, one that would co ordinate from Pune, the other from Bangalore.

The Pune action force included Praful Gade (VP â€" 3D Pipeline), Chalapathy (Compositing), Varaprasad (Post production head), Halick (Lighting), Ratan Bagul (BG design), Nikhil (Network Admin), Anand Pandey (Line Producer), Madhuri Bongal (HR) and Moneshwar Rao.

The Bangalore action force included Rakesh Tatiya (Prod Manager), Srinivas Prasad (HR Head),Vinod Kumar (EA to CEO), Lalit Babu Ram (Accounts), Ravi Mahapatro (Line Producers) Vikas Verma (Line Producers) and Kumar Ranjan (HR Team)

Amongst these, the two stars of the entire operation as acknowledged by the team are Srinivas (Head of HR) and Chalapathy who besides being head of compositing has now also become a Pune Property expert thanks to his role in this relocation.

Shared Chalapathy, "We were going to shift in September but since schools start in June, five artists with families and school going children shifted base to Pune in June itself. We then did a thorough research of locations and suburbs listing pros and cons of each, identifying good properties in each location and made contacts and co ordination with around 75 estate agents who are now listed with us."

Simultaneously, the Bangalore Action Force too kick-started its activity. Srinivas added, "While they were doing the Pune spadework, we in Bangalore distributed forms to every team member wherein they were asked to specify their budgets, what features they were looking for in a location, whether they preferred to stay alone or as a group and other such details. All this data was maintained in huge excel sheets."

NNext came the recce part. Every Friday, the company arranged to fly a batch of 20 artists from Bangalore to Pune. Each batch had the mandate of choosing and finalizing their accommodation in Pune in five days time post which they would return to Bangalore and continue with the production work.

Varaprasad shared, "Generally it would be very difficult for someone to come to a new place with a different culture and language, select location, and select property and freeze the deal in just five days. But this was possible only because of the planning and ground work we had put in, including maintaining the data regarding the wish lists of each artist as well as the Pune logistics that we had worked on"

"We had arranged for vehicles that would be with the artists right from the time they landed till they took off, and we had also arranged for well endowed Service Apartments for their five day stay. Based on their forms which they had filled up, we would then guide them with a choice of locations (along with photographs) that suited their requirements. They would then tour the locations, first two days would be spent in zeroing in on the choice of location, the third and fourth day on freezing on apartment of choice and day five in finalizing the deal with the agents" he added.

"Also with every new batch we found they were more aware as they had already seen photographs and heard descriptions of locations shared by friends from earlier batches. This whole thing was becoming a great fun topic to discuss and the entire location selection trips were like a picnic" shared Milton.

Amazingly enough, the team had also arranged for Sample L&L Agreements, on-board Lawyer, Printers and Computers at the Service Apartments, to facilitate the deals in a quick and secure manner. The on-board lawyer whetted each agreement that the artists individually made with the agents.

With 20 artists flying down every week, the entire process of each artist finalizing residence took about 3 months and one additional month for the actual relocation to happen wherein the company hired an official Mover & Packer agency that took care of the shifting logistics for each artist.

But that‘s not all, there‘s more to it. Schools, Ration Cards, Driving Licenses, Gas Connections, Bank Accounts, Vehicle Loans, and Mobile Connections, all had to be taken care of "The Company made all the necessary donations and school enrollments for the artists’ children. And for the other things like ration cards etc, we set up special cells within the studio, where each artist came and got complete assistance and facilitation." shared Praful Gade.

The majority of the Anirights team that shifted from Bangalore to Pune consisted of South Indian artists hailing from Andhra, Tamil Nadu & Kerala while around 10% hailed from Maharashtra and the rest from Bangalore.

Ravi Mahapatro pointed out that with a vast majority of South Indian artists moving up North (North from a Bangalore Perspective) for the first time, there were quite a lot of apprehensions initially, however these were not for long, a majority of the artists instantly took a liking to Pune.,

"98% will be staying in Apartments for the first time, we have always lived in row houses. It’s a life style change we are tuning in to the new culture and atmosphere but we love it, this place is very friendly and receptive. In fact I think that Pune is what like Bangalore was five years ago. Good thing is that in Bangalore they used to come from more than one hour distance but here since it is a new office, and everyone is shifting, most will be staying close by and quite a few are coming in from a distance of less than 10 -15 minutes away." He remarked.

The hotspots in terms of being favorite locations for residence for the artists include Viman Nagar, Kharadi and Kalyani Nagar.

Vikram Vetturi, Creative Director at Anirights shared, "The relocation has been very smooth for me. It has been very convenient because of the way things were organized. My family shifted here two months in advance, because I had to give my place up in Bangalore. All my domestic logistics are taken care off. For my parents it‘s been a great relief here, everything is just a call away and that‘s most important for me, that they love this place. I am glad"

Vincent Edwards, commented, "I have come to Anirights to make world class cartoons and animation to establish world class brands. What city I live is irrelevant, that being said I like Pune, the city is smaller and the pace is slower, it‘s a relaxed place and I can focus over making animation."

In certain cases the Management and Kulkarni have gone beyond their shells to make relocation possible for some of their artists. In more than 6-7 cases, the company actually took the bio datas of the spouses of their artists and went about securing jobs for them in Pune.

VP- HR Vijay Sinha who got on board Anirights after the relocation, shared, "Usually one expects a dropout of more than 50% in a relocation such as this, the tremendous thing is that the artists and team members believe in the vision and leadership and have a strong bonding amongst themselves too which is why such a phenomenon was possible. There are more than 100 artists here who have been working together since the JadooWorks days, so the acclimatization to the new place has been very easy and comfortable"

"At the end of the day it is important that you have a team that believes in a philosophy and a stronger idea and they believe that they are going to do something which is far beyond and unique than what most others are doing. Secondly, is that you create an atmosphere, where everyone creatively contributes to the process, and it is their passion that motivates them to work and hard work no longer remains hard work, it becomes pleasant because of the atmosphere and the way everyone around you approaches it." concluded Kulkarni.

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