Not for nothing is Ronnie Screwvala considered a true pioneer and visionary of the film studio movement. If earlier, he set the corporatisation of India cinema in motion with UTV, his new innings with RSVP could herald some much-needed correction in the way studios conduct their business.
A fundamental issue in the studio system is that while output, i.e. number of releases, is uncertain and fluctuates, overheads i.e. staff and office costs are fixed and high. So even when sometimes a film does end up making a table profit, it quickly disappears when you factor in the studio’s running expenses.
RSVP’s solution? Not only do they have an extremely lean team to oversee operations, they are also looking at totally eliminating a major contributor to the cost and employee count – the marketing department – by not having one at all! Instead, they will outsource the function for each film to different agencies and thereby save themselves a pile of committed monthly outgoings.
Smart move, we say, and perhaps one that some others could do well to emulate!