|Filmmaker Subhash Ghai-promoted Mukta Arts is eyeing a rapid expansion of its multiplex business, housed under Mukta A2 Cinemas. |
Currently, operating 49 screens in 15 Indian cities including Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Hyderabad and Bhopal and a property in Bahrain, the company wants to double its screen count to 100 by the end of October 2017, said managing director Rahul Puri.
We now have 17 properties and 49 screens and want to grow this number to 100 by end of this fiscal,” said Puri, adding, “Our three-year target is to get to 250-300 screens.” Mukta A2 Cinemas is one of the late entrants in the exhibition business, which is dominated by PVR, Inox Leisure, Mexican chain Cinepolis and Carnival Group. However, Puri feels confident of Mukta’s business model of refurbishing old properties at lower costs and providing multiplex experience at affordable prices.
“Our cost per screen is much lower than others at Rs 1-1.5 crore per screen. And because we offer affordable price, we have much higher occupancy, which results into speedier breakeven period of 2-2.5 years. Today, all our screens are generating cash,” Puri said.
When asked on fund requirements for expansion, Puri said the company has already invested Rs. 50 crore, and will need another Rs. 30 crore to reach 100-screens target. “Many of these will be refurbished screens, which cost between Rs. 40 and Rs. 45 lakh only. So, our total requirement will not be more than Rs. 30 crore, which we will fund through internal debt,” Puri explained. Puri said that unlike PVR and INOX, Mukta A2 has identified tier II cities.