Order book swells to Rs 85 crore

M. Ramesh

Chennai, Feb. 4 With orders worth Rs 85 crore in its bag and more in the pipeline, the Chennai-based animation company Accel Transmatic Ltd is upgrading its infrastructure. Recently, the company has created a motion capture facility at Thiruvananthapuram and is now building an animation facility in Chennai, with an estimated cost of Rs 50 crore.

Executing orders

The Accel Transmatic’s Chairman and Managing Director, Mr N.R. Panicker, told Business Line that the Rs 85-crore orders on hand, many of them from international clients, would be executed over the next two years.

Accel Transmatic, listed on the BSE, was promoted by Accel Frontline Ltd — a joint venture of Accel Ltd owned by Mr Panicker and Frontline Technologies of Singapore. Now, with Frontline Technologies being taken over by British Telecom, Accel Frontline is set to become a subsidiary of the British telecommunications major.

Mr Panicker, who will sell 9 per cent stake in Accel Frontline to BT (so that BT gets 51 per cent), will remain as one of the principal investors in Accel Frontline. But with fresh funds from the stake sale and relieved of hands-on management of the company, Mr Panicker will focus more on Accel Transmatic Ltd.

The Rs 40-crore company has other divisions too — embedded software and hardware products such as ticket vending machines, both inherited from takeovers, and IT training.

Eventually, when the animation business grows big, these divisions could become separate companies. In the current year, animation would contribute Rs 4.5 crore to the estimated Rs 50-crore turnover for 2007-08, but Mr Panicker expects it to fetch in at least Rs 30 crore in 2008-09.

In animation, Accel Transmatic pursues both lines of business — developing its own intellectual property and serving other customers. For the latter, Mr Panicker says that there are big opportunities from international players. To tap into these opportunities, Accel Transmatic has a few well-known names as its advisors—Ms Nancy Juliber, an eight-time Emmy award winner; Mr Tom Whitaker, Chairman, Motion Analysis Corporation, USA; and Mr Frank Malmin, founder of Def2Shoot Studios.

Def2Shoot is keen on outsourcing business to Accel Transmatic, Mr Panicker said.

For the quarter ended December, the company has reported a net profit of Rs 44 lakh compared with Rs 79 lakh for the same quarter last year. “We are in an investment mode,” noted Mr Panicker. Profit dipped despite turnover having gone up by Rs 2 crore (to Rs 10 crore) due to employees addition, depreciation and interest costs. Staff cost alone went up by Rs 1.17 crore.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated February 5, 2008)
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