Vijay Anand | The Startup Guy.

Ideas to Toss: Getty Images for India.

Posted on: April 18, 2008

Do you know how much India spends on Advertisement budgeting at the moment? a Whopping 400 crores. Did you know that the Times Group makes a heck of a lot of money in their outdoor advertisement business? I am quoted numbers as high as 60% of all outdoor billboards in Mumbai belonging to the Times Group. And I am also hearing that there is plenty of prime locations near the new Bangalore airport that is bought by the Times Group to expand and make sure that this revenue stream doesn’t dry up anytime soon.

So if I may come to the point, advertisements and the ad market is quite huge. The good news, its nascent and has just started and will only grow to be bigger from here.

That said, we do have a small problem. I have friends who work with online portals and in running content who basically have this complaint: “We scrap content at times, simply because we don’t have a good supporting image to go with it”. Images are plenty and dime a dozen across the web. What they are talking about is an image that fits the context – the context here being, the audience, and the characters of the story being Indian.

Let me zero in on the issue: Have you seen all the billboards that are up there around the city? In every bill board, in every Spread of newspaper, in every online banner, in every pamphlet and brochure, in every marketing material that is used by corporates, in every image that the media uses – be it print, broadcast or for advertising, wherever there is a boy or gal to be presented there, be it contemporary, skimpily clad or in the next new saree model there is, all of them are commissioned photos. Which means, each of those pictures probably cost more than a pretty penny for the advertisers who are running it. Could we do it for cheap? We could, if there was a way to get stock images with Indian folks on them – something that is quite as rare as the tiger population.

There is a business opportunity for a team of artists, creative and enthusiastic photographers to put together a studio and create this portfolio and effectively tap the market, very similar to what Istockphoto did. Any takers?

14 Responses to "Ideas to Toss: Getty Images for India."

Kickass idea.. A similar idea was running across my mind a few months back 🙂

Nice one. But this particular segment is heavily dominated by advertisers who has access to a number of models. It is difficult for a startup to bring this online.

But sometime back I proposed something on the simillar lines.

How about that?

I agree to this…

Added to that, one way to address a way forward is to somehow get the photobloggers( I see a lot of them from India and passionate about photography) and have an aggregation service. This could also have a paid subscription service.

@Anush: Thanks.

@Prabhu: If you look at most of the images from Stock photography collections, they are not all models. Most college students would find this to be a good outlet for making money – if its done professionally. Also we need photos of common “indian” items. So not everything has a model involved.

Shijay: Blogs dont equate to mainstream media. If photoblogging can equate to stock images, Flickr is the best option there is, and it cant get better than that. Plus photobloggers tend to shoot what they like, rather than keeping an object in mind – which is what professional commissioned photography is about. So yep, there is a difference.

I’m ready to take the plunge as I’m ready to shoot and give to them as per their needs. Have you ever checked my photos before – I did send you the link – If you missed here it is –

Please let me know if your friend is interested to start with me, Thanks

[…] for an Indian startup – a website offering stock photography in the Indian context.  He believes there lies a very successful business opportunity in this market.  Whoever takes him up on this idea, don’t forget to send me the finders fee! […]

As Patrix mentioned on the DP post – PhotoShelter is a great alternative to Getty. There’s no reason photographers and image buyers from India can’t participate.

PhotoShelter is very photographer friendly and the buyers (in the US at least) are very excited about it. I talk more about PhotoShelter here:


I guess Photoshelter will become another option, for people looking for stock images.

But I think the context of the conversation was the need for “indian context” photography and images and the lack of them.

Wondering if you have checked

Has a good collection of Indian Photographs.

Litan. I knew about Indianshutter, but the other one is quite nice.


There are several stock agencies in the Indian context eg. Indiapicture.


Try searching for “Violence” in Imagesbazaar, and you get something like this:

Is it bad staging or what? Is that wife really trying to kill her husband? 🙂

Indianshutter, knowing the efforts that Sanjeev is putting behind it, it has hope. But time will tell.

there are many indian stock image bank already in the market.


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