G.Gantuya: Positive feedbacks on our Maamuu project inspired us to move forward

G.Odgarav

2017-05-31 12:17 GMT+8

Mongol Content LLC has launched a national project called "Maamuu" which means "baby", a year ago to fill the gap in contents dedicated for children aged 0-8 years-old. Currently, four episodes of animated series, music album, and comic books have been released as part of the project. 

In addition, the company planned to implement many projects within their social responsibility apart from Maamuu project. We interviewed with G.Gantuya, CEO of Mongol Content LLC. 

THIS PROJECT IS BEING IMPLEMENTED UNDER A SLOGAN OF "EVERY FAMILY HAS MAAMUU"

-How did you come up with the idea to make kids content?
-The first step to launch Maamuu project was taken in 2014. At that time, study was conducted to analyse the content market in Mongolia. In recent years, our media industry is introducing foreign contents with official rights. Based on the two-year study, we concluded that there is huge demand for national kids content on domestic market. Therefore, we decided to put our hands on kids content. On the other hand, we consider our Maamuu project as inseparable and major part of our social responsibility policy.

-It is common in foreign countries to get support from the state when producing kids contents. Is it same about Mongolia?
-The Government support in most countries grants financial support for kids content. As a result, the involvement and contribution of major business companies for kids content is high as they consider it as their social responsibility. We submitted a proposal to the Government of Mongolia, requesting financial support to our Maamuu project, but we were refused. Currently, however, we are trying our best to fulfill our goal of investing in children's education. Examples include, we published "Nogun" comic book in 2014 and launched yolo.mn website for teenagers in 2016. Now we are implementing Maamuu project since 2016, which is a complex project with various content products targeting early childhood development goals. 

-You said that the first products including a lullaby album, creative book, and toys are selling on the market now. How is the demand for your product? 
-Technically, we have planned to develop animated series, TV show, maamuu.mn website, comic books, music album and a film in the scope of our project. 

 

We will introduce character-franchise business in Mongolia, as soon as our characters of Maamuu brand become popular among the public.

We released a creative book, board game and comic in Dec 2016. At that time, we used our media channels to market and other media organizations supported our project and promoted our first products. We received positive feedbacks from parents and that has inspired us to continue our project. 

We are implementing our project under a slogan of "Evey family has Maamuu" and the slogan symbolizes a warm atmosphere of family. Due to the fact that every family which buys products of Maamuu considered as making the largest investment for the future generation. We will continue our animated series with the funding that is earned from the product sales.

We will introduce character-franchise business in Mongolia, as soon as our characters of Maamuu brand become popular among the public.

-How many years will Maamuu characters take to gain popularity in Mongolia and internationally? 
-Three years... We hold meetings with foreign partners. We are expecting to go into franchise business after three years if we continuously follow our content policy and work hard. If we introduce Maamuu brand in the Asian market with official rights, it will enable us to sell our licensed products in international market. 

-Children`s day is approaching. What surprise has Maamuu project planned for children?
-As of today, the fourth episode of Maamuu animation has finished. We are planning to debute our animations on TV channels on Children`s day (June 1). In addition, maamuu.mn website will be launched before June 1, while our new creative books have just published. Moreover, we will offer gift packages to the customers in cooperation with "Erdenet" group, "Monos" group, "Golden Gobi" brand, "Ariun" brand and "Toy Land" toy store. These gift packages will be the main financial source of Maamuu animated series. 

WE WILL RELEASE 16 EPISODES OF MAAMUU ANIMATION BY THE END OF 2018 

-Animation requires dedication and financial resources. How many episodes have been planned for release? 
-Of course, making animation requires both investment and talents. Therefore, it is financially difficult for us to deliver our animations to the public after making 20-30 episodes. We are following a policy to debut four episodes at once. First four episodes will be premiered on Children`s day and next episodes will be delivered on New Year`s day. Thus, we will release 16 episodes by the end of 2018 and it will enable us an opportunity to share our animation on the international market officially. 

We will release 16 episodes by the end of 2018 and it will enable us an opportunity to share our animation on the international market officially. 

Currently, context and design of our animation meet the international standard, however, the number of episodes is being too few. After making enough episodes, we will share our animation in Asian countries officially. 

-What is the ratio of national content in Mongolian children's content market?
-Foreign contents account for the majority or more than 90 percent of Mongolian children's content market. Although the Government of Mongolia set quota on the national content, there is still a serious lack of national content that can compete with foreign contents and meet the international standard. We conducted our study on children`s content separately for TV content, print, and audio content. National TV content for children was undoubtedly lacking in Mongolia, while there is abundance of books and comics for children, however, the access was low. 

-Animations do nurture and educate children. How would Maamuu project influence on children`s development?
-We are aiming to make contents that cater the needs of children in the modern context, reflecting Mongol mind. Therefore, we created the best characters for Maamuu project which will be easily and positively recognized by children today. The main goal is to give notions of good manners, importance of being part of the group and overall to become a good citizen. 

I WAS CONFIDENT ON SUCCESS MORE THAN PROFIT  

-Did people warn that you are putting your feet in business, which is hard to cover the costs?
-When I first talked about Maamuu project, people were asking why to start a business which is not profitable with high costs? You are such a brave. At that time, I was confident to succeed rather than earning profit. Thus, I have started it, hoping it would bring non-profit benefit.  

We chose dinosaurs which promoted Mongolia to the world and it is very common and most recognized character around the world. 

-How did you reflect national pattern and styles to the content?
-We understand that word "national" is linked to traditions, culture, and history. However, all modern works and contents created by Mongol mind should be considered as national. Our project is a national project, even it has not expressed the history, culture, and tradition from the beginning. Of course, we will embed Mongolian national characteristics, history, and culture to our contents. 

-You have chosen dinosaur as characters of Maamuu project, which inhabited in Mongolian territory. 
-Children love our characters named Aami and Taami. We chose dinosaurs which promoted Mongolia to the world and it is very common and most recognized character around the world. 

-You mentioned that you are working to launch a website for children?
-Maamuu.mn has two main goals. First of all, we will make contents for children under age 8. Second, it will be a useful source for parents. In other words, we will provide information to parents on nurturing and developing children. We will cooperate with a professional organization, doctors and psychologists to contribute to bringing up a Mongolian citizen with good traits and pride.

WE SPEND MNT 600 MILLION ON MAAMUU ANIMATED SERIES 

-What have you planned as part of the social responsibility?
-We will create sign language version of contents for the target group. We are publishing our print contents in Braille alphabet. Moreover, we plan to show Maamuu animated series for the disabled children and all our video contents to cater to needs of those children. 

-Could you introduce your team working on Maamuu project? How many employees are working as part of the project? 
-Mongol content LLC has more than 70 employees and over 20 employees are working on this project. In addition, we are working with artists and consultants because the project has a wide range. A total of over 80 people are working on Maamuu project. 

In addirtion, Morin khuur ensemble expressed their interest to cooperate on composing lullabies and children music. We are planning to train our talent team led by animator L.Ganbold to improve their skills after finishing the animated series.

-How much money have you spent on Maamuu project?
-One episode costs MNT 70 million. This year we have planned to make eight episodes which sums up to MNT 600 million. If we estimate the cost for comic and website, we will invest MNT 1 billion to the project this year. 

TRUST OF OUR PARTNER COMPANIES ENCOURAGED US 

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-How many national companies have you been cooperating on character-franchise business? 
-Our first partner was "Ariun" brand. Following we have cooperated with "Erdenet Carpet", "Monos" group, "Golden Gobi" brand and Toyland" store. We showed our first episode of Maamuu animated series and introduced our future plans to those companies. Then we proposed them to use our characters in their products. We received a positive response from all companies. Of course, there were business interests at first, but more than that they understand the need of national content as they are parents themselves. 

The trust of our partners really encourages us to move forward. They have strong desire to support and invest in kids content. If we look it from the business prospect, it is a big risk to get the license of unfamiliar characters. 

I would like to say that any company interested in working with our project are welcomed. 

-How are the sales of Maamuu tissue going? 
-It was introduced to the market in Apr 2016. At that time, we have marketed our characters through our creative books. Our partners are satisfied with the sales. 

-Recently, carpets with Aami, Taami characters introduced on market?
-We are really pleased that Erdenet Carpet decided to support our project. In scope of our cooperation, we have just released a collection named Maamuu. In other words, 3x2 and 1.5x2 sized children`s carpet through stores of Erdenet Carpet. At the beginning of July, children blankets and cotton bed sheets will be delivered to the market.

-Could you give us more detail on your cooperation with “Monos” group? 
-“Monos” group started selling curd dragees. We are happy to work on healthy national products. We are working with Monos group on its 30 products such as yogurt dragees and dried curd with seabuckthorn. 

Moreover, we will supply chocolate with the shape of Aami and Taami characters jointly with Golben Gobi before New Year. 

I would like to say that any company interested in working with our project are welcomed. 

-Successful companies donate a certain amount of income to fund children's activities. How about your company?
-We are able to organize charity campaign and we negotiated it with our partners. Specifically, we are planning to establish a joint fund to concentrate incomes of Maamuu project and to spend this for the children aged up to 8 years-old. 

-Thank you for the interview. 

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