Monday, June 30, 2014, 13:34
Animation entrepreneur nurses mainland ambitions
By Sophie He/chinadailyasia.com

Animation entrepreneur nurses mainland ambitions
Poman Lo Po-man founder of Century Innovative Technology Limited that produces the children's animation series Bodhi and Friends. (Photo provided to China Daily)

HONG KONG - Century Innovative Technology Limited, a local firm which created the edutainment brand Bodhi and Friends, is eyeing further expansion on the mainland, said founder Poman Lo Po-man.

Lo straddles multiple roles, including that of vice-chairman and managing director of Regal Hotels International, but she was not satisfied with merely running the family businesses.

Backed by father Lo Yuk-sui, chairman and chief executive officer of Cosmopolitan International Holdings Ltd, Lo started Century Innovative Technology Limited in 2012 which created the edutainment animation brand Bodhi and Friends.

The core thrust of Poman Lo’s firm is the Bodhi and Friends TV animation series - designed to inspire children to pick up moral values as well as knowledge in a fun and interesting way.

Hundred and four episodes have already been canned, and in February 2014, the first series were broadcast by China CCTV. By now, it has notched up 350 million views across TV channels and online platforms. Many satellite municipal television stations’ channels for children such as Golden Eagle, Jiajia Cartoon, Youman, Toonmax & Kaku are broadcasting the Bodhi and Friends series.

Other than the TV animation series, the company also produces, distributes and licenses educational books, games apps, interactive online games, interactive learning platforms and related products to aid children's overall intellectual development.

"Currently, our focus is on exploring the Chinese mainland market, which is huge and where parents are usually more generous about investing in their children’s education,” said Lo. She pointed out that creative learning was still a novel approach for parents on the Chinese mainland but the potential was enormous.

Inspired by her pet pups, Lo personally designed all the leading characters in Bodhi and Friends.

“We have done extensive market research and are continuing to improve the images of the leading characters, to make sure that children connect with them,” she said.

Lo said other than CCTV and other TV stations on the Chinese mainland, Now TV was broadcasting Bodhi and Friends in Hong Kong.

Another 52 episodes are in the making, and Lo is already in negotiations with foreign TV stations.

Lo said that so far she had invested more than HK$100 million in the enterprise, and admitted that it was too early to tell when it would become profitable.

"Right now, I just want to focus on producing quality edutainment products for children. Bodhi and Friends is positioned to be the world's leading edutainment brand and hopefully, it will be something that I can pass onto the next generation.”