Disney Goes Global: India, China, Russia, Korea, LA
From today's WSJ article "Disney Rewrites Script To Win Fans in India,"
Disney's traditional approach was largely to force-feed its U.S. products from its Burbank, Calif., headquarters. The company ultimately concluded the cookie-cutter approach wouldn't work, and now it is going country by country, with a particular focus on five hot markets: India, China, Russia, Latin America and South Korea. "We're building Disney from scratch," in countries such as India, said Mr. Iger, citing the company's founder and namesake: Just "as Walt did in the U.S. over 50 years ago."
In India, the stakes for Disney are huge: The Indian population under 14 years old is bigger than the entire U.S. population, and household incomes are rising fast.
India's multitude of languages, dialects and religions makes Disney's strategy akin to "three dimensional chess." Mr. P.S., Disney's local movie executive, says the company plans to release its first animated film in at least three languages: Hindi, Tamil and Telugu. Later on, Disney may make live-action movies specifically for the country's south, which has different tastes in movies and has emerged as an important market.
MP: Critics of globalization often complain that U.S. MNCs force American culture, fashion and fast food cuisine on developing countries like India and China, but Disney's approach in India demonstrates that local customs, language and culture have to be respected. "Consumer sovereignty" is global and universal.