Disney's focus in India on media and entertainment: Andy Bird

Mumbai, March 12 Disney is focusing on India's media and entertainment, which is estimated to touch Rs.917 billion ($17 billion) in 2013, not only because the industry here is poised for a huge leap forward, but because of the rapidly rising middle

Tuesday, March 12, 2013 | 3:58:20 PM IST (+05:30 GMT)
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Mumbai, March 12 (IANS) Disney is focusing on India's media and entertainment, which is estimated to touch Rs.917 billion ($17 billion) in 2013, not only because the industry here is poised for a huge leap forward, but because of the rapidly rising middle-class of consumers and their traditional focus on the family, said Andy Bird, chairman of Walt Disney International.

Speaking at the inaugural session of the 14th edition of FICCI FRAMES 2013, the annual convention of the Media and Entertainment (M&E) industry here, Bird said the company has grown its other businesses over the past nine years - both organically and also through the acquisition of UTV last year.

"When we made the decision to buy UTV, we did it with two considerations in mind - the first was to create a diverse company in India and as importantly to acquire the talents of Ronnie Screwvala to run the new company," Bird said.

Bird said that in the transformation towards diversification, the company has not only changed how it looked at the company and its business, but also how it looked at the world.

"It's no longer 'domestic' versus 'international' for us. We recognise that each market we enter essentially needs its own Disney company - with strategies and products and messages that are compatible with the culture and relevant to local consumers," he said.

Disney sees tremendous opportunity in rapidly emerging markets like China, Russia, Latin America, South Korea and India and hence connecting with consumers in these regions is a key strategic priority.

Bird said that in the past, the Walt Disney Company India and the Walt Disney Company China were very similar, largely sales, marketing and distribution organisations for product created in the US.

"Today, instead of the Walt Disney Company India, we're creating the Indian Walt Disney Company and, instead of the Walt Disney Company China, we're creating the Chinese Walt Disney Company. Each different to ensure each is as relevant as possible to consumers in each market," he said.

"With the acquisition of UTV and the creation of the new Walt Disney Company India, Disney became India's leading film studio and TV producer. We also added six of the country's most popular entertainment, and film channels to our portfolio, so we're now one of India's leading broadcasters as well, reaching more than 100 million viewers every week across the country," he added.

FICCI-FRAMES is a three-day global convention.

It was flagged off Tuesday in presence of the Minister of State for External Affairs Preneet Kaur, filmmakers Karan Johar and Ramesh Sippy, FICCI Secretary General Didar Singh, FICCI M&E Committee Chairman Uday Shankar, FICCI President Naina Lal Kidwai and Bollywood actress Kareena Kapoor.

South Korea is the partner country of the event and Soon Tae Park, deputy minister, minister of culture, sports and tourism of the Republic of Korea was the guest of honour at the event.

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