Disney chairman: I’ve never been more excited about India
Disney chairman Andy Bird remains excited by India’s potential
Andy Bird, chairman of Walt Disney International, said the company is not abandoning local content production in India, despite its decision last year to close Bollywood film production.
Bird said India is often overshadowed by the growth of China, but prospects for the country are very bright, reported Variety.
“I’ve never been more excited about India. That comes after a decade of frustration,” said Bird, speaking at the Asia Pacific Video Operators Summit (APOS) convention in Indonesia on Wednesday.
He said the decision to close down Disney’s Indian film production operations last year has been misunderstood by the industry.
“It was misinterpreted that we were giving up on local production,” said Bird, adding, the company has a slate of 12 products in development.
He explained that the changing possibilities offered by expanding bandwidth and mobile access mean that Disney is more able to experiment with new business models.
“In India we’ve had content which debuted on Facebook, then went to YouTube and then to traditional TV in third place. The economics of the Indian cinema industry are just not catching up,” said Bird.
Another factor behind the decision was the growing popularity of Hollywood movies in India.
Bird said that Disney has up to 24 businesses able to use the corporation’s intellectual property.
Bird said Asia continues to represent some of the fastest growth rates in the world for Disney, while also being at the cutting edge of the analog to digital transformation.
“(In two to three years) we expect to be a digitally focused, mobile first, multi-faceted company,” said Bird.