Will Netflix Succeed In India – Strategy With RS

Netflix, world’s leading on-demand streaming service, with over 70 million subscribers spread over 190 countries globally, offering hours & hours of content, has entered India.

Why is Netflix so popular globally?

Millennials – those born between 198os to 2000s – resent having to watch a TV program when it is broadcasted; view it on a specific device – TV & while being confined to a drawing room!

They desire to consume content at a time convenient to them, on a device of their choice, and while being on the move.

Netflix business model is designed to pander to millennial’s desire – its content can be streamed on a device of their choice, at the time of their choosing & while on the move!

In India it offers 3 types of subscription:

1. Rs 500 per month – unlimited access to all content in Standard Definition Resolution
2. Rs 650 per month – All the above + simultaneous access to 2 devices + access to Ultra HD content
3. Rs 800 per month: All of (2) + view it in Ultra HD or 4k content – provided Internet width permits + simultaneous access to 4 devices.

The subscription prices are steep. Eros Now – the homegrown competitor’s subscription starts at Rs 49 per month!

Will Netflix be able to conquer Indian audience?

I have serious doubt about it because it has predominately English programming in its catalogue -:

• Original TV Series – House of cards, Orange is the New Black …
• Documentaries – Making a Murderer …
• Original Feature films: Beasts of No Nation ….
• Meager catalogue of Bollywood films & Hindi TV programs – which it is planning to strengthen over time.

What strategy should Netflix embrace?

Global strategy – implement global strategies but adapt it to meet local requirements – in India Bollywood strikes a cord with Indian viewers & therefore, it should have a very strong Bollywood catalogue.

Here’s why I think so!

During my stint with The UB Group’s alcoholic beverages division, now Diageo, we sponsored many New Year Parties in 5 Star Hotels & leading Clubs in Mumbai.

A few South Mumbai club would play English music – result – the dance floor would be near empty. But the moment Bollywood songs were played the dance floor would have the guests lip syncing it & swinging to it with gay abandon!

What was true for attracting guest to the dance floor in Mumbai would also be true for attracting subscribers on to Netflix platform – it should strengthen its Bollywood catalogue.

Business Lessons for us: 1. Pursue a ‘glocal’ strategy – global strategy with a local flavor. 2. Your product offering should fit into the lifestyle of your Target Customer – they should not have to learn anything new to use & enjoy it. 3. Be Asset Light. 4. Do not make a choice for customers – offer them options from which they can choose. 5. Refresh your brand non-stop. 6. Incorporate Mobile strategy into your business model. 7. Your business should have an SMAAC– Social, Mobile, Analytics, Apps, Cloud – backbone. 7. Embed best features of On Demand Economy into your business model!



In this series, Rajesh Srivastava, Business Strategist and Visiting Faculty at IIM Indore gives you a regular dose of strategy case studies to help you think and keep you one step ahead as a professional as compared to your peers. Rajesh is an alumnus of IIM Bangalore and IIT Kanpur and has over 2 decades of experience in the FMCG industry. All previous Strategy with RS posts can be found here



ramji yahoo

as usual well written sir, adding 2 small points on Glocal- Netfix should consider the regional/state level language programmes, usage of netfix during low internet speed.


in my opinion, netflix has already optimized itself for usage with low internet speed as the resolution adjusts itself automatically without hindering viewer experience. Also, unlike other online video platforms, it does not buffer very often, thus, providing good experience (as cited by Rajesh Sir that companies should work on not to sell the ‘product’ but give them and ‘experience). Also, an additional point I would like to make is that that India has a young population and most of them have a penchant for english movies and TV shows. This fact can also be seen in the advertising of many companies on social media (Practo, Mother Dairy, Bajaj Allianz, etc designing their ads with characters from popular HBO TV show Game Of Thrones). Thus, Netflix is an authentic website that can cater to these needs of the youngsters. However, the only hurdle for them in India is that many people resort to torrents website to download the pirated content instead of authentic viewing and this undermines their purpose.