The Walt Disney Company India

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The Walt Disney Company (India) Private Limited
Industry Media conglomerate
Founded August 1993; 25 years ago (1993-08)
Headquarters Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Area served
Key people
  • Mahesh Samat
  • (MD South Asia)[1]
  • Abhishek Maheshwari
  • (country head)
Parent Walt Disney Direct-to-Consumer and International[1]
  • Disney India Studios
  • Disney India Media Networks
  • Disney India Consumer Products
  • Disney India Interactive
Subsidiaries UTV Software Communications

The Walt Disney Company (India) Private Limited (or simply Disney India) is the Indian subsidiary of American media conglomerate The Walt Disney Company, and is based in Mumbai, Maharashtra.

Walt Disney India was formed in August 1993 with a licensing agreement as a joint venture partnership between The Walt Disney Company and Modi Enterprises. Disney filed in October 2001 with the Foreign Investment Promotion Board to create a wholly owned subsidiary company to launch the Disney Channel in India. The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion granted Disney an initial approval for the subsidiary but with Modi protesting because of similarities to their joint venture. When the 10 year licensing agreement ended, Modi and Disney could not come to a new agreement, thus ending the joint venture agreement in August 2003.[2]

Walt Disney Television International (Asia Pacific) took over distribution of content in September 2003 via STAR Movies, AXN and HBO plus 29 hours of children's programmes per week via DD Metro, Eenadu, SET, Star Plus and Star World.[3]


The Walt Disney Company (India) Private Limited (WDCI) started operations in July 2004 based in Mumbai.[4] On 17 December, Walt Disney Television International India launched the Disney Channel and Toon Disney channel with three language feeds (English, Tamil and Telugu). The channels are to be distributed by the Star Group.[5][6][7] WDCI planned to focus initially on its channel operations before expanding in to other areas. In the long term, a Disney theme park in India is possible as land has been reportedly found on the outskirts of Delhi.[8] Also in December, with Indiagames as a partner, the Walt Disney Internet Group released Disney games, wallpapers and ringtones in the market which is also available on AirTel. In 2005, Disney Consumer Products (DCP) began working with various Indian retail outlets to establish Disney Corners within the outlets to sell licensed merchandise.[9] In August, Funskool India and Disney entered in a contract for Funskool to sell Disney Princess products in India.[10]

In July 2006, Disney India acquired a controlling stake in Hungama TV from UTV Software Communications Limited while also taking a 14.9% share in UTV.[11] In 2008, the company took an additional 17.5% share in UTV.[12]

On 26 September 2006, the Disney Jeans brand was launched under license to Indus Clothing, which planned to open 30 Disney Jean stores by the end of 2007.[13] In October, DCP franchised to Ravi Jaipuria Corporation the rights for five years to set up 150 Disney Artist brand stores and wholesale under the Disney Artist brand Disney character branded greeting cards, stationery, arts, crafts and party products in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Maldives.[14]

Disney Publishing Worldwide, a division of Walt Disney India, announced a licensing agreement in April 2009 with local publisher Junior Diamond to publish Disney comic books, in both English and Hindi.[15] Jetix/Toon Disney was switched over in India to Disney XD on 14 November.[7]

In May 2011, Disney and UTV agreed to co-produce Disney branded family films with both handling creative function and UTV producing, marketing and distributing the films.[4] Walt Disney Company (South East Asia) Pvt Ltd. in July 2011 offered to purchase the public shareholders' stakes with approval given by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs for them to increase their ownership. In February 2012, Disney announced the completion of the acquisition of UTV with UTV Chief Executive Officer Ronnie Screwvala becoming Managing Director of TWDC India[16] replacing Mahesh Samat, who joined the company in 2007 from Johnson & Johnson.[1]

In October 2012, Disney launched Disney Junior India, an ad-free channel for preschool kids. Earlier it was a one and a half hour programming block on Disney Channel India.[17] Disney India launched its Live Entertainment operations in 2015 with the production of a Beauty and the Beast musical to be shown from October to December in Mumbai and Delhi.[18]

Disney India indicated in August 2016 that it was shutting down UTV Pictures, its Hindi film production unit, and focusing only on distribution of its Hollywood films. Disney India managing director Siddharth Roy Kapur also indicated he would let his contract lapse on 1 January 2017.[19] On 28 November 2016, Mahesh Samat was to return as managing director, four years after he left the company.[1]

On 12 September 2017, Walt Disney International announced a restructuring of its business in Asia, and that Mahesh Samat is to lead the new Disney South Asia division, combining India, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam.[20]

On 5 October 2017, The Walt Disney Company India officially announced the launch of Disney International HD on 29 October, 2017. The channel was to be the exclusive home to live action Disney Channel original content.[21] The channel will not have any animation content, and will be replacing Bindass Play.[22]

Walt Disney International South Asia[edit]

On 7 November 2017, Disney announced the promotion of Abhishek Maheshwari as country head for India. He was to report to Mahesh Samat, Walt Disney International South Asia.[23] On 14 December 2017, The Walt Disney Company announced the acquisition of 21st Century Fox, which includes Star India.[24]

Consumers Products licensed DLF Brands for Disney & Me stores that opened in April 2018.[25] The Live Entertainment divisions' second musical, Aladdin, premiered on 20 April 2018.[26]


Current units[edit]

Store licensee start date closed date
Disney Corners
April 2005[9]
Disney Jeans Indus Clothing September 26, 2006[13]
Disney Artist Ravi Jaipuria Corporation October 10, 2006[14]
Disney & Me DLF Brands April 2018[25]

Disney Studios[edit]


The following films were produced by Walt Disney Pictures India.

Year Film Director Producer(s) Notes Ref.
2008 Roadside Romeo Jugal Hansraj Aditya Chopra Animated Film
Co-produced with Yash Raj Films and Disney World Cinema
National Film Award for Best Animated Film[27]
Nominated- Visual Effects Society Award for Outstanding Animation in an Animated Feature Motion Picture[28]
2010 Do Dooni Chaar Habib Faisal Arindam Chaudhuri Co-produced with Planman Motion Pictures and Disney World Cinema
National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi[31]
2011 Feluda: The Kathmandu Caper Tapaas Chakravarti DQ Entertainment International Animated TV Movie
distribution only; produced by DQ Entertainment International
Anaganaga O Dheerudu Prakash Kovelamudi Prasad Devineni
Prakash Kovelamudi
Telugu Film
Co-produced with A Bellyful of Dreams Entertainment, Arka Media Works and Disney World Cinema
Zokkomon Satyajit Bhatkal Walt Disney Pictures [35]
2012 Arjun: The Warrior Prince Arnab Chaudhuri Ronnie Screwvala
Siddharth Roy Kapur
Animated Film
Co-produced with Disney World Cinema and UTV Motion Pictures
Nominated - Grand Prix at 2013 Annecy International Animated Film Festival[36]
Luck Luck Ki Baat Iqbal Khan Disney Channel India Television film
Remake of 2001 Disney Channel original movie The Luck of the Irish
Co-produced with SOL Productions
2014 Khoobsurat Shashanka Ghosh Anil Kapoor
Rhea Kapoor
Siddharth Roy Kapoor
Co-produced with UTV Motion Pictures and Anil Kapoor Film Company [39]
2015 ABCD 2 Remo D'Souza Siddharth Roy Kapoor Sequel to the 2013 film ABCD: Any Body Can Dance.
Co-produced with UTV Motion Pictures
2016 Apna Bhai Gaju Bhai Sandeep Patil and Aarsh Vohra Disney Channel India Animated TV movie
based on Disney Channel's animated TV series Gaju Bhai
Co-produced with Toonz Animation
Dangal Nitesh Tiwari Aamir Khan
Kiran Rao
Siddharth Roy Kapur
Co-produced with Aamir Khan Productions and UTV Motion Pictures [42]
2017 Jagga Jasoos Anurag Basu Anurag Basu
Ranbir Kapoor
Siddharth Roy Kapur
Co-produced with PictureShuru Entertainment, UTV Motion Pictures and Ishana Movies [43]

Home entertainment[edit]

The following Indian films were released under the Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment banner.

Home Entertainment Release date Film International Title Original Theatrical Release date Production Company Notes Ref.
12 January 2010 Taare Zameen Par Like Stars on Earth 21 December 2007 Aamir Khan Productions and PVR Pictures [44]
26 July 2011 Anaganaga O Dheerudu Once Upon a Warrior 14 January 2011 Disney India, A Bellyful of Dreams Entertainment, Arka Media Works and Disney World Cinema Part of Disney World Cinema series [45]
Do Dooni Chaar Two Twos Are Four 8 October 2010 Disney India, Planman Motion Pictures and Disney World Cinema
Zokkomon Zokkomon 22 April 2011 Disney India and Disney World Cinema

Disney Live Entertainment[edit]


Disney Media Networks[edit]

Current Channels[edit]

Channel Name Launched Language(s) Genre
Bindass 24 September 2007 (acquired in 2012) Hindi Entertainment
Disney International HD 29 October 2017 English
Disney Channel India 17 December 2004 English
Disney Junior India 15 October 2012
Disney XD India 14 November 2009
Hungama TV 26 September 2004 (acquired in 2006) Hindi
UTV Action 24 September 2007 (acquired in 2012) Hindi Movies
UTV Movies 24 February 2008 (acquired in 2012)

Closed Channels[edit]

Channel Name Launched Closed Replaced By
Bindass Play 1 October 2014 29 October 2017 Disney International HD
Toon Disney India 17 December 2004 14 November 2009 Disney XD India
UTV Stars 19 August 2011 1 October 2014 Bindass Play
UTV World Movies 2008 2014 None

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Laghate, Gaurav (26 October 2016). "Mahesh Samat returns to Disney India as Managing Director after four years". The Economic Times.
  2. ^ Ghaswalla, Amrita Nair (15 August 2003). "Disney, Modi end India JV". Economic Times. TNN. Retrieved 23 April 2014.
  3. ^ "Walt Disney to open local sales office in India". Economic Times. 3 September 2003. Retrieved 23 April 2014.
  4. ^ a b "THE WALT DISNEY COMPANY INDIA & UTV JOIN CREATIVE FORCES" (Press release). Bangalore, INDIA: The Walt Disney Company (India). Bloomberg. 19 May 2011. Retrieved 23 April 2014.
  5. ^ "After Tamil & Telegu, Toon Disney goes Hindi from 1 September". Indian Television. 22 August 2005. Retrieved 26 February 2014.
  6. ^ "Walt Disney channels to be distributed by STAR". Economic Times. 25 November 2004. Retrieved 23 April 2014.
  7. ^ a b "Jetix rebrands to Disney XD in India". 12 November 2009. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
  8. ^ Bhattacharjee, Manisha (20 April 2005). "Walt Disney's Eisner coming to India". Retrieved 23 April 2014.
  9. ^ a b Bhattacharjee, Manisha (25 April 2005). "Disney's Eisner, Iger in India; to meet PM & President". Retrieved 23 April 2014.
  10. ^ Adesara, Hetal (15 October 2005). "Disney gives merchandising heavy push with 'Princess' range". Retrieved 23 April 2014.
  11. ^ Leahy, Joe; Sundeep Tucker (13 September 2006). "Disney switches on to Hindi market". Financial Times. Retrieved 11 May 2014.
  12. ^ Sinha, Ashish (18 June 2008). "'UTV investment is long-term play'". Business Standard. Retrieved 23 April 2014.
  13. ^ a b "Disney Jeans launched, plans 30 stores". Business Standard. 26 September 2006. Retrieved 23 April 2014.
  14. ^ a b "Disney to set up 150 stores in India". The Times of India. TNN. 12 October 2006. Retrieved 23 April 2014.
  15. ^ "Disney launches comic books in India". 15 April 2009. Retrieved 21 August 2010.
  16. ^ "Walt Disney to acquire controlling stake in UTV". Business Standard. New Delhi. Press Trust of India. 1 February 2012. Retrieved 23 April 2014.
  17. ^ "Disney Junior to find biz model in digital India". 21 November 2012. Retrieved 8 May 2014.
  18. ^ a b Malvania, Urvi (12 August 2015). "Disney launches its theatrical brand with Beauty and the Beast". Business Standard. Retrieved 13 August 2015.
  19. ^ Laghate, Gaurav (26 August 2016). "Disney India to exit from Hindi film production business". The Economic Times. Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. Retrieved 15 December 2016.
  20. ^ "Mahesh Samat gets expanded role in Disney Asia restructure". Indian Television Dot Com. 2017-09-12. Retrieved 2017-09-12.
  21. ^ "Disney to launch English GEC HD on 29 Oct". Indian Television Dot Com. 2017-10-05. Retrieved 2017-10-05.
  22. ^ "Disney to shut Bindass Play on 29 Oct to launch Disney Intl HD". Television Post. 28 September 2017. Archived from the original on 28 September 2017. Retrieved October 21, 2017.
  23. ^ Laghate, Gaurav (2017-11-07). "Disney names Abhishek Maheshwari as Country Head for India". The Economic Times. Retrieved 2017-11-10.
  24. ^ Faber, David (December 5, 2017). "Disney and Fox are closing in on deal, could be announced next week: Sources". CNBC. Archived from the original on December 5, 2017. Retrieved December 5, 2017.
  25. ^ a b "Disney & Me stores foray into India". The Economic Times. Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. 11 April 2018. Retrieved 8 May 2018.
  26. ^ a b "Disney to Launch 'Aladdin' Stage Musical in India". Retrieved February 27, 2018.
  27. ^ "56th National Film Awards" (PDF). Directorate of Film Festivals. Retrieved 27 March 2012.
  28. ^ "7th VES Awards". Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  29. ^ "Yash Raj, Disney in animation films tie-up". 13 June 2007. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  30. ^ "Disney releases Bollywood animation 'Roadside Romeo'". Telegraph Media Group. 24 October 2008. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  31. ^ "58th National Film Awards" (PDF). Directorate of Film Festivals. Retrieved 29 March 2012.
  32. ^ "Walt Disney releases first live action Hindi feature Do Dooni Chaar". Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  33. ^ "Disney brings Satyajit Ray's detective Feluda to the small screen". 30 December 2010. Retrieved 19 May 2017.
  34. ^ "Walt Disney picks Shruti, Siddharth!". Times of India. 17 March 2010. Retrieved 17 March 2010.
  35. ^ "Walt Disney's Zokkomon to Release on 22nd April 2011". Bollywood Trade. 2 March 2011. Retrieved 6 July 2011.
  36. ^ "Arjun: The Warrior Prince Nominated for Annecy Cristal Award 2013". Retrieved 26 April 2013.
  37. ^ "Disney's "Arjun" opens in Hollywood". Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  38. ^ "Disney India's first ever MADE FOR TELEVISION Film to premiere on 30 Sep". 28 September 2012. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  39. ^ "Disney India to co-produce Khubsoorat remake with Kapoors – NDTV". Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  40. ^ "Disney India creates its first local franchise with 'ABCD 2'". Indian Express Limited. 22 April 2015. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
  41. ^ "When Jollywood's Superstar meets Bollywood's superstar!". The Times of India. 22 June 2016. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  42. ^ "DANGAL is an extremely special film for Disney, says Disney India Studios VP". 10 January 2017.
  43. ^ "Jagga Jasoos new poster out; Ranbir Kapoor-Katrina Kaif starrer to release on 14 July". 24 May 2017. Retrieved 24 May 2017.
  44. ^ "Disney releasing 'Taare Zameen Par' on DVD in US". The Hindu. 18 December 2009. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  45. ^ "Disney Releasing 3 Indian Films in North America". Deccan Herald. 30 June 2011. Retrieved 6 July 2011.
  46. ^ "Disney to create the magic of Broadway in India". Adgully. 13 August 2015. Retrieved 22 May 2017.

External links[edit]