The Story Behind Disney and Star Fusion

The Walt Disney Company, founded on October 16, 1923; commonly referred to as Disney, is an American mass media and entertainment company whose headquarter is located at the Walt Disney Studios complex in Burbank, California. Since the 1980s, Disney has created and acquired corporate divisions to market more mature content than is typically associated with its flagship family-oriented brands.

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The company is known for its film studio division, The Walt Disney Studios, which includes Walt Disney Pictures, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar, Marvel Studios, and lots more which includes international operations.

Star India, founded on 1 August 1990; is an Indian media and owned subsidiarily by The Walt Disney Company India. It is headquartered in Mumbai, Maharashtra.

It has a network of 60 channels in eight languages, reaching out to 9 out of 10 cable and satellite TV homes in India. The network reaches approximately 790 million viewers a month across India and more than 100 countries. Star India generates more than 30,000 hours of content every year. Star India is known for its entrepreneurial style of functioning, be it its investment in sports or being a first mover in regional television and digital entertainment.

Story Behind The Merging

The Walt Disney Company’s $71.3 billion acquisition of 21st Century Fox isn’t proving to be a happy marriage for its Indian arms, Star and Disney India. Despite being the acquired entity, Star India, by being a Rs 10,000 crore media mammoth (with interests in Hindi and regional TV, sports, studio, and OTT), seemed to have a clear upper hand as opposed to Disney India, which is barely a Rs 100 crore business.

As an affiliate of the Disney company, Star India was blossoming and doing well until 13 December 2018, Disney announced Uday Shankar who serves as chairman of Star India would lead Disney’s Asian operations and would become the new chairman of Disney India, which became a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, being reorganized under The Walt Disney Company (India) Private Limited.

After The Merging

One of the challenges and a major one faced after the merging was that there has been massive insecurity among both Star and Disney employees. “The Disney folks felt let down as they were not given plum roles, while the Star employees are not used to the ‘passive aggressive’ working style of the Disney Company.

Another challenge was that when the Disney-Fox merger was announced, around 350 menial jobs were supposed to be on the ax. While it’s not clear yet how many have been laid off in the last few months. The firm has experienced the exit of senior management from both the Star and Disney bodies due to the inability to adapt. The merger results in high-profile exits amid twin management styles, according to one Ajita Shashidhar.