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Netflix in India: expanding to success

Lubna Nafees (Walker College of Business, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC, USA)
Mokhalles Mehdi (Kaziranga University, Jorhat, India)
Rakesh Gupta (Institute of Management Technology Ghaziabad, Ghaziabad, India)
Shalini Kalia (NMIMS Global Access School for Continuing Education, Mumbai, India)
Sayan Banerjee (IMT Nagpur, Nagpur, India)
Shivani Kapoor (New Delhi Institute of Management, New Delhi, India)

Publication date: 6 July 2021


Learning outcomes

After completing the case, students should be able to understand: the importance and uniqueness of the individual market and developing a suitable marketing strategy. The concept of value creation and learn the importance of developing the right value proposition to compete and succeed in a market. The target audience and how to create the right marketing mix. Competition in a digital landscape and the importance of developing an appropriate strategy to counter its rivals and position the brand effectively.

Case overview/synopsis

During his visit to India in December 2019, Netflix’s founder and chief executive officer Reed Hastings talked about a series of steps the company had taken in the recent past to successfully face stiff competition and move towards achieving its stated target of 100 million viewers. These steps involved significant changes in their marketing mix such as reworking their pricing, developing a rich portfolio of Indian content and building various partnerships. Since Netflix’s launch in India (December 2016), it faced fierce competition from players such as Hotstar and Amazon Prime, both of whom had developed a rich portfolio of Indian content and adopted a very aggressive pricing strategy thus, making these changes essential. At the time of their launch, Netflix had set a very ambitious target of gaining 100 million viewers within five years (by 2021) while adopting a premium pricing strategy and positioning themselves uniquely based on their international content. They quickly learned that they would have to reevaluate their approach if they wanted to achieve their target on time. The changes announced by Hastings were an effort in that direction. The moot question was whether these steps would help Netflix India reach its goal. This challenge was further compounded by an almost 40% hike in data tariffs by three major wireless carriers considering most Indians watched over-the-top media content on their mobile phones.

Complexity academic level

The case is designed for undergraduates, as well as for fundamental marketing courses in the Master of Business Administration and other graduate level programmes. It can be taught in the Principles of Marketing, Marketing Strategy and International Marketing courses. It is ideal for topics such as understanding the operation of a digital business in a new market, customer value creation and value drivers, brand and brand positioning, product promotion, strategies for business growth and expansion, fighting competition in a digital landscape.

Supplementary materials

Teaching Notes are available for educators only.

Subject code

CSS 8: Marketing.



Disclaimer. This case is written solely for educational purposes and is not intended to represent successful or unsuccessful managerial decision-making. The authors may have disguised names; financial and other recognizable information to protect confidentiality.


Nafees, L., Mehdi, M., Gupta, R., Kalia, S., Banerjee, S. and Kapoor, S. (2021), "Netflix in India: expanding to success", , Vol. 11 No. 2.



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