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Q1. With reference to the challenges of asymmetric alliances, is Disney an appropriate partner for UTV? Explain.

Disney is the ideal partner for UTV to form an alliance. UTVs main agenda from this allaince is to expand internationally and make way into different markets. Disney having a global presence provides considerable access to the resources required to achieve these aims. Given these agendas this would be a scale alliance, it would allow the smaller firm access to the pooled resources, shifting the balance of power towards UTV eventually. Disney looks at India as a long term strategic priority and currently plans only to capitalize on the childrens TV segment. UTVs Hungama has succeeded in gaining Disneys attention to use as a carrier to gain access to this market. Given the asymmetry in the goals of the two partners, UTV can yield on the short term objective to give Disney full control of Hungama in return for accomplishing its long term objective. Q2. Think about question 1 in relation to alternative partners for UTV, i.e. other global media companies? Expansion on its own? UTV in the past had explored the possibility of expansion on its own. It even opened offices US, UK and Mauritius. However, a stronger expansion would require significant capital expenditure, and hence a strategic investor was the best possible alternative. Among the various strategic investors UTV had explored, such as News Corp, Turner, Sony; Disney, was the only player that had a decent footprint in the Indian market and did not intend to expand in the childrens segment, which is where UTV would have been able to offer the most significant gain to its partner. 3. UTV and Disney have different, and in some sense conflicting, purposes in forming the alliance. What are the likely consequences of these differences for the sustainability and success of the relationships? UTV has the following expectations from the alliance To expand its operations globally To use the growth to generate cash flow for future growth Use the alliance to establish a strong foothold in the Indian media and entertainment market Its priority is to focus on locally generated content

Disney, on the other hand, wants to:-

Owing to the difference in reasons for forming the alliance, it is highly likely that the alliance will face conflict during its existence. UTV in the past has excelled in generating local content for the kids market in India, they also have significant presence in the movie production and distribution business. Disney also has an established movie production and distribution business; however it is trying to expand into providing local content for its viewers. Disney has established its presence globally whereas UTV is trying to expand its global footprint. Given this, it is possible that in the near future Disney and UTV try to expand into the same market. Also, UTV could consider generating more local content either for the Indian market or for any of its global markets. This could, result in reducing viewership for Disney. In order to be sustainable, the alliance should have clear contractual

bindings to not-compete. UTV should adopt a long term view and focus on strengthening its relation with Disney.

4. If UTV is to enter the alliance with Disney, what, if any, lessons should it draw from Prashantham and Birkinshaw article regarding the nature of the agreement? If UTV were to proceed with its alliance plans with Disney, there are a number of challenges it could face. The most important ones of those are listed below
The objectives of small enterprises are different than those of large MNCs specially in the context of a long term view. Due to their small size and risk appetite small enterprises have a horizon of a few months only and are very opportunistic and adaptable. On the other hand, the higher risk appetite and larger long term horizon makes large MNC have their objectives spread over many years There is a lack of access and attention as Small enterprises do not bring the same level of resources (financial or otherwise) as do large MNCs. This makes it difficult for small enterprises to build relationships with the management and key decision makers of the large partner MNC. In addition MNC employees have clearly defined roles and responsibilities whereas at a small enterprise, employees perform several functions and processes are informal.

Understanding that these differences would appear, UTV should factor the following advice from the article into consideration
During the Forming stage, UTV should consider informal sources to establish relations with the large enterprise. Using local allies to create links to the MNCs is another way of gaining access addition; small firms could also establish access through formal and written contracts. In the Consolidation stage, both the large and the small firms should agree and align their goals for the short term while keeping the long term plan in consideration. They should modularize the knowledge transfer activities and ensure that it results in a concrete outcome, in order to reduce vulnerability. In the Extending stage, the firm should factor in ambiguity by design. It should keep its options open and work on building relations and networks with the MNC. It should leverage the expertise of the MNC to build on its own scale and market reach.