Deepak Marda still remembers that fateful day on campus. In early 2007, the 34-year-old IITian was studying at the Stanford Graduate School of Business when Alejanadro Ramirez, the CEO of Cinepolis, Mexicos biggest movie exhibition company and worlds fourth largest, came to address the class. This was the opportunity that Marda and two of his batchmates, Milan Saini who like Marda was doing a mid-career management course after spending a decade working in the US; and Miguel Mier from Mexico, had been waiting for. The three of them had prepared a project report detailing why the Mexican company needed an entry strategy for the Indian market. It seemed a long shot, especially since Cinepolis hadnt expanded beyond the Americas till then.
Yet, later that evening, when Marda and his friends got an opportunity to present the report to Ramirez over dinner, the response was immediate. He instantly saw the opportunity, recalls Marda. Ramirez had sighted Indias potential: The biggest market of moviegoers in the world, the largest pipeline of content, or movies; and most importantly, the lowest penetration of multi-screen exhibition complexes, or multiplexes, in the world. He simply wanted to know the next steps.
By the very next year, Cinepolis had made its debut in India. And four years later, Marda and Saini are in the midst of ramping up one of Cinepolis most ambitious market entries ever. Mier, a senior executive from Cinepolis who was on a sabbatical at Stanford, is now chief operating officer and
11:50 AM, May 02, 2012