Our visit to Kingdom of Dreams was a great way to start the trip. This world class entertainment park offers visitors the opportunity to experience all of India at just one stop. One of the most awe-inspiring aspects of the park is the Culture Gully. The park’s Culture Gully is a 90,000 square foot adventure that takes visitors through fourteen different themed sections, each one representing an Indian state. This allows visitors a unique and convenient way of experiencing the various cuisines, cultures, and arts of all fourteen Indian states. For example, the Indian state, Goa, is represented with a beach theme, complete with actual sand and tropical decoration. In addition to Culture Gully, Kingdom of Dreams also offers live performances, which are a relatively new attraction in India. The performances depict stories that incorporate strong emotional elements such as love, the battle between Good and Evil, and perseverance. We had the pleasure of watching the performance called Jhumroo, a musical comedy that celebrated the spirit of the famed singer, Kishore Kumar, and a young boy’s aspiration to sing with his talent. During our tour of Kingdom of Dreams, we spoke with several members of the management team who offered their insight on the entertainment industry in India and how their park was differentiating itself within that industry.
The operations manager led us on a behind-the-scenes tour of the performance area, where we met some of the performers, saw how the stage was prepped, and learned about the technical aspects of the shows. The most significant point that he stressed to us was how these types of live performances were relatively new in India, and that Kingdom of Dreams was differentiating itself in the entertainment industry by offering this new experience to its customers. By doing this, Kingdom of Dreams enjoys a first mover advantage in the sense that it is currently building a well-known reputation as a unique and affordable form of family entertainment. He mentioned how the performances are made affordable to a broad audience through different priced seating in the performance theaters. The park also generates additional revenue by renting out the theaters to companies who want to hold special ceremonies or conferences for their employees. He spoke about the possible expansion of these performances into other countries and the challenges the park faces in accomplishing this. The main challenge would be finding theaters abroad that already had in place all of the technical and staging equipment required to carry out the shows. Also, each show incorporates several massive props, which would be difficult to transport to other countries.
We were also fortunate enough to meet with the Human Resources Manager, who spoke further about where the park was headed in the future. He made it clear that the main goal for the park was to become internationally acclaimed to the point where it would be associated with India to the same extent as the Taj Mahal. He also strongly believes that each Kingdom of Dreams employee, from the person selling tickets to the lead actor, plays an equally important role in ensuring the park’s success. This was a great takeaway from the meeting. This view is not very typical in the U.S., where we normally view top management at significantly more important than the lower level employees. It was a great piece of advice to always remember that your employees on the front lines are the ones who are interacting with customers the most, which means they affect your business the most. This way of viewing and treating the employees is surely one of the reasons that Kingdom of Dreams is experiencing rising success.
Overall, this company visit was both a very entertaining experience and a great opportunity to learn about another culture’s perspective on how to run a business. Before visiting Kingdom of Dreams, we were not aware of the park’s magnitude in terms of its facilities and the quality of its entertainment activities. We greatly underestimated the scale of the park’s operations. After visiting the park, we quickly came to realize that this park is on its way to becoming the Disneyland of India. This is an experience that none of us will forget, and one that we hope future MBA students will have the opportunity to enjoy.