Playboy Plans to Open Club in India

(FILES) In this photograph taken on July 23, 2012, Indian Bollywood film actress Sherlyn Chopra poses during a press event for the first Indian woman ...

AFP – Getty Images file

(FILES) In this photograph taken on July 23, 2012, Indian Bollywood film actress Sherlyn Chopra poses during a press event for the first Indian woman to pose nude for ‘Playboy’ magazine in Mumbai. Plans to open India’s first Playboy club in coastal Goa state have hit a stumbling block.


Playboy, the magazine, has many connotations associated with it. By and large it has been a streamlining magazine brand for over 50 years and continues to grow. Due to the companies progressive popularity Playboy opened Playboy clubs, which feature female waitresses in black satin bodices, bow ties, cuffs, and bunny ears. While the clubs promote a healthy, classy atmosphere, they have increasingly been growing around the world. In fact, Playboy has been in talks to open a new club in India, off the coast of Goa. The club would be the first in India and would feature the waitresses in a dress more adapted to the Indian culture.


However, talks have been halted after the local politicians have vetoed the license to allow Playboy to move in and set up the club. Local authorities have been on record as saying that if the government does in fact approve the license, they are also in “support for prostitution in the area”, and that, “Playboy promotes vulgarity”. Many local residents and lawmakers have even been as serious as threating to go on a hunger strike if the club opened up in Goa. The promoters for the Playboy brand in India have said they need to rework the contract and “technical glitches” before anything can be finalized. Additionally, they have said they plan on opening other Playboy clubs in different cities around India, and that they will continue to try to push for the club in Goa.


Furthermore, it should be noted that Playboy is trying to actively ensure that the dresses in the club do not offend Indian culture and that the club was intended to be a café where women could have “special privileges”. Those privileges were not revealed however. All of this coming in a time when India is pushing for a more restrictive atmosphere towards women. Even though many people are advocating towards creating a healthier environment aimed at the attitudes of women. A daunting challenge ahead for Playboy, one that seems very hard to overcome. Subsequently, the question then becomes whether or not Playboy chose to bite off more than they could chew. Sure, entertaining the idea of creating something people in India have not been introduced to seems legit. Nonetheless, Playboy stands in between a crossroads not only dealing with cultural norms, but with political agendas aimed in a different direction than what a Playboy club seemingly offers to customers.


Essentially it comes down to how upper management will control the club and ensure that boundaries are not overstepped. It is entirely possible for Playboy to succeed in those uncharted waters, but it will be based on how well the company with deal with the challenges ahead. Already steps are being made in the right direction by management and it can absolutely be successful in a touristy beach destination. In saying that, should Playboy aim at opening the club in an environment whose attitudes and views toward women are completely different than western culture? Did management make a poor choice in authorizing the go ahead for a club in India? Why not just open a club in a place where none of this would be an issue?  







11 thoughts on “Playboy Plans to Open Club in India

  1. I think you make a lot of valid points in this article. Obviously it would be huge risk putting this kind of club in such a traditional country. Many of the locals could see this as being disrepectful or vulgar. On the other hand, I really think this could be good venture. As time goes on things change. Today’s world is certainly not as traditional as it used to be, and this could be an opportunity for (some) Indian women to break out of their strict regimens.

  2. I find it interesting that Playboy would pick such a hostile environment to open a new club. Even if the politicians and local authorities approve the club there could still be some serious issues once the club is open. Locals who choose to be associated with the club could become outcasts, or even targets of social extremists. I feel like Playboy has good intentions in trying to liberate women, but I’m not sure if this is the right move at this point in time.

  3. I most definitely agree with Jones, its super interesting to open a Playboy in such a patriarchal and strict environment, overly patriarchal if you ask me. Its very brave for management at Playboy to challenge the status quo but the one of the main duties of spreading your brand/organization internationally is to be familiar with the culture of that area so that you know how you will fit in and be received. With that considered this MAY not be the best idea…only saying that because the men there and some women are going to be outraged…I love love that Playboy have women in mind during this process but I’m not sure everyone else is as convinced. Great post!!!

  4. I agree with the last two comments as I feel that India might not be the best place to put a Playboy club in. Right now, India is trying to appreciate women better. This type of club could be degrading for their women. Goa doesn’t need a playboy club as it could tarnish the state. I don’t think Playboy cares that much about Goa women as they just want to make money and they probably feel that Goa would be a good state to start expanding Playboy. Overall, this was an excellent post and it really makes me wonder what Playboys real intentions are when placing a club in this type of environment. Do they not consider ethical issues when placing a club in a certain place?

  5. I do not see anything wrong if Playboy wants to open the club as long as they are compliant with the local and national governing bodies in India. The only thing Playboy should be focusing on is making sure they are compliant and making sure they do their market research because India is quite different culturally than where Playboy is originally from. As long as they cater to the culture of India and do things ethically and legally, there should be no issue.

  6. I enjoyed this article. Playboy’s marketing team seems to have their hands full on this one. The marketing research team should do extensive research to find out how the customer base and locals feel about this. Being first to the market in India with such a venture should be very lucrative for them. In countries like Dubai, Bahrain, and Qatar historically traditional cultures were eventually westernized and now allow alcohol and clubs in their countries. This should be a great location if they can close the deal.

  7. This article caught my eye right off the bat because it is an extreme risk for the company to be doing something like this, not only can it be a lousy reflection on their business, but it is also very rude and insulting towards India and its culture. Playboy ‘s entire image generally portrays beautiful women and a lot of nudity, which often brings unfavorable feelings by the general public for many different reasons. India, on the other hand, is a very conservative society with views and attitudes unlike many other countries. I do believe this is not the best decision their management has made and that they could easily open another exotic Playboy club just about anywhere else. However, if Playboy is ready to deal with the challenges that lay ahead of them and if upper management who controls the club will make sure certain boundaries are not pushed and there will be no nudity as the bunnies will be suited to Indian sensibilities and moral values, then the club might have an actual chance of living up to its expectations.

  8. I love that you chose this article to blog about because it is such an unconventional issue. I agree with the comments above me that say it is very risky to open a PlayBoy club in such a hostile and traditional country; however, that is what makes it great. It would obviously make a statement for the Indian women that choose to work or go there because they would be showing off their bodies, which the Indian culture requires them to cover up. I think that from a management perspective, PlayBoy must be very careful how the business is run, not to offend anyone or put the girls in any danger. I’m not sure the business will succeed if it comes to fruition, but just the idea of it makes a big impact for what it represents for the Indian women who support such a venture. I am curious to see how it will “play” out.

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