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?  







Your Project Just Got Hammered by the Media…

Most likely, the majority of projects we manage in our careers will be low profile or possibly high profile only internally to our companies.  However, as noted in class, there are high profile projects that are visible to the public and media which adds complications.  

We see in the news how the 2012 London Olympics has been plagued with issues.[1]  Having the public eye on every detail of a project can be a hard issue to deal with.  In my job function, we sometimes have to manage projects that are very public to the communities.  Performing real estate for a large manufacturer has been an interesting experience in that we deal with environment issues, decommissioning of plants, and acquisition of land for new buildings or other projects. 

The public isn’t always going to agree with projects that have public visibility.  In my role specifically, there could be labor disputes based on decisions to move a plant or warehouse.  There could be environmentalists that disagree with how or where a building is built.  Being a publicly traded company, these are real concerns for my company.  While we’re tasked to complete projects within budget and within time constraints, political opposition may change how this is done.

Assessing political risk can also be a guessing game.  It may be difficult to gage how a community is going to respond to different projects.  For instance, my company planned on redeveloping old and vacant manufacturing sites in the community into space used for additional housing, community centers, and tourist attraction.  It turned out that some of the neighboring communities disliked the project because it wasn’t going to accommodate all levels of the society.  While redevelopment of vacant and falling down manufacturing plants in our community seems like a no-brainer to some, not everyone agrees.

Companies that have public projects need to assess the political risk involved and weigh whether or not to continue.  Companies need to consider whether completing the project is worth having issues with the surrounding communities or they should find ways to compromise with those that disagree with the project.  Mass communication is making this topic more and more important as it is now easier for individuals to spread news on Twitter, Facebook, etc.

Does anyone else have any experiences they want to share regarding the management of public projects?  Do you agree that public projects require more risk analysis?  Can you share an example of a poorly managed political issue of a company?