Interactive experiences will be key to all-new Madame Tussauds India: Anshul Jain

Anshul Jain, General Manager, Merlin Entertainments India Pvt Ltd, that manages the Madame Tussauds franchise, talks about the re-opening of Madame Tussauds India at DLF Mall, Noida in June

Srabana LahiriUpdated: Monday, May 23, 2022, 10:46 AM IST
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How has Brand Madame Tussauds fared so far in India? What kind of business opportunity does India present for Madame Tussauds Global?

Madame Tussauds has received good response from visitors of all age groups, especially families, as we have a product line that caters to everyone’s likes. Madame Tussauds was forced to closed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but now we are all set to launch Madame Tussauds India in a new format for fans across the country. Our wax attraction will open a new chapter of entertainment, serving people the ultimate fame experience and transporting them to the red carpet. India is a significant market for us and this re-opening will entertain guests in our new location and expose them to the ultimate celebrity experience. As Indian travellers are returning to overseas destinations, we are hopeful that Madame Tussauds India will serve as their gateway to Madame Tussauds counterparts in other cities around the world.

How long have you been preparing for the launch of the new Madame Tussauds at DLF mall in Noida? When is the launch scheduled and what can a customer expect and experience at the new location?

The process started in 2020 itself after forced closure of our previous location, but we had to postpone our plans due to the COVID-19 second wave. Now, we are opening the attraction for the general public in June, 2022. It will take up 16,000 square feet on the fourth floor of the DLF Mall. All of our wax figures displayed earlier at the Connaught Place location will also be on display here, albeit in better representation and format. The new attraction will have close to 50 figures of celebrities and superstars from five different zones - History and Leaders, Sports, Music, Bollywood, Hollywood & Film & Television. Our guests will be able to meet icons from all these zones in an experience which truly encapsulates the essence of India, get selfies clicked with them and have fun with interactives and props available at the attraction.

Shah Ruk Khan figure
Karishma Kapoor at Masame Tussauds

Tell us about the wax statues themselves at the new Madame Tussauds – the artistes who created them, time-frame of work, do they adhere to the original Marie Tussaud techniques, quality check, interactive quotient and display detailing. Are any specific customisations done for India?

All figures inside Madame Tussauds are works of art in themselves. Each figure requires a team of more than 20 artistes, working collectively for three to six months. Celebrity sittings generally take three hours and we have a dedicated team fly out to meet the celeb anywhere in the world. During the sitting, we photograph and measure them from all angles. A total of 150+ measurements and 500 photographs are taken of the celeb in the chosen pose and expression. For Indian figures, expression and attitude along with theme is considered while doing any customization.

David Beckham's figure at Madame Tussauds Delhi

How do you decide on the personalities to freeze in wax? Is the decision taken globally or locally?

We value the choice and feedback of our guests the most. Apart from guest feedback, the local team’s feedback and a joint consultation between local and global teams is held to take a decision on upcoming figures.

How do you define your target audience? What are your investments and efforts towards advertising and marketing Brand Madame Tussauds in India?

Madame Tussauds India has figures of celebrities who represent different eras, with a mix of global and local essence. So, our target audience varies from a three-year-old who loves Motu Patlu to a 75-year-old who loves Raj Kapoor and Madhubala. We have figures for everyone’s liking. We have invested more than £ 8 million in the project and fresh investments are coming in for the new attraction. We communicate through our social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, and PR is also critical to our communication strategy.

Sunny Leone at Madame Tussauds

Going ahead, what are the expansion plans in India, in terms of investment, new wax figures, new venues, interactive experiences?

The current focus is to launch Madame Tussauds India for all our fans who have waited for the last two years for their favourite brand. We will keep on launching new figures every now and then (as a surprise!) along with adding interactives and props to add more vigour to our attraction.

What have been your key learnings in your career across luxury retail, sports and premium apparel, paint and entertainment companies such as Callaway Golf India, Adidas, Berger Paints and Merlin Entertainments?

Every industry and company has specific challenges and the key to overcome those challenges is to be solution-oriented rather than being a problem-finder. Another big learning has been that human resource is the most important aspect of any company/team. The company culture matters a lot and it usually flows from top to bottom, so approach of a leader towards the team matters the most, as it is replicated across departments and hierarchies. It is critical to keep employees happy because if they can’t have smiles on their faces, you can’t expect them to bring smiles on the customer’s face.

Boxer Mary Kom at MAdame Tussauds

What is your life like outside the worksphere? What are your passion projects?

Life outside the workspace is devoted to my family. My passion lies in investment in real estate as well as keeping myself updated on geo-politics and geo-economics developments.

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