Business Proposal: The Cyberwallas
In a playful world where technology meets Bollywood, 10-year old quadruplets
Deepak, Kavi, Sharukh and Layla Cyberwalla use their singing talents and computer
programming skills to build the robots of the century. Dividing their time between
their home in Sunny Beach, USA and a quick commute by supersonic ship to Ashoka,
India, the Cyberwallas know what it means to live between two cultures. Little do
their restaurant-owning parents know, they are building a top-secret
supercomputer that designs C.H.A.s (chores and homework assistants) to help kids
around the world with dusting, math homework, and occasional crime-fighting.
What happens when the evil villain Trion and his conflicted assistant Gotham try to
steal the robots from Supercomputer Elementary? The Cyberwallas fight back as a
united team with a little help from their Grandma Ji!
The creators of brand, The Cyberwallas, seek to release the story of these gifted ten
year olds into the world, a story that can best be told with the magical limitlessness
of animation. To date, brand The Cyberwallas, includes a 45 minute script,
character and setting concept art, and a proprietary website.
The story of The Cyberwallas and the accompanying intellectual property were
conceived with at least two markets in mind: America and the Indian subcontinent.
Needless to say, both Hollywood and Bollywood are global phenomena, whose
viewership is without borders. The creators foresee at least two end-user markets:
television and/or mobile devices.
Entertainment combined with Education and Technology as a “Flattener”
Nandan Nilekani and Thomas Friedman have spoken of technological developments
that are democratizing society. Education bridges gaps in society and borrowing
from the Nilekani-Friedman terminology, may serve to “flatten” the divide,
narrowing disconnectedness between people and groups. The educational
component in The Cyberwallas-- computer technology presented within
entertainment-- creates a learning experience that is digestible and fun. The
creators of The Cyberwallas are hopeful about playing a role in the further
democratization of education and thereby, society, through their series.
The market potential of brand The Cyberwallas is rooted in the undercurrents
taking place in both American and Indian entertainment, including the film,
television and mobile device markets.
1. Ethnic Indians are in visible media roles in the United States, a reflection of
two factors: (1) The growing ethnic Indian population in America (2) The
relatability of Indians to the larger American population. CNN’s chief medical
correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Top Chef (Bravo Network) host, Padma
Laxmi, and GPS (CNN) host, Fareed Zakaria, are notable examples. The
fictional dramatic series ER (NBC) and Big Bang Theory (CBS) both have East
Indian main characters.
2. The American/British film market is exploring Indian-influenced themes
such as the box office hits: “Monsoon Wedding” (2001), “Bend it Like
Beckham” (2002), and “The Namesake” (2006). Filtering into the market for
children, the Disney film “One World” (2008)--a Bollywood-flavored musical
starring the iconic Cheetah Girls-- on the Disney Channel. And, most
recently, “Slumdog Millionaire,” set and filmed in India, won four Golden
Globes (2009), the SAG Award (2009) for Best Ensemble Cast, received eight
Oscars (2009), including Best Picture and has grossed $189 million
worldwide since its theatrical release on November 10, 2008.
3. Alongside the above trend, a strategic alliance between Hollywood and
Bollywood has been forged: the collaboration between Yash Raj Films
(Production) and Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures (Distribution) on the
feature length animation: “Roadside Romeo” (2008).
4. Media companies based in and out of India recognize the need for locally
relevant, homegrown content in children’s programming. As stated by
president of Turner Broadcasting System International, Louise Sams, “We’ve
watched the international channel business evolve such that consumers are
getting more and more particular about the content that they want to watch,
and they are demanding content that is very relevant to them. So, we’ve had
success… in India—where we’ve done some original programming for our
kids’ network called Pogo… I think it’s a theme we’re all embracing.”
(Worldscreen.com, October 2007)
5. There is a trend toward creating downloadable content for mobile devices.
Examples: (1) The 2008 deal between Turner Broadcasting System’s
Cartoon Network and iScreen Corporation in which iScreen will distribute,
market and promote downloadable Cartoon Network content to Taiwanese
Mobile customers. (2) Indian giant Hungama Mobile’s 2008 exclusive deal
with Fashion TV (FTV) to broadcast the latter’s content in mobile format
across the country. (3) A 2007 deal between Sundance Film Festival and
iTunes in which short films from the festival are made available via iTunes.
6. India mania has spread to the online networking site, Facebook with the
application: Taj Tunes (also available directly on www.tajtunes.com). This is
a service in which singers in India send telegrams over the phone, singing a
lively message to the designated recipient.
While animation is segmented between 2D and 3D, a combination of the two
technologies may also be used to animate The Cyberwallas series. Furthermore,
the technology used will depend on whether this series will be created for television
and/or as downloadable content for mobile devices. The varied viewing format
dictates a different use in technology due to issues such as data transfer speed.
Production costs are a function of the chosen technology, or combinations thereof.
The market in which the series will be produced, and then subsequently released
will also affect costs.
Most of the home-grown content for television and film is based on Hindu
mythology, such as feature length films “Hanuman,” “The Return of Hanuman,” and
the Cartoon Network television series, “Panvadas” (“In India, Gods Rule The 'Toon'
Universe,” Washington Post, January 9, 2008).
While this “mytho-toon” animation subgenre is a valuable learning tool for children,
it lacks the creativity and originality of characters and storyline found in The
Additionally, The Cyberwallas differentiates itself as the first Bollywood-musical-
The creators of brand The Cyberwallas seek to transform their intellectual
property into an animated series. Target markets include, but are not limited to, the
United States and the Indian subcontinent.