Imagine the popular American youth comic idol Archie conversing in Hindi, chasing Veronica, who's draped in a sari while Jughead's burger gets replaced by an idli and Moose dumps baseball for cricket. Flights of fancy? Not anymore.
The US-based owner of the famous comic brand Archie Entertainment is planning a large scale expansion in India, for which it is even looking at localising the content to suit the market requirements.
"India is on the cusp of dramatic changes in retail and we want to build the Archie brand here and take it further as so far our distribution was very limited," said Archie Entertainment (AE) President Steven R Herman.
The company is all set to experiment and customise its offerings for which it has tied up with Star Licensing and Merchandising division.
AE is also in talks with three animation studios in India for production of an animation series featuring the comic characters.
"In the next 45 days, we hope to freeze a deal with one of them," Herman said, adding the company was also in talks with other broadcasters in India besides Star for airing 26 episodes of half-hour programme.
"We have tied up with Star licensing and merchandising group for the promotion of FMCG, and spoken to Sony, Cartoon Network including others for broadcasting partnership as our goal is to find strongest partner for widest reach in India," he said.
The company was also looking at printing the comics in India, which at present is being imported and distributed by the Variety Book Depot, Hernan added.
With an aim to adapt to the Indian taste, AE was open to Indianise the content, he said.
"We are open not only for the Hindi version of the comics but also other Indian regional languages. There have been even suggestions of dressing Veronica and Betty in sari, which we find interesting," the AE President said.
The company is also planning to bring its library of 250 episodes of Archie animation series to India, he said, adding AE was scouting for the right broadcaster here.
In its bid to make the most out of the booming Indian market, AE is looking at exploiting every possible medium, including mobile and web zones, video games, comic videos, games, books and other merchandise.
"We need to have every media and bring the right kind of synergy with all vehicles combined to hit the market," Herman said.
"I am also looking at the possibility to create videos or make stories, which revolve around the famous actors, personalities and music groups of India," he added.