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Guy Laliberte is the CEO of one the largest cultural export called Cirque du Soleil. Cirque du Soleil was founded in1984 by a group of street performers. Since then, the company has staged dozens of productions seen by 40 mil. people in 90 cities around the world.
In 20 years, Cirquehasachieve revenues that Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey – the world’s leading circus- took more than a century to attain. Cirque’s rapid growth occurred in an unlikely setting. At that time, the circus business was and still is in a long term decline. Other alternative forms of entertainment such as video games, TV and sporting events proved to be more attractive. Children who are the target audience for the circus industry preferred PlayStation to circus act. They was a growing sentiment against the use of animals in the circus. The circus often have to relied on their star performers to draw the crowd and hence these performers are in a better bargaining position to state their terms. As a result, the circus industry was hit by a steadily decreasing audience coupled with the increasing cost of the performers. Any new entrant would also need to compete against a formidable market leaders (Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey) that has been setting the industry standard for most of the last century.
So how did Cirque profitably increase revenues by a factors of 22 over the last ten years in such an unattractive environment?