Priti Nemani, special counsel in Much’s Real Estate group, was quoted in an article for NPR’s Goats and Soda about why Barbie failed so spectacularly in the Indian market. Nemani, who took a deep dive into the topic in her 2011 research paper, discussed how both the unrealistic, impossibly thin appearance of the doll and other cultural factors were at play.
“We weren't seeing Indian features on Barbie,” she said. “We were seeing white Barbies dipped in brown. And even those brown Barbies didn’t last long on the shelves. The latest versions of the Indian Barbie have much lighter skin tone.”