Multinational corporations face the challenge of balancing global integration and local responsiveness. Localization strategies have been much debated in the literature, and scholars have suggested the 1980s as a watershed moment leading to the development of distinctly transnational companies sensitive to both global and local demands. The gramophone industry before WWI is one of the earliest examples of a trade balancing global integration and local responsiveness, already facing many of the challenges typically attributed to the global business of the late twentieth century. In focusing on the Indian market before WWI, this article traces the competition between different Western gramophone companies and their business strategies for this economically attractive market with institutional voids and rising Indian nationalism. It addresses the specificity of the gramophone and music industry, the political context, and the flow of information between headquarters and subsidiaries showing how and why these companies developed into transnational entities.