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Vivid: India is the Asia Pacific

04-March-2013
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Vivid: India is the Asia Pacific

We owe a lot to the Indians, who taught us how to count, without which no worthwhile scientific discovery could have been made! - Albert Einstein

Once I was told by a media CEO in India, that a leading luxury summit wasn’t being held in India as the country did not have enough parking bays for private jets at the Delhi and Mumbai airports. These were the flying machines of CEOs of big companies. Looks like it doesn’t matter now as the number of global CEOs coming to India has become a normal affair. What is abnormal is when some of them haven’t visited India.

Sir Martin Sorrel is now making a visit to India every now and then. In fact, at the time of reading this column Sir Martin will be on his way to speak at the Festival of Media in Singapore, not far from India.

This week, Matt Seiler, Global CEO of IPG Mediabrands is also coming to Delhi. Matt has made a lot of trips to India in the last 12 months. I haven't met Matt, but have heard a lot about him and am looking forward to meeting him.

Dominic Proctor, CEO, Mindshare is in India once again to speak at a conference that hardly has marketers or media planners. Dominic spoke at the annual exchange4media Conclave two years back.

The VivaKi global leadership team coming to India.

Last year, Discovery international’s leadership met in India.

And, Vikram Sakhuja, CEO, Maxus now runs a global agency from India.

India has become the centre of the world, the centre of consumption, and the centre for entrepreneurs, marketers, and brands. Hence, logically a centre for all communication ecosystem partners in the world.

NewsCorp is seeing STAR India contribute a healthy share to its top line and bottom line under Uday Shankar’s sterling leadership. STAR India continues to surge ahead.

Danny Quah professor at the London School of Economics demonstrates the eastward shift in the world’s “economic center of gravity”. Quah takes into account all the GDPs produced on the planet to show that “in 1980, the global economy’s centre of gravity was mid-Atlantic. By 2008, from the continuing rise of China and the rest of East Asia, that centre of gravity had drifted to a location east of Helsinki and Bucharest”. Quah extrapolates growth in almost 700 locations across Earth to project that “the world’s economic centre of gravity [will] locate by 2050 literally between India and China”.

Here I recall Rabindranath Tagore’s famous poem from ‘Geetanjali’:

“Where the mind is without fear
and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been
broken up into fragments by
narrow domestic walls;
Where words come out from
the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches
its arms towards perfection;
Where the clear stream of reason
has not lost its way into the dreary
desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is lead forward by thee
into ever-widening thought and action-
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father,
let my country awake.

India’s strong points are its democracy, well established banking rules, history of doing business well and Indian curries. Agencies’ clients are bullish on growth in India and most big agencies are seeing healthy bottom line contributions from their India operations.

Having a presence in India and having a plan for India are in some cases shoring up share prices of global companies. Positive activity and growth in India can mean growth globally in more ways than one.

It remains to be seen when global holding agency CEO will start hiring an Indian as a CEO at the global level. The holding agencies should take a cue from their clients.

India is no longer content to be part of the Asia Pacific. India is the Asia Pacific.

Our most valuable and most artistic materials in the history of man are treasured up in India only! - Mark Twain

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