Brand India’s success story amid a gloomy global slowdown scenario has been inspiring. However, now is the time to pave the path for the future and address issues like corruption, education and healthcare. These issues were covered in detail at a panel discussion on ‘Brand India – Determining the future’, organised by NewsX in partnership with the CEO Club India. exchange4media was the online partner for this event, which was held in the Capital on June 4, 2010.
The session, moderated by Jehagir S Pocha, Co-Promoter, NewsX, witnessed the participation of distinguished panelists from different industries. The names included the likes of Salman Khurshid, Minister of Corporate Affairs & Minority Affairs; Dr Naresh Trehan, Chairman & MD, Medanta – The Medicity; National Award winning filmmaker Dibakar Banerjee; Richard Rekhy, Head of Advisory, KPMG India and Chairman Advisory Board, CEO Club India; and Latika Khaneja, Director, Collage Sports Management.
Pocha opened the discussion by posing the question to the delegates, “A world where perception matters, Brand India matters. But how important is brand India?”
On an upbeat note, Salman Khurshid said, “India has something big to offer. We have emerged as Brand India and there is an excitement about it.”
Agreeing with him, Richard Rekhy said, “Today, India is a reality. People look at us in high regard and the world respects us.”
At the same time, the industry stalwarts also stressed that though India had emerged as a successful brand, there was need to maintain that. They further said that though India had the resources, there was need to push ourselves further and develop an ecosystem that facilitated growth and development to make Brand India thrive.
Highlighting the gains made by Indian Cinema, Dibakar Banerjee noted, “People abroad are curious about India as far as the cinema is concerned. They know who Satyajit Ray is and are interested in knowing more. What we stand for is well represented in our movies, which has also generated a lot of excitement for Brand India.”
On a different note, Dr Naresh Trehan expressed his concern about the healthcare system in the country. He said, “We have the best and we have the worst. On the one hand, we are able to do conduct the most difficult operations, but on the other hand, we spend just 1 per cent of the GDP on health. Hence, we should not be flattered.”
When Pocha asked about the role of NRIs and how they were helping Brand India, Rekhy replied, “The NRI lobby helped us a lot in passing the Nuclear Bill, FDI is coming from NRI salaries. Today, India’s market is too big for anyone to ignore.”
On the other hand, Latika Khaneja lamented India’s dismal performance in sports. She noted, “There isn’t enough initiative taken at the grassroot level and we don’t have a sporting culture. The Commonwealth Games 2010 is going to be a showcase if we put our infrastructure in support, however, I don’t doubt whether we will have an impressive medal tally.”
Keeping the pros and cons of Brand India in mind, Dr Trehan said, “We have a great nation in our own right. India has got great brains and we have got the skills to do the right thing. Everybody is looking at us and the whole landscape is changing.”
Commenting that corruption was holding back the country, Rekhy stressed, “We need to root out corruption, and if each one of us does their bit, the purpose is served.”