In a session moderated by Gurbir Singh, Executive Editor, BW Businessworld, at the launch of Businessworld Marketing Whitebook, speakers talked about how Brand Bharat is gaining momentum outside the country as much as it is within India.
Beginning the conversation with panellist Kamal Bali, Managing Director, Volvo India, and Rajesh Sud, MD & CEO, Max Life Insurance, Singh laid the groundwork by trying to understand what we think Bharat is. And whether BharatGate is imporant or LalitGate is important. “We would not really think about the last 10-15 days but let's look at one year where aspirations have completely transformed, the perception of what India has transformed, and people are looking big, what this country can do today. Last year has been a key change particularly in terms of perception, particularly in confidence and also in performance reaching out to 16 crore rural Indians have been able to open their bank balances. In the Prime-Minister Bima Fund, six crore have opened up the basic cover have been reached to people,” Singh stated
“For a sustained period of about 10-15 years, Brand Bharat has in many ways been debated and also hour-timed from a demographic dividend point of view. We are at a time when the logistic into the world market is supposed to be kept under the veil, and also the debate that a year ago this demographic dividend could have been a demographic disaster. So, those two terms pretty much describe the difference that has come through. And in real terms we are seeing a movement, we are seeing a change in decision making,” said Sud.
“India needs to grow at 9 per cent; it's a compelling need to have $7000 per capita income, otherwise the demographic dividend will become a demographic nightmare," Sud pointed out.
Singh asked Bali how do Europe, Scandinavia look at brand Bharat. To this Bali said, “I think there is a lot of optimism on India, on this new government. Greece may have gone down but I think the world is not going to end. We started with an ominous forecast of very poor monsoon in June and we have ended up with 16 per cent plus rainfall across 95 per cent of India, which is a good sign.
“I think there is a lot of cynicism in the system because there are a lot of bureaucratic and political pulls and pushes which we need to tackle. I think on the direction front, at least there are head quarters, people are seeing that the government is on the right track, it raises the right issues in terms of Make in India, urbanisation for smart cities and Digital india. I think, these are some of the campaigns, these may be the catch words today, but at many times symbolism is very important because then you set your direction in the right way.”
However, despite praising Indian initiatives, the panelists were also of the opinion that India still has to go a long way in becoming the next super power, and said it can reach its goal only if it puts its basics in place and do away with the red tape that’s derailing its growth.
Further, the general opinion was that the popular slogans doing the rounds like ‘Make in India’ and ‘Digital India’ should begin to yield result on the ground and India should abstain from overpromising and under-delivering, otherwise it will lose credibility in the international market.