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Modi wants Brand India sold globally

October 01, 2013 09:10 IST

Modi wants Brand India sold globally

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BS Reporter in Mumbai

Asks ad & marketing world to take lessons from Mahatma Gandhi.


Narendra Modi, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial nominee, took a break on Monday evening from delivering a political speech. Instead, he addressed the who's who of the country’s marketing and advertising world, on how to effectively market Brand India on the global scene.

At outset, Modi said India has not done enough to exploit its full potential to emerge as an effective brand. He attributed this to faith in Indians.

At the concluding function of the Global Marketing Summit here, Modi surprised the audience by declaring that Mahatma Gandhi was the greatest communicator of the last century.

“Gandhi was not impressive in his appearance but was full of inspiration. His clothes were simple, so also his behaviour. He was advocating  Ahinsa but keeping a lathi in his hand. Never wore a topi but people across the country wear a Gandhi topi.”

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Image: Gujarat's chief minister Narendra Modi addresses a gathering in front of a portrait of Mahatma Gandhi during his day-long fast at Godhra, Gujarat on January 20, 2012.
Photographs: Amit Dave/Reuters

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He took a dig at the media for a rising trend of distortion of news. “However, during the era of Gandhi, his thoughts reached to the masses without any diversion and that was his power as a communicator.”

Modi called upon the organisers of the summit to institute a study on Gandhi as a communicator by establishing special committee. “You bring out a book before the next summit which will not only inspire you but also the global universities.”

The book will ultimately become a case study for the whole world and establishing the India brand,” he said. Had India concentrated only on marketing of Gandhi during these years, the global universities, marketing and communication world would have queued to follow Gandhi, he stated.

On the rising global interest in yoga, Modi quipped, “If you know yoga, despite a falling rupee you can earn dollars in India. However, it has not been exploited to the fullest.”

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Image: Modi looks at books in a library inside his residence.
Photographs: Amit Dave/Reuters

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Further, Modi said the country had not done enough to market ayurveda globally and gain leadership.

“During the 1960s, the Hathi commission had strongly recommended promotion of ayurveda in the country. However, due to lack of strong packaging, we miss the boat as at the global level, China has become the biggest exporter of herbal medicines. Had India done proper packaging, branding and value addition, we could have been the leader in herbal medicines.”

Modi said due to a lack of branding, India could not market vegetarianism globally. ''Vegetarianism is the flavour of the day.

Had we organised a grand global food festival, we would have succeeded in promoting vegetarianism.'' He said Subhash Chandra Bose's brother had introduced Indian curry in Japan and it was quite popular there.

Modi also expressed dissatisfaction at the lack of proper branding of 100 years of Indian cinema.


Image: Modi gestures as he walks at the lawns at his residence.
Photographs: Amit Dave/Reuters

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