After taking India to the world with its 'India Everywhere' campaign at the World Economic Forum at Davos this January, the India Brand Equity Foundation will now bring the world to India.
Beginning November, IBEF will organise the Experience India programme and get groups of opinion makers from across the globe to get a first-hand feel of India.
"The idea is to build Brand India by showcasing success stories in India. These delegates will become unofficial ambassadors for India and advocate our cause," IBEF Chief Executive, Ajay Khanna told Business Standard.
While business delegations making planned visits to India is not a new concept in itself, this is the first time it is being planned as a sustained campaign.
Also, the tour will not only be restricted to the glitzy steel-and-glass campuses of Indian IT and pharma companies, but also have an earthy feel by showcasing the success of Indian co-operatives, from Lijjat papad and Amul.
It will also give the visitors a peek into a day in the life of Mumbai's dabbawallas (a Harvard Business school caselet) or telecom penetration in rural India.
"To influence the influencers, we will show them the best of India while focusing on the stock markets, democracy and development. They will also get a taste of our country's art and culture," Khanna said.
The delegates will be chosen from the target markets of USA, Japan, Germany, UK, France, South Korea, Dubai, Russia, Singapore, Brazil, South Africa, Australia, China and Italy and will consist of individuals who influence investment-related decisions in their country mediapersons, industry association members, academicians, consultants, analysts, economists, policy makers, parliamentarians and business leaders.
"Investors have to understand the India opportunity from credible sources and that is why people with high credibility and influence in their communities will be targeted," said Arun Maira, chairman of management consultancy, Boston Consulting Group, who is also a board member with IBEF.
Maira added that such campaigns will help in sending a clear message of India. "At present, there is a bit of confusion about India. While people have heard about the potential for investment, they are also apprehensive about issues like infrastructure. When these delegates see things moving forward for themselves they can then speak about it," he said.
China has been undertaking a similar exercise for the past 15-20 years.