Brand India saving grace in time of crisis

05 Apr,2012

By Namrata Singh & Reeba Zachariah


There’s more to India than just its over-emphasized status of being the most populous democracy in the world. Random economic facts like India being the largest producer of milk, the largest consumer of sugar and spices as also the largest consumer of gold till last year, crop up now and then.


But there have been achievements in the last few years which have put India on the world map. Over the last couple of years, India has been seen stamping its presence in the league of global leaders by the strength of its economic power.


Consider these facts: The Tata Group is the largest manufacturing employer in the UK; Ireland’s richest person — Pallonji Mistry — is an Indian ; Coal India is the single largest coal producer in the world; India is the largest whisky manufacturer in the world and the Taj Group is the largest chain of hotels in Asia.


Despite a generous trickle of negative news, the list of these positives is also getting bigger.


Brand India today is not just about economics. A significant way in which

India is asserting itself is through its soft power.


According to Bhaskar Chakravorti, senior associate dean of international business & finance, The Fletcher School, Tufts University, this “soft” presence is India’s greatest asset in making sure it counts on the world stage.


Household brand names such as Citigroup, Pepsi and Motorola are associated with an Indian CEO. Clearly, India has moved on from being a nation of snake charmers and appears to be on its way to become an economic power.


Soft power aside, it’s also working its way through innovations. The list includes , Nano, the cheapest car in the world from Tata Motors; Aakash, the cheapest tablet PC in the world, priced at $46; and other cheap tablet PC initiatives by private companies.


However, there are some missing pieces too. “India should surely move forward in the area of innovation where we can capture the value from our intelligent cheap resources from being just a provider of cheap labour. As of today, most companies (Apple, Microsoft, Google, Intel, etc), especially in IT, that generate maximum value from innovation, rely on resources from India and we are clearly not getting the deserved share of the value created,” said Thomas Kuruvilla, MD, Arthur D Little, a consulting firm.


Richard Rekhy, head of advisory practice at KPMG, a global consulting firm, however, believes India has some way to go. “But India, with 100 companies of over a billion dollar market cap, has established its position globally which is why GE set up its first R&D centre outside US in Bangalore. At the same time, Indian banks have only 2 per cent bad loans versus 20 per cent in China,” he said.


In the mid-90 s, on a representation made by Indian exporters, the government had removed the mandatory use of the ‘Made in India’ tag from goods exported. The law still exists on paper. Ostensibly, Indian exporters were embarrassed of using it then. But, today, no one is shying away from using the tag.


Source: The Economic Times
Copyright © 2012, Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All Rights Reserved


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