Bollywood, software, retail, knowledge… everything tagged Brand India is recognised across the globe, concluded industry experts as also management students conversing on “Is Brand India a myth or reality?,” a discussion organised by Business Line Club at the SSN School of Management and Computer Applications, Chennai.
Participating in the round-table discussion were branding experts Ramanujam Sridhar of Brand-Comm; Rasheeda Bhagat, associate editor of Business Line; and Prakash Dharmarajan, president of Ogilvy & Mather Advertising, Chennai. Moderating the discussion was S Ramachander, strategy consultant.
Students of several business schools in and around Chennai also participated in the discussion.
Bhagat, who had recently returned from the CII Incredible India@60 programme at New York, and was witness to the hype about Brand India at close quarters, told the students that India was visible all over the United States now. Earlier, while there was apathy and ignorance about India, things have changed dramatically because of Indian enterprise. Brand Bollywood too has helped create and shape the Brand India image, she said.
However, she pointed out, while Brand India is booming, the other India is faltering and needs to be taken along. “Brand India at one level is being built for the world, but the other India is lagging,” she reminded.
Sridhar recalled his encounter in South Africa when a local person asked him if he was a software engineer from Bangalore, even though he didn’t know anything else about India. Software, he said, has become a great calling card and also gives India the opportunity to create good service brands. Knowledge and service brands can take India to a new level. He urged the students to make Brand India work. “In the 1980s it was an aspiration to go to the United States, but the quality of life in India can be far superior. The contribution of young people will keep Brand India alive and kicking,” he added
The speakers were dealt several questions from the students on the theme, including why the media cannot project Indian problems more sharply and about global brands out of India.