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The Branding Of India In America

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The Branding Of India In America

  1. Branding of India, Indians, and Indianness in America Kanwal S. Rekhi Roy Prasad May 10, 2008
  2. Overview <ul><li>What India means to Americans </li></ul><ul><li>Evolution of the Indian Brand </li></ul><ul><li>India today </li></ul><ul><li>India’s brand ultimately is its value system </li></ul><ul><li>Why Should America care </li></ul><ul><li>Q & A </li></ul>5/10/2008
  3. The Challenge #1 5/10/2008 How do you “brand” an 8,000 year old civilization?
  4. The Challenge #2 <ul><li>What images does “India” evoke in the mind of Americans? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>An endless number of perceptions in America about India and Indians </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A land of stark contrasts </li></ul></ul>5/10/2008
  5. Snake charmers… 5/10/2008
  6. Elephants and festivals 5/10/2008
  7. Mystics and Yogis 5/10/2008
  8. Champions of peace and compassion 5/10/2008
  9. The Taj Mahal 5/10/2008
  10. Overcrowded cities 5/10/2008
  11. Curried food 5/10/2008
  12. Ubiquitous beggars 5/10/2008
  13. Multitude of gods and goddesses 5/10/2008
  14. Bollywood… 5/10/2008
  15. Maestro with his Sitar 5/10/2008
  16. New age gurus… 5/10/2008
  17. Modern day high tech powerhouses… 5/10/2008
  18. Along with the world’s largest slums 5/10/2008
  19. Outsourced call centers, BPOs & KPOs 5/10/2008 Hi, I’m Dan. How ya doin’?
  20. In the Eye of the (American) Beholder <ul><li>The average American’s awareness of India has developed over many decades </li></ul><ul><li>What India means depends on age and demographics </li></ul>5/10/2008 <ul><li>Harsher images : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Snake charmers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hungry beggars </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Filthy slums </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sanctimonious </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Softer images : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Gentle and peaceful </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Democratic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Smart, hard-working </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Spiritual, mystic </li></ul></ul>
  21. Circa 1900: Sikh immigration <ul><li>Hundreds of Sikh migrant farm workers/laborers in California </li></ul><ul><li>Called “dirty Hindoos” and discriminated against </li></ul><ul><li>No citizenship allowed till 1949 </li></ul><ul><li>Dalip Singh Saund elected to US Congress from California in 1956 </li></ul>5/10/2008
  22. Mayo Writes Mother India while Raman wins Nobel Prize <ul><li>Reinforced the Orientalist view of India as an impoverished country that could not govern itself </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Gandhi called it a “drain-inspector’s report” of a house </li></ul></ul><ul><li>This is while C.V. Raman wins a Nobel prize in Physics </li></ul>5/10/2008
  23. Early 1950’s: Mildly Positive Image <ul><li>At start of fifties, India has a soft positive image: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Peaceful freedom movement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Constitutional democratic process </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Personalities of Nehru, Gandhi </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Non-aligned, high moral ground </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Towards the end, it is getting a harsher glare: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Seen as pro-Soviet, silent on Hungary take-over </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Domestic problems seem intractable </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>After Nehru, who? </li></ul></ul>5/10/2008
  24. Launch of Sputnik and Indian Immigration <ul><li>Launch of Sputnik in 1958 Leads to changes in Immigration laws in US </li></ul><ul><li>New Law favors science and engineering graduates </li></ul><ul><li>Doors to immigration from India open up </li></ul><ul><li>Starting in 1965, young middle class Indians come in large numbers as graduate students </li></ul><ul><li>Most of these stay and pursue careers and put roots down </li></ul>5/10/2008
  25. 1956-1980’s: Sharp brand erosion 5/10/2008 1950 1955 1960 1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 Positive Negative India’s image Indians in USA USSR in Hungary India silent Vietnam stance; PL-480 Wheat First Nuclear Explosions Indira Gandhi’s Emergency USSR in Afghanistan India silent Coke/IBM ejected Hard-working, good techies, successful
  26. Stark contrasts <ul><li>India : </li></ul><ul><li>A functioning Anarchy – Galbraith </li></ul><ul><li>“ Basket case” – Nixon </li></ul><ul><li>Dynasty / sham democracy </li></ul><ul><li>Unable to feed itself </li></ul><ul><li>Ungovernable </li></ul><ul><li>Pretentious nuclear power </li></ul><ul><li>Clown politicians (Morarji) </li></ul><ul><li>Stuck in the mud </li></ul><ul><li>Indians in America : </li></ul><ul><li>Smart, positive, hardworking </li></ul><ul><li>Building reputation as “good techies” </li></ul><ul><li>Broad success in professions, businesses, academia </li></ul><ul><li>Emerging as entrepreneurs and CEOs </li></ul><ul><li>Model immigrants </li></ul>5/10/2008
  27. 1990’s: A dramatic reversal <ul><li>Fall of Soviet Union changes political dynamics </li></ul><ul><li>Economic liberalization and rapid economic growth </li></ul><ul><li>Emergence of a world class IT industry </li></ul><ul><li>Outsourcing: Call centers to BPO to KPO </li></ul><ul><li>Recognition of past investments in higher education paying handsome dividends </li></ul><ul><li>Indian Diaspora succeeding everywhere, most notably in the US </li></ul><ul><li>India acknowledged as emerging giant, a la China </li></ul>5/10/2008
  28. Metamorphosis of India <ul><li>Dynastic myth broken with the political ascent of the BJP </li></ul><ul><li>Strong decentralization of power </li></ul><ul><li>Focused on economy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>One of fastest growing economy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>GDP breaks the trillion-dollar mark </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rapid integration with the global economy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Emergence of Bangalore, Hyderabad, Gurgaon </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Emergence of world class corporations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tata, Bharat Forge, Mahindra, Reliance, Wipro, Infosys, Suzlon, Ranbaxy, Dr. Reddy’s Lab, Bharati </li></ul></ul>5/10/2008 Source: International Monetary Fund, 2007
  29. Embracing globalization <ul><li>800+ foreign company subsidiaries in India </li></ul><ul><li>Massive inflows of foreign investments </li></ul><ul><li>Indian companies competing globally </li></ul><ul><li>As of November, 2007 </li></ul><ul><li>Source: </li></ul>5/10/2008
  30. Past 20 years: Sharp brand upswing 5/10/2008 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 Positive Negative Economic liberalization Economic explosion Infosys IPO Nuclear test Tata acquires Jaguar INFY sales to reach $5B Clinton visit Nuclear deal Series of entrepreneurial and executive successes India’s image Indo-Americans’ image
  31. Current image of India <ul><li>Dynamic, youthful, pluralistic, liberal democracy focused on economic growth </li></ul><ul><li>Forward looking, peaceful, technology savvy, trying to tackle poverty & provide social justice </li></ul><ul><li>For the first time US acknowledging great strides being made and seeing the light at the end of the tunnel </li></ul><ul><li>All the struggles and faults are now seen in this context, and not as the defining features </li></ul><ul><li>Natural ally of US with a population of a billion people </li></ul>5/10/2008
  32. Why should America care? <ul><li>India is practicing the core American values: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pluralistic democracy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rule of the law and civil liberties </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Separation of state and church </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Free market economy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Jeffersonian life, liberty and pursuit of happiness </li></ul></ul><ul><li>In Sharp contrast to China which is propounding an alternate set of values </li></ul>5/10/2008
  33. Likely future US policy towards India <ul><li>The US will have to wish India well: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not out of sympathy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Indian success validates American values as an effective way to build prosperous and just society </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A bulwark against authoritarian alternative </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What better role model for the Middle East and Africa? A country as poor, as illiterate, as diverse as India was in 1947 transformed itself in one life time! </li></ul><ul><li>Stable, prosperous and strong India underpins a troubled region with a good set of values </li></ul>5/10/2008
  34. Q & A 5/10/2008