Known for his creative image-building strategies, Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi had a word of advice for advertising and marketing professionals on branding India and taking it to the world.
“Follow Mahatma Gandhi. Do not impress, but inspire through your work,” he said.
Modi was addressing a gathering organised by the International Advertising Association’s Indian chapter at a five-star hotel in Bandra on Monday.
Admen Piyush Pandey, Sam Balsara, brand managers Pradip Guha and Sunil Alagh, prominent banker Deepak Parekh and BJP leader Gopinath Munde were present, among others.
Modi asked professionals to cultivate a strong belief in Brand India.
“The reason we have not been able to project India as an international brand is because we do not believe in our [country’s] strength.”
He wondered why the country was not able to get rid of its inferiority complex even 66 years after independence.
Modi said the country had not been able to showcase many things worldwide and had also failed to market itself globally.
On t op of his mind was Mahatma Gandhi, who he said should be documented effectively by advertising professionals by next year.
“The book should be of such high quality that every university in the world should accept it as part of its syllabus. This job, if done effectively, will see Brand India reaching across the globe,” he said.
Other than Gandhi, he wanted professionals to work on making Indian sectors such as tourism, heritage, music, ayurveda, yoga, holistic health care, organic farming and Bollywood powerful brands across the world.
Continuing his attack on the government, Modi said, “If I was there [at the Centre], I would have used Bollywood to make India into a global brand.”
Earlier, while addressing a gathering of diamond traders at the Bandra-Kurla Complex, Modi pledged to f ight the Congress with support from other parties for ming the NDA. “I am made of the mitti [soil] of which Sardar Patel and Mahatma Gandhi [both from Gujarat, like Modi] were made,” he said.
Without naming the NCP, Modi said the UPA allies in Maharashtra were unhappy with the government.
“They are wondering when and how to leave the government,” he said.