Birla sees Indian intellectual capital as a great brand positioning peg

JAIPUR: “The global India - intellectual capital for the world.” This was the key thought that Aditya Birla Group chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla had to offer in his presentation this morning on “India The Brand.”



Birla was speaking during the Chairmen's Round Table this morning along with Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani. The session was moderated by Ian Batey chairman Batey Advertising.

Birla raised a point that before talking of establishing India as a global brand, the communication needed to go out to the primary audience, the Indian people in this case, all one billion of them. According to Birla, the influencers in this exercise, as he put it, were government bodies, media and trade bodies.

Batey spoke of the Indian brands that had global brand positioning potential. Tata Trucks, Tata Tetley Tea from the Tata Group and Ranbaxy in pharmaceuticals, were three brands that he pointed to.

A point Batey made was on the national carrier Air India. “An agenda should be set for Air India to elevate it back to where it should be – that is, one of the world’s great airlines,” he said. From this vantage point and looking at the current state of affairs of Air India, that does seem like a pie in the sky kind of vision.

One interesting brand that Batey picked out was the Old Monk dark rum, which has always had strong brand loyalties attached to it. “Bold, gutsy, intrusive, non-conventional, intrusive marketing,” might work for Old Monk, Batey said.

Other examples that Batey cited were the Alphonso mango and the food catering industry under the brand name “Kitchens of India”.

Batey who envisioned the exercise as a process that would take 15-20 years to play through, said, “It will have been the combined energies and cumulative international success of Indian brands in many mass consumer categories that will have elevated the nation’s reputation to that of a great global power brand.”

There was an obvious question that comes to mind after all these presentations: “Where was the round table?” Ambani spoke, Birla spoke and Batey presented his AV.

As one wag put it, “The session was more about the different speakers singing ‘Mera Bharat Mahaan’ than a round table.”


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