Large, diverse, but what is "brand India"?

Stephen ManallackIndia has become the third largest Asian equities market. It is attracting investors from around the world. It houses more brands than any other Asian country and has the second largest number of brands in the world. But what is "brand India"?

I was recently invited to talk about "business and values" to a group of young Indians studying and working in my town, Melbourne, Australia. This group of around 30 people aged between 18 and 30 meets each week as part of its spiritual development. They had a variety of degrees, different jobs and carried themselves with a quiet confidence that I am sure draws from their ability to combine the spiritual and the commercial paths – I was learning from them.

Their experiences, as well as their looks, conveyed the fascinating diversity of India – no other country in the world has the type of diversity that India has. So, in one room looking a these young people I saw "brand India". Commercial and spiritual, confident but quiet, knowledgeable and learning, qualified and respectful, tolerant of others while being sure within themselves, true living diversity. And I hoped that brand India would tell this to the world, because the outside world does not know your story.

The Gallup Organisation is one of the global experts on "brands" and it believes that a brand reflects the nature of emotions and human relationships that underpin business. Powerful brands are derived from these, says Gallup, and "Great brands are able to capitalise on these fundamental truths, creating and sustaining vital emotional connections with their target constituencies".

Gallup claims there is "…conclusive evidence that organisations can only reach their full potential by emotionally engaging their employees and customers".