India is not one country.


Contrary to popular belief India is not one country. Its several.

22 official languages , 28 states and 7 union territories, 12 different cuisine types, more than half-a-dozen religions, Thousands of dialects. Its like putting Europe and Africa together and term them as one country. Nothing Indian about India for example there is no Indian food but there is Punjabi, Rajasthani, Andhra, Bengali and so on, similarly there no one Indian style of wedding, each state has its own way. What binds this huge diverse nation? It’s not language, its nor religion, it’s not food, it’s not culture. Its common shared values, wisdom and aspirations.

People may follow the same religion but the rituals are different, north Indian women fast for the prosperity of her husband during Diwali south Indian women do the same two months before, its difficult to talk to entire nation in a single breath.  There are close to 500 satellite TV channels in the country. Tamilians have a choice of over 45 channels. Apart from the language, food and cultural differences there are economic and social divide marked by income and caste systems. It’s too complex to deal with.

Imagine the plight of national brands present across the country, how can they communicate with its consumers with a single language commercial? How many languages can you dub? How many versions can you shoot with different cast and costume? Can you run a french commercial across europe and africa? will the British accept German news dubbed in english? Why should the Telugu’s accept a hindi commercial dubbed in Telugu while there are watching original Telugu programming on television?

When will the Indian marketers understand and act? Local brands discovered this chink , armed with local stars, celebrities and native knowledge, started pushing big brands out of consideration. Only few exceptional brands may survive this brutal national and local divide.

If a local market is important than the brand must invest in creating the local content , other wise just run the German ad, who cares? As the game is shifting to smaller towns and rural areas of the country, brands must tag along as locals than outsiders.

Who says India is one country and all Indians are identical ?

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