Wednesday, October 22, 2014

India Unleashed


I first visited India in 1982 and have returned more than two dozen times. I was part of the team that brought Pepsi Cola to India in the late 80s, and have been following the country’s development with eager curiosity ever since.

India is as SuperVUCA as you can get. Vibrant, Unreal, Crazy, Astounding, and one of the most (if not the most) complex cultures in the world. The country has picked up the economic pace behind new Prime Minister Modi and is moving at the speed of light, their destination driven by a desire for progress and the dreams of its young population.

The reason for my visit to India this month was to celebrate L&K Saatchi & Saatchi, the new entity that was created when Law & Kenneth joined the Saatchi & Saatchi global family earlier this year. In Mumbai, I spoke to our agency people at the Taj Land’s End (the offices in Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai tuned in via live video feed so everyone got involved), and I also spent valuable time with the senior team talking about the Saatchi Dream and 2015 action plans.

What is great about people in India is that they have high EQ. You don’t have to explain Lovemarks in India, as you can see the prose that is invested in stories about Bollywood stars that you find on Lovemarks.com – full of mystery, sensuality and intimacy. The launch of Lovemarks a decade ago by the world’s greatest movie star Shah Rukh Khan was characterized by the sort of festivities that you expect from a celebration in India. India will surprise the world one day with rugby, but for today, if their newly launched professional football league wins as many hearts as there are cricket fans, we’ll have a new nation of football fanatics to contend with. They are also entrepreneurial, innovative and digital savvy – just the kind of capability we need to win in the Age of Now.

A whirlwind of a trip. Thanks to Praveen and his team for making it possible.

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