The Kingdom Bites Back!

Shashi Tharoor: Why nations should pursue “soft” power

Posted in India The Bigger Picture by martinbatt on March 17, 2010

India is fast becoming a superpower, says Shashi Tharoor — not just through trade and politics, but through “soft” power, its ability to share its culture with the world through food, music, technology, Bollywood. He argues that in the long run it’s not the size of the army that matters as much as a country’s ability to influence the world’s hearts and minds.

Indian restaurants in Britain employ more people than the coal mining, ship building and iron and steel industries combined. So the empire can strike back!

Shasi Tharoor

Nandan Nilekani’s Ideas for India’s Future

Posted in India The Bigger Picture by martinbatt on March 11, 2010

Nandan Nilekani, the visionary co-founder of outsourcing pioneer Infosys, explains four brands of ideas that will determine whether India can continue its recent breakneck progress.

He is aso the author of “Imagining India,” a radical re-thinking of one of the world’s great economies. The co-founder of Infosys, he helped move India into the age of IT.

Devdutt Pattanaik: East Vs West, The Myths That Mystify

Posted in Religion by martinbatt on March 11, 2010

Devdutt Pattanaik takes an eye-opening look at the myths of India and of the West — and shows how these two fundamentally different sets of beliefs about God, death and heaven help us consistently misunderstand one another.

Jesus Having a Beer and a Cigarette

Posted in Religion by martinbatt on March 11, 2010

Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet commenting on the recent riots in India caused by images of Jesus enjoying a beer and a cigarette accidentally being printed in a Catholic Girls Schools course book.

http://www.dagbladet.no/2010/03/02/magasinet/india/religion/opptoyer/10667050/

The Rise Of Cricket, The Rise Of India

Posted in Cricket by martinbatt on March 10, 2010

Notes from Harsha Bhogle’s talk.

India’s longest running soap opera is cricket. Love, joy, happiness, laughter and plenty of decit and intrigue. India Fell in love in love with cricket because it reflects their pace of life. Another reason is all you needed was a plank of wood and a rubber ball and any number of people could play it anywhere. “In Indian sports we don’t make things happen, but an accident happened and we we’re in the right place at the right time. In 1991 we found a Finance Minister and Prime Minister willing to let the world look at India rather than to be this big country of disclosed intrigue and mystery we allowed multinational companies into India, we cut customs duty and reduced import duties which resulted in all the multinationals coming in with multinational budgets who looked at per capita income and got very excited about the possibilities of India and they were looking for a vehicle to reach every Indian. It’s only two vehicles in India, one’s real and one’s scripted, the scripted one is what you see in the movies and the real one is cricket. Pepsi decided they were going to take cricket all over the world. Cricket started getting rich as television started covering it. Television rights were sold for 612 million dollars. England invented 20 overs cricket and india were forced to play in the first ever  Twenty20 Cricket World Cup in 2007 an won. It gave India the pride that they could be the best in the world. India decided to launch their own league T20 Cricket League over 6 weeks, city versus city a completely new thing for India as they have only ever supported their country. The only two areas in which Indian’s  was really proud to be representing their country, one was the Indian Army the other was Indian cricket. Now they suddenly have to support city leagues, but people getting into these these city leagues were people were people who have taken their influence from the West, America being home of the the leagues… And they said right, we’ll build some glitzy leagues here in India. But was India Ready for it? Because cricket for a long time in India was always organised, just never promoted. This included extravagant opening ceremonies with Western cheerleaders – The new owners of Indian Cricket were not the old Princes or bureaucrats, these were people who run serious companies and so they started promoting cricket big time, they promoted clubs with huge money behind them. The IPL (Indian Premier League) had 2.3 Billion Dollars before even a ball was bowled. 1.6 Billion Dollars for television revenue over ten years and another 70 Million Dollars plus from all the franchises that were putting in money and then the respective clubs had to appeal to their cities. They had to do it like the West since they were setting up leagues from scratch. What they were very good at was making it very localized, mainly through TV commercials “Bollywood Style”. Sourcing the best players from abroad, this was the new India, the new world where you can source the best product at the best price. Another thing it did was marrying the two most important things in Indian entertainment which is cricket and movies (Bollywood). People in the movies started owning cricket clubs. People started to come to games not just for the cricket but to catch a glimpse of the favourite Bollywood star. An auction was held to buy players for the new teams, This meant the best top of the line Indian players who usually pocketed 200,000 Dollars a year now were getting paid 500 000 Dollars for six days work. English cricketer Andrew Flintoff even got a contract worth 1.5 Million Dollars for six weeks.

What India was doing was benchmarking itself against the best in the world and IPL became a huge brand, the biggest brand in India. A population which we though for a long time was a problem suddenly became our biggest asset because of more people watching and the huge consuming class.

Asia’s Rise: How and When

Posted in India The Bigger Picture by martinbatt on March 9, 2010

Hans Rosling was a young guest student in India when he first realized that Asia had all the capacities to reclaim its place as the world’s dominant economic force. At TEDIndia, he graphs global economic growth since 1858 and predicts the exact date that India and China will outstrip the US.

How to create demand for a product or service within the Indian market

Posted in Uncategorized by martinbatt on March 9, 2010

Understanding the Indian culture