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When you live in India that Dheeraj Sinha talks about in his book ‘India Reloaded’, it is easy to smile, frown and discard what is being said. A commoner soaks in the ambience on day-to-day basis. He is naturally inert and blind to the trends, events and changes Dheeraj refers and brings alive. But to many Indian marketers the ideas may not be new. These are the things, the marketer believe he has been exploiting. Thus the book lands in the same shelf that has ‘what they don’t teach you at Harvard business school’. It is a good read overall and may even help you paraphrase your meandering thoughts. Like the chapter on ‘Why do Indian’s like standing in the longest queues’ helped me rephrase an old argument to one of my clients.
Reloaded, as a term seems to be catching up. Tonight I will watch finals of ‘JHALAK RELOADED’ a dance reality show on ‘Colors’. And the leaflet that dropped out of today’s newspaper shouted ‘Pajero- Adventure Reloaded’.
Right at the onset, Dheeraj leaves no stone unturned to rephrase the Indian Middle Class bubble that MNC’s been chasing without success. The numbers with access to toilets, the four wheelers, education etc. rolls from pages like the hot molten lava trying to dislodge and burn any other argument in its path.
Dheeraj neatly uses figures and data to present his case. He uses many anecdotes, observation and marketing success & failures from current era to force his point of view. There is some clear segmenting of classes and opportunities that leads to new perspective, which is presented in a planner’s approach. Arguments are layered enough and placed with iterative force for you to flow with them while you walk through the pages.
Unfortunately lack of data table, lack of humour and visuals is something I consider a drawback. Trust me that do not take away from the quality of content.
It is thought provoking and interesting book not only for the marketers but also for everyone who would want to have a fresh perspective into Reloaded India. But if you are in Brand Management, Marketing, Advertising or a student wanting to be in this area- it is a nice book to have read.
Dheeraj repeatedly uses Bollywood as a tool to set context to his initial thoughts. Taking the analogy further, I did feel that a lot many times his approach resembles A CDI (central Department of Investigation- in real life called CBI) in the movie TALWAR. The decision and skew is pre-decided. All he does is to look at proof and evidence to support the line of thinking. to give him his due, while reading you do flow with the argument.
I ‘MUST’ say that I do agree with him in the way he sees Resurgent India. But there are two basic areas where I disagree with him.
His questioning Jugaad mentality. He pleads to all readers to stop using it. He sees jugaad in its most misunderstood myopic avatar, a makeshift arrangement compared to fugal innovation and attitude of getting things done and not by hook or crook or for temporary solutions. But, then difference of opinion is something that is welcome in all such debates.
Secondly, from being suggestive in his initial chapters, Dheeraj moves to hard press his alternatives and directional suggestions. The term ‘MUST’ starts its dominance. It creates some sort of dissonance form the tone of overall book.
In the book page after page, you will map through an interesting trail. One that jumps out breaking the mass market trap, moves to the poor not wanting stripped down versions, explains why the herd mentality or standing in long queues is a safe phenomenon, why the diversity card is a wrong card and why one need to look at the unity, why youth marketing need to beyond the risqué content, roils its eyes in identifying more youth forums than youth brands, why we end up sexcising everything, why service needs to move on, what past experience in service is to blame for the state we are in today, the new expanse of horizon which one can look at for newer opportunities and finally you end with a MUST- What makes India’s growth story sustainable.
INDIA RELOADED: Inside India’s Resurgent Consumer Market. By Dheeraj Sinha, National Head of Planning at Grey (a WPP group company). Published by Westland Ltd. You
A young girl commented on the cover pic. It shows a Sadhu taking selfie. Now as the screen is facing away from him, it is clear that the camera does not have a front Camera! Two, even if that was true the screen is blank! A mystery in India Reloaded.
Disclaimer. Dheeraj Sinha is also a member of MARKETING BUZZAR. And I received my copy of ‘India Reloaded from him.