Friday, April 25, 2014

AAP After Election-2014

                        In the world of politics, the AAP is akin to an open source movement. It’s leader, Arvind Kejriwal, is, in some sense, a pioneer like Linus Torvalds. He and his party have a defined a broad framework within which they operate - direct transparent funding, open candidate selection process, decentralization, no high command, people empowerment, involving people in decision making, and commitment to the implementation of strict laws that act as deterrents. The purpose of the movement is to “change the politics of the country,” while the mission is to end corruption, dynasty politics, communalism, and criminals in politics. The vision is to achieve transparency, reform, and accountability in government. 
                               The AAP is here to stay, irrespective of how the polls turn out, because its fundamental framework is sound and sensible, just as Linux and Windows continue to co-exist. What it offers today to the electorate is a refreshing, clean, honest alternative packed with good intentions, something of the kind the nation has never witnessed. The choice of whether to embrace it or to ignore it, and how soon, is entirely up to the people. There is no “hard sell,” there is no Machiavellian master plan to take over the country, and there is no ambiguity about what AAP has to offer. What you see is what you get - It’s WYSIWYG! 




http://blogs.economictimes.indiatimes.com/outsideedge/entry/open-source-politics-making-sense-of-the-aap-phenomenon?_rfh=1

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

2014 Election Proves- Marketing Matters

                       2014 Election Proves- Marketing  Matters                               
                                        
                 Indian election to Parliament 2014 is in full swing. In elections political actors and parties sell social products to voters. Voters are market and catch for politicians. Projects, programs, promises, good governance, new welfare policies, ideas and schemes are social products. National and regional parties are having marketable social products. But if marketing is weak, product would not be sold. Modi’s marketing lead is acknowledged by his competitors.
                  The marketer E. Jerme McCarthy proposed 4P classification in 1960. Since then, it is in use worldwide.  4P marketing model is well known. 4P stands for product, price, promotion and place. This 4P model is product oriented. With fast changing situation, taste and technology, orientation is also changing- from product to consumer. In the 1990's 4C concept was introduced. There are two theories: first is Lauterborn's 4C is consumer, cost, communication, convenience; second is Shimizu's 4C is commodity, cost, communication, and channel.
                Marketing word was monopolised by commercial market.  In 1969, Levy and Kotler suggested that in addition to economic products and services, the concept of marketing is applicable to the marketing of persons, organisations, and ideas.
                 Political marketing is the process by which political candidates and ideas are directed at the voters in order to satisfy their political needs and thus gain their support for the candidate and ideas in question. The marketing concepts are quite applicable to political marketing. Admittedly, by focusing on the decision marketing approach to voter behaviour, other popular approaches were not given any exposure.
                 The primary aim of political warfare is to win votes, by building preference and shaping perception. The challenge of preference building has to be accomplished in a short of time. This is not classic marketing warfare; marshalling the 4Ps. Marketing in politics is more about the 4Cs than 4Ps.
                 Constituency is the equivalent of local markets in marketing. It is crucial for parties to think differently of the 543 Lok Sabha constituencies.
“Think national but choose local" is the best strategy, similar to brand marketing campaigns.
                 Comparative advertising is the cornerstone of political marketing. The idea is to portray competitors in an unfavourable way without being perceived as attacking them. Political advertising does this by creating FUD: fear, uncertainty, and doubt.
                 The U.S. Federal Election Commission finds that 2014 general election in India is projected to cost about $5 billion, making it the costliest election ever in India and the second most expensive campaign in world history, behind only the 2012 U.S. presidential election, which cost some $7 billion. 
                  The huge sum marks India’s entrance into big-time election expenditures as well as the emergence of sophisticated Western-style campaigning, fund-raising and the domination of social media in politics.       
               According to the Centre for Media Studies, an Indian think-tank, the $5 billion price tag for the Indian election will be about triple the amount of money spent by Indian candidates in the 2009 general election.
               Part of this spike can be explained by inflation, but also by the fact that politicians seek to appeal to a younger, tech-savvy Indian electorate with more easily accessible campaign venues, more television commercials, digital marketing efforts, closed-circuit live broadcasts of rallies and increased social media and Internet content.
                 Narendra Modi, the visionary leader of the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party, is especially keen on the use of social media to attract young voters, while the incumbent Congress party has “started spending on digital, which it never did in 2009.”
               Indeed, Modi has been campaigning since last year, aggressively crisscrossing the country to give speeches in front of huge, adoring crowd.          His excellent marketing plan and media management are keeping him in lead.  Social media and 3D modern tool are his new marketing weapons to have lead against his competitors. Unlike others, he is managing his campaign on world-class selling techniques and managements. Above all, his advance planning and start leaves other adversaries behind.
                      He is first in 3D technology’s use worldwide. He is the first to use this technology in his assembly election of Gujarat in 2012. Now this experimented tool is a marketing boon for him in his ongoing election. This proves him an innovator and attracts young and net savvy voters. No other country and leader used it. Hence, he is showing the political marketing way to world leaders.
                    Social media came in limelight in 2008 US election. It helped Obama in making him President. After this, this new media as political marketing  tool is getting ground gradually world map. Recent Delhi assembly election proved its might in Indian elections. AAP used it like Obama and Arvind Kejriwaal became Chief Minister within a year of one year old party.
                    Though all parties have realised its potential, but Modi is ahead among all in using it as selling tool. He copied Obama's social media model. As a result, the tool helped him a lot in making his image. Modi uses social media to connect and engage with high class gentry who are net savvy. 
                      He is making favourable opinion by social media. His social media use is well calibrated and planned like Obama election of 2008. These two marketing tools are keeping him always ahead of others in race.
                      In internet age, old style of campaign and election management is getting obsolete gradually. Those who are relying more on old style are lagging. Here Modi is unmatched. He started his campaign long back in September 2011 with his much-hyped three -day fast for communal harmony. After this, he is campaigning non-stop. His election and campaign management is world-class with respect to Indian standard. 
                      Modi and Nitish, as chief minister Gujarat and Bihar respectively have been running a long battle to capture the national imagination with their respective "governance models". The growth acceleration in Gujarat seems to owe more to the opening up of the Indian economy than to Modi's rule.
                       Modi ensured that economy did not lose steam by choosing wise economic policies but his performance is driving growth pales in comparison to Nitish. Weak marketing of Nitish is not fetching favourable results. While his social product is comparable or better than that of Modi's..
                    During an interview with a TV channel, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi said “BJP is better in marketing its campaign. But for us our strength is amongst the poor. Their (BJP) marketing is good. But our work is better than them.” Mostly national and regional parties and political actors are acknowledging this directly or indirectly.                                   
                   Modi’s marketing, world class campaign managing, early starting and new technology tools are chariots to keep Modi in lead not BJP. It is Modi’s marketing which is pulling big crowds in his meetings. Well and accurate planning has provided time space to cover more meetings and constituencies is a very tight schedule.
                   As of now, it is visible that it is Marketing which helped BJP and Modi to build-up a conducive environment in his favour. Others are also having comparable social products. But due to poor marketing, they all are lagging far behind in political gains.
                  Modi is selling primarily two social products. First is good governance and second is development. He developed these two product in a state level market. But, he is able to sell these state level product in a national market. He is  doing  this by his marketing acumen. This proves political marketing matters in  Indian elections.

Heera Lal (views are personal and academic, based on different sources)

References:
1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marketing_mix
2. http://www.acrwebsite.org/search/view-conference-proceedings.aspx?Id=12061
3. http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2013-10-14/news/43032070_1_political-advertising-pm-candidate-marketing
4. http://www.ibtimes.com/indias-2014-election-cost-5-billion-second-only-price-tag-2012-us-presidential-election-1570668
5. http://www.deccanchronicle.com/140413/nation-politics/article/bjp-all-about-marketing-rahul-gandhi
6.http://www.livemint.com/Opinion/LytRsufeCWOdBGOZV7JkbL/Bihar-vs-Gujarat-Comparing-development-models.html
7. http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2013-04-22/news/38736125_1_bjp-mlas-gujarat-model-nitish-model

   


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Modi Marketing

   Political marketing: More Opposition Means More Acceleration for Modi
                     Indian election to Parliament 2014 is in full swing. Now all, national or regional, are opposing Modi politically and persoanlly. They all are conflicting with him but not his party. This opposition is increasing his tally every day.                            
                    Oppose less to checking his fast growth needs slowing his opposition on the part of opponents.. Confronting him means acceleration for Modi. Initially Modi effect was there. But his intense opposition is gradually converting his effect into a wave. Still  wave in not generated but effect is felt.
                      All political actors, parties are at loggerheads with Modi not BJP. This also helped him in making him the BigBoss of BJP. In this light opposition helped him more than he helped himself or his party in becoming the supremo in his own party.                    
                     Initial poll survey, opinion poll and forecast gave Modi fractured mandate. But now opinion polls and forecasts are revealing absolute majority from last week. How this happen. Who contributed more in this. Its answer is very simple- Opposition of the competitors. 
                     Frequent and intense opposition convince the floating voters about his might. Voters understand that he is in fight with all and all along. Hence, they are siding with Modi in natural process. This way as election are approaching to end, his MP number is increasing with enemies help.
                     Modi must thank to all opponents for this help. Like in photography, positive comes with negative, he is getting positive with negative accusations. At the outset of the election he was less in focus of parties. But slowly and slowly his opposition keeps increasing. This gives him mileage. 
                     His excellent marketing plan and media management are keeping him in lead. Social media and 3D modern tool are his new  weapon to have lead with  competitors. Unlike others, he is managing his campaign on world-class techniques and managements. Above all his advance planning and start leaves other adversaries behind.
                     He is unique in 3D technology use worldwide. He is the first to use this technology in his assembly election of Gujarat in 2012. Now this experimented tool is a boon for him in his ongoing election. This proves him an innovator and attracts young and net savvy  voters. No other country is using this. Hence, he is showing the way to world leaders.
                     Social media came in limelight in 2008 USA election. It helped Obama in making him President. After this, this new media as political tool are getting ground gradually worldwide. Recent Delhi assembly election proved its might in Indian elections. AAP used it like Obama and Arvind Kejriwaal became Chief Minister within a year.
                    Though all parties have realised its potential, but Modi is much ahead among all in using it as tool. He copied Obama in social media use. As a result the tool helped him a lot in making his image. With social media he keeps connected with engaged with high class gentry who are net savvy. 
                     Net user class  helps him in making favourable opinion. His social media use is well calibrated and planned like Obama election of 2008. These two tools are keeping him always ahead of others in race. His luck is supporting him. Luck is converting all  his odds and negatives into favours and positives.
                    In internet age, old style of campaign and election management is getting obsolete gradually. Those who are more emphasising on old style are lagging. Here Modi is unmatched. He started his campaign long back in September 2011 with his much-hyped three -day fast for communal harmony. After this, he is campaigning non-stop. He election and campaign management is world-class with respect to Indian standard.
                  In elections political actors and parties sell social products to voters. Voters are market and catch for politicians. Projects, programs, promises, good governance, new welfare policies, ideas and schemes are social products. Almost national and regional parties are having marketable social products. Bu if marketing is weak, product would not be sold. Modi Marketing is acknowledged by oppositions too.
              Modi marketing, world class campaign managing, early starting and new technology tools are chariots to keep Modi in lead not BJP.

Heera Lal (views are personal and academic based on different sources)
   

ref:
1.http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/after-sadbhavna-fast-modi-plans-massive-rally-135757 


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Modi: Unlike most politicians, Modi has clearly not enriched himself.

               Neither growth nor social indicators are accurate measures of Modi’s main election plank — good governance. Measuring governance is difficult, and hence neglected by statisticians. Yet it’s all-important. One annual report has long provided indicators of governance. This is Economic Freedom of the States of India (EFSI), written by Bibek Debroy, Laveesh Bhandari and me. The 2013 EFSI report shows Gujarat has been No. 1 in economic freedom for the last three years, widening its lead over others. On a scale from 0 to 1, its overall freedom score has improved from 0.46 to 0.65. Tamil Nadu comes a distant second with 0.54. Economic freedom is not identical to good governance. But lack of economic freedom typically means poor governance — a jungle of rules and obfuscating bureaucrats that promote corruption, delay and harassment. This hits everybody from farmers and consumers to industrialists and transporters. 
              One businessman told me that in Tamil Nadu, it took six months and several visits (and payments) to ministries for industrial approval. But in Gujarat, the ministry concerned called him the day before his appointment, asking for details of his proposal. Next day, he found the bureaucracy had in advance prepared plans of possible locations for his project, and settled the matter on the spot. This was unthinkable elsewhere, and showed both efficiency and honesty. Corruption has not disappeared in Gujarat, but is muted. 
              Modi’s Jyotigram scheme provides 24/7 electricity for rural households, plus reliable power at fixed times for tubewells. This explains why Gujarat has India’s fastest agricultural growth (10%/year for a decade, say economists Gulati and Shah). Indian agriculture is crippled by regulations, but Gulati shows that Gujarat has the highest agricultural freedom among states. Modi charges farmers for power, and so all his three state power companies are profitable. By contrast, power companies in other states with free rural power have accumulated losses of almost Rs 200,000 crore.
              Critics accuse him of giving cheap land to favoured industrialists. But state and national governments the world over use such sops to attract industries. Unlike most politicians, Modi has clearly not enriched himself. 


Ref:
http://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Swaminomics/entry/gujarat-is-india-s-top-state-in-economic-freedom

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Political Markeing: Personality Versus Party Politics

                    Political Markeing: Personality Versus Party Politics
Ongoing Parliament 2014 election has created a new issue. Which one is bigger Party or Personality. Abki baar Modi sarkar or Abki baar BJP sarkar. Reality is that Modi personality is hovering over the party BJP. There is nothing wrong in it . Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Obama are two cases to prove this.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led a 16-party National Democratic Alliance (NDA) to electoral triumph in the 1999 general elections. This was the saffron party's finest hour. Vajpayee's personal popularity was at its peak. The NDA led by him managed to cross the 300-seat mark in the Lok Sabha polls for the first time.
When party BJP was kept more than Atal's personality, it couldn't get get power. But when Persoanlity of Atal was give priority over party, BJP got power. Atal persued a personality politics, but it was not in focus like now because of his accetablity in other parties.
None raised this issue. Atal has more friend and no foe based on his soft and democratic style. The only differenec is that he was more mild, democratic and acceptable than Modi. Hence this thing was not much in limelight as compared to Modi.
BJP has now a personality cult of its own that beats all other personality cults. An authoritarian leader has replaced ideology, discussion, dialogue or dissent. The party, and even possibly RSS, has been marginalised.
Rajnath Singh realised the magnitude of what has changed when he made the mistake of tweeting: 'Ab ki baar, BJP sarkar'. In 32 minutes flat he had to withdraw his tweet because the only slogan that matters now is 'Ab ki baar, Modi sarkar'.

Ref:
1. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/opinion/edit-page/Congress-and-BJP-are-not-what-they-once-were-they-have-changed-in-ways-that-discredit-them/articleshow/33623070.cms
2. http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2014-01-15/news/46224593_1_congress-vice-president-rahul-gandhi-narendra-modi
3.http://edition.cnn.com/2014/03/14/politics/king-inside-politics-republican-debate/
4.http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/narendra-modis-popularity-eclipsing-atal-bihari-vajpayee/1/339629.html
5.http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/opinion/edit-page/Electoral-verdict-will-decide-whether-BJPs-collegial-or-Modis-presidential-style-will-prevail/articleshow/33752808.cms

Monday, April 7, 2014

Innovations And Initiatives In Training Election Personnel -2014

                              Election Polling Personnel And Training Them For Election Duty
          Election for Indian parliament is on. Counting is fixed on May 16, 2014.  First polling is on April 7 and last is on May 12- in seven phases. Real election fare starts with the announcement of polling dates. From this date Model code of conduct is set in motion.
          To conduct a free, fare, peaceful and successful election, we need to mange a complex, complicated and prolonged election exercises. Diverse election activities are conducted and controlled by appointing many Officers-In-Charge(OC). Each OC is given a particular job to perform.
          Among many OCs, the most important portfolio is OC( polling personnel and training). The second place is occupied by OC( transport). All OCs are accompanied by assistant OCs as per the requirement.
         In most of the districts, the senior most public servant of district administration is made OC personnel and training. On this criterian, Chief Development Officers(CDO) are assigned this task.
         A polling booth needs a presiding officer(PO) and three more officials as per norm. Hence, a team of four for each booth is trained along with ten percent reserve in a tight time schedule.
          In District Firozabad, UP, as CDO, I am OC for this task. Our team has four more officers as assistant OC. In all, about 12000 officials are engaged in election activities of a single seat of MP.
          Some officials are attached to each OC to carry out a particular job. Almost 9700 officials are needed for booths as per ECI software and randomisation. Therefore, we have plan training for 10000 persons.


             Training is planned in three phases. One, EVM( Electronic Voting Machine) training at 18 different locations to get trained officials and to acquire efficiency certificate from master trainers. Two, first training after first randomisation. This is code allotment to each randomly, electronically by a software. Three, Second training after second randomisation before Observer to form party with a code number  identity.
              Election duty is a tough, tight, sensitive, critical and risky job. Therefore, many officials try to get rid of this duty. For prefect election, official needs to learn and practice each step assigned by election commission.
             A minor mistake may invite re-poll and breaking of trust of public in election system. Hence, everyone involved and engaged officials have to act and tread very cautiously while on election assignment.
             Training is designed in a  tight time schedule.  Master trainers(MT) are trained first. MTs are facilitated to make training efficient. All required facilities are made available to MTs and trainees.

           A different behaviour and attitude is needed on the part of officials to conduct elections as per ECI norm. Overconfidence and non-learning mode- as usual among workers- is highly harmful to whole exercise.
           Three main critical issues need special design in training for officials: One, late coming and not following time schedule of training. Two, making them serious for training to learn and practice. Three, keeping them in training class. After getting attendance in class by MT, some of them go out.
           We faced these problem on the first day of training. MTs complained about these. They told because of these quality of training is not as expected. After getting feedback from MTs, I started to find its solution.  Within hours, I got the idea and implemented it and quality improved to desire level.
            Our trainings are in four sessions and each of two hours. It begins  sharp at nine in the morning. In every session each is imparted two hours general and two hours EVM training. Attendance sheet is taken after ten minutes after each session is started.
            Late comers are not able to put their signatures on attendance sheet if they are late by ten minutes. MTs are directed to write the exact time of coming on their appointment letter. MTs train them and mention this on the appointment letter.
              At six in evening, one Officer is assigned to take attendance of all such late coming officials on the basis of the note of MT on the their appointment letter . This way trainees get all training but for attendance they have to wait till six in the evening.
               Late comers wait till six is a mild but effective way make them felt importance of time. This is making officials disciplined time wise. In second training and on party movement day we would not face this problem. This initiative and innovation  paid. MTs gave very positive feedback on this issue after it has been implemented.

             To bring trainees officials in learning mode and making them serious about it, we have coined a effective word Lottery. All MT are briefed the concept of Lottery. They start their class with this.
            The whole idea is, after training, name of officials would be selected by lottery system. Those whose name will come in lottery will have to appear in an exam before a panel. Exam time, date and place will be communicated. If failed then the harshest punishment will be awarded like FIR or suspension.

         The idea of lottery made officials serious. They are fearful. Lottery can name anyone for exam. MTs gave feedback because of this idea trainees are serious to learn and practice in order to pass lottery exam. To implement this idea lottery exam plan is chalked out.
          In second training a new initiative is taken. An affadavit proforma is developed. Affadavit is a written declaration made under oath before a notary public or other authorised officer. All personnel are giving affadavit in second training. This declaration makes all associated, involved and committed. This give a good pshycological impact to coduct free,fare and peaceful election. With this they bind themselves with election. 



           On poll day first two hours are very troublesome. Different varieties of problems are reported from booths by booth polling officials. A panic atmosphere is created as per experience. To avoid this and to have a smooth polling and peaceful election, we need to train officials rigorously and accurately.
           We always keep in mind to enhance the public faith  in election system by our transparent and impartial activities. All doubts are clarified as soon as they are brought to our notice. Trained officials are a great help and a big connect in this endeavour. These  trained personnel act as election resource point. 
Heera Lal ( views are personal and based on experience)