I woke up late
Since the time I remember, I have tread a mid path, followed a conservationist outlook: while I could always see how much was wrong around us, even to a kid’s logic, I would always believe in things which are slow, novels which take time to build the character, solutions which take time to effect, people who would take time to present their thoughts. When it comes to gadgets, I would take a few months or probably years before thinking of buying one. I just bought a kindle! I take time, because, I like to stick to the new opinion I have formed.
I like many other youth, were brought back to politics by the red flag movement in the 60s-70s and India against corruption movement during early 2010s.
Both the times, after a short lived hurray, somehow, time brought to us enigmatic personalities whose arguments, call for action, couldn’t have been ignored, even though, from our earlier interactions, we still had a bad aftertaste (in the recent case, Godhra). But, I, who normally takes time in forming opinions, was swept off my feet. I was tired of leaders who were corrupt, unreliable, followed by people who had great ideas but no practical experience in implementing them: I wanted to trust the next strong, practical, corrupt but not obvious, kind of a leader. With whatever information I had, I believed, probably, s/he is not corrupt after all.
A few things that should be noticed in all of this is:
- Let’s take the example of a salesman from the software industry: who presents a solution, not as tangible or measurable as hardware, which you could test and choose to reject. S/he takes you on a perfectly woven storyline strong with logic, anecdotes and arguments, comparing apples to oranges, very smartly, that you believe that the solution is feasible. You, in fact, feel a pinch of stupidity inside for even thinking of questioning it.
- This is one of the theories in social psychologies: repetition breeds belief.
- How do you make this belief untouchable, above reproach? Learn from the religions. The belief is to be so strong that you feel a part of a great cult or a group working towards a great purpose, a purpose so great, that others are just wasting their time, your time, if they are not working with you for your cause.
- Ok so the belief is strong, built through strong repetition, large marketing budget, speaking the crowds’ language. But, why can’t it be broken. Show that your dream is coming true. Something like the Mirror of Erised, from Harry Potter series: show them exactly like to see. Once they have this, they would hold the dream so close, so tightly secured, in their hearts, in their minds; Even if, it might be departed from the reality: like the Gollum of Lord of the Ring.
- And what is the weakest spot for Indians, not development, but, Cricket, which translates to hunger for identity. We are at that stage, where, we would like to know how far we are from getting more attention. The cheer should be so loud that the murmur about China, US might be difficult to notice. So, tell the people, we are winning. Others are taking notice. Tell this the way it’s believable. In marketing terms, this is Grabbing Attention. In campaigns, corporates and political use viral content, use controversial ideas, to grab attention.
- So the salesman has a strong what, strong why and the only part is how: How the government departments function on the ground cannot really change a lot, but, unless the salesman shows a change in this, the foundation of the pitch is not really strong. A good salesman knows that when you don’t know something, ask a lot more questions, make your client participate in forming the solution. This was utilised by both the leaders Arvind Kejriwal and Narendra Modi. Mr. Modi went a little further. He employed, every social media marketer’s need, a Call to action button. He made his customers, the people, part of the solution, asking them to participate in programs like LPG surrender, Swachh Bharat etc. Every time, you see a clean street, (because you and your neighbours spent the Sunday afternoon cleaning it), you ‘see’ it happening. Modi is right, it’s happening! This small proof is called engage in marketing.
- Now in Software services, once the customer is part of the solution, they are also as accountable. So, are you! Now your salesman upgrades his position from that of a constant seller to a leader, who is going to guide you, question you, berate you, in your path to growth.
- A too focussed believers and government becomes a corporate like the cartoon below, abusing data and statistics just to serve the belief. A more diseased and collective version of confirmation bias.
Then, I look around at the indicators we follow, as common men:
- Makaan: Real estate prices: still not corrected or soaring. There doesn’t seem to be a huge demand for infrastructure projects. Though the need has always been there in India, the demand is another thing altogether.
- Roti: High inflation for long. This is a matter which doesn’t seem to have any solution. Though more and more people are flocking towards the organic food, the quality of the readily available food in terms of level of contamination and chemical enhancements, is still very bad.
- Kapda: since I know a bit of the cotton and the garments industry, I know they are not doing well, and cannot expect unbelievable prices.
- Rupay: the industry: IT is not doing well, manufacturing even if it grows will take years before you know. (don’t mention the make in india program, mention the incremental jobs created). startups are being hurrayed too! Government is really supporting startups in speeches, probably in other ways too, but, the investors are too scared to invest in startups in India right now thanks to some bigwigs like Flipkart.
I am confused now! Like always, I don’t want to make an opinion in a haste. But, it seems like the quality or the standard of life is not going anywhere while the money you need to fetch them is really going places. While what you earned 2 years ago, should more or less the same.
There is this is one line, which, I am constantly reminded of, in the last few months:
He will bring them death, and they will love him for it. -Gladiator