KOLKATA, 19 December 2014: Indian companies must make a solid global impact and make sure the country has the current account surplus, not deficit, according to a world famous brand and marketing guru and strategist.
“It makes sense not just because it will help generate employment, but will also generate enough money to ramp up its infrastructure and attract overseas companies to India,” said Prof Jan-Benedict E M Steenkamp, C. Knox Massey Distinguished Professor of Marketing and Marketing Area Chair, Kenan-Flagler Business School, University of North Carolina in the US, at the CII-organized 13th Brand Conclave, here today.
In his reckoning, right branding and right value proposition is something that will go a long way in giving Indian companies a solid positioning on world stage.
“It is crucial because India is transitioning from a developing economy into an emerging one. It’s high time Indian companies started investing enough time, energy and money in brand building across the world,” he told an assembly of more than 250 brand and marketing professionals coming from across the country.
“No matter how big the size of the Indian economy is and how much potential it has, the fact of the matter is that 90 percent money in the world is outside of India. That’s where the problem lies. Unless much of this comes to India, the country will not be able to become an influential player on world stage,” said Prof Steenkamp.
Helisted main reasons why Indian brands need to go global. “This will not only help Indian companies raise profit margins, but will also give them the brand power,” he said. And most importantly, in the light of “Mr Mody’s Make-in-India campaign, this is absolutely necessary,” explained Prof Steenkamp, who specializes in global marketing, branding, emerging markets, and strategy.
To drive home his point, Dr Steenkamp cited a McKinsey 2013 which said, “With more and more global companies treating India as an important market, Indian companies that do not learn how to be globally competitive will lose at how to. Failure is certainly an option; staying on the sidelines is not.”
Dr Steenkamp, who has written over 150 scholarly publications as well as four books, including Private Label Strategy and Brand Breakout: How Emerging Market Brands Will Go Global, with Prof Nirmalya Kumar, also called upon the Indian diaspora to take a lead role in promoting Indian brands globally. “Indian diaspora are extremely influential entities in the US and the UK,” said Dr Steenkamp who won the Muller Lifetime Prize from the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences for “exceptional achievements in the area of the behavioral and social sciences.
In three separate Workshop Sessions, Dr Steenkamp, who ranks No. 1in the world on scholarly influence in marketing in the last decade, spoke on on Using market insights to enter the right countries with the right value proposition; Leveraging the Indian diaspora to enter foreign markets; Buying global brands from foreign multinationals; Positioning Indian brands overseas on positive cultural myths.
Earlier, in his theme address, Mr Viresh Oberoi, Chairman, CII Eastern Region, described brand as an external manifestation of products offered to customers. “Companies need to have the right branding to create an element of credibility and trust. It makes a deep impact on the company’s image and revenues in the long run,” explained the mjunction services ltd Managing Director & CEO.
According to him, global branding for Indian companies entails much larger requirements which may vary from geography to geography. “Brand evolves with time and place,” Mr Oberoi said.
Mr Siddharth Wanchoo; Chairman, Marketing & Retail Subcommittee, CII – Eastern Region and Head- Marketing, ITD, ITC Ltd; and Mr Arun Mittal, Co- Chairman, Marketing & Retail Subcommittee, CII Eastern Region and Executive Vice President (Marketing & Sales, FMIB), Exide Industries, also spoke at what is arguably the biggest Brand Conclave held in India.
In the past editions, the Brand Conclave featured such top global speakers as Al Ries, Laura Ries, Jean-Noel Kapferer, Lynn Upshaw, Clyde Fessler, Kevin Lane Keller, Erich Joachimsthaler, Bernd Schmitt, John Philip Jones, Nicholas Ind, Erik du Plessis, David Meerman Scott and Tim Calkins.