Perspective from India: Creating a global services brand
Source: Incredible India
It's important to contextualize brands in the countries in which they were born—at least until they are truly accepted as global brands. Brand India, a trust established by the Ministry of Commerce with the Confederation of Indian Industry, today provides an enormous platform for creating new consumer brands. Over the years, Brand India has evolved from selling our rich heritage and exotic to tourists —like yoga, Ayurveda (Hindu medicine) and the Kamasutra—into a growing market for consumer goods and services.
In 1946, the country's national carrier Air India succeeded in creating the first consumer services brand out of India. The Maharaja, Air India's official mascot, became a global icon for high service standards. This was many years before the ‘Incredible India' tourism push with its aggressive cross-media campaign that aimed to seduce global consumers. More recently, other consumer brands from India have also displayed their global ambition.
Over the years, as India has gained greater global visibility through Indian acquisitions of foreign companies, such as Tata's acquisition of Jaguar, Land Rover, and Tetley Tea, and companies like Infosys and Wipro have become synonymous with the Indian IT industry abroad. So, whether it's tractor company Mahindra exporting SUVs to Europe or Jet Airways selling new routes to discerning customers, the obvious way to reach new consumer markets is by creating or marketing brands that are recognized for innovation and service excellence to a global audience.
New generations of brands are now emerging from India—which makes reaching out to new global markets the obvious evolution.
For example, in the past ten years, India slowly established itself as the back office of the world. Though this has led to a constant din regarding outsourcing in the IT sector, there have been companies that have successfully managed to set themselves apart from the rest by offering global quality standards and are today rapidly establishing themselves as global services brands out of India.
In today's globalized world, it is imperative for any business with global ambitions—especially those from emerging economies like India—to understand that to be successful, quality, reliability, consistency, and emotional connections are critical. These are the fundamental tenets followed by the most recognizable global brands.
With India's integration into the global supply chain, especially in IT services, we will see more and more direct-to consumer brands emerge from India.
Vishal Dhar is cofounder and president of iYogi, a direct-to-consumer global tech support service based in India.