Saturday, September 29

Incredible India

Incredible India

What does incredible India campaign in New York and in MP Tourism function have in common?

At one end we have the a million dollar campaign by the CII and the Ministry of Tourism called Incredible India@60 to sell India to foreign investors and the American public with 41 events, 13 conferences and panel discussions, nine cultural performances, three dinners and seven receptions planned in 4 days.

At home in Bhopal the Madhya Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation officials were buisy attending conferences outside the country and at a diminutive function held at the boat club the CM honoured 41 Kailash Mansarovar pilgrims by offering them coconut, shawl and Rs 30,000 in cash. Besides inaugurating airlines and rail ticketing kiosk and website at Boat Club, he also unveiled the 'Braille menu card' prepared for the hotels of Corporation which was managed by ARUSHI an Ngo. A new bus service was flagged off between Bhopal and Jaipur which was on hold for a very long time.

While at New York there’s salvo with an excess of Indian dance, craft, politicians, captains of industry, music and food for Americans .Our state witnessed nothing but CM bombardment of pronouncements for Multi-pronged action to develop Madhya Pradesh as a major tourist destination. Not to miss the grants to pilgrims proceeding to Pakistan-based Nankana Sahib -- birthplace of Guru Nanak -- and Hingraj Devi like Haj pilgrims and Mansarovar pilgrims.

The day is still an unfamiliar day to most officials and the citizens of the state of MP.

A setback……

Holding the Incredible India celebrations in New York alongside the United Nations general assembly is a gamble of millions. With the American media preoccupied with the Iranian president at the United Nations one can't help wonder whether the message of Incredible India@60 has reached it target audience. In Bhopal it was just advertisements in the newspapers with no proper message to suffice the celebration of world tourism day?
There was not one article other than the advertisements in both the places in spite of spending so much on the ads no editorial support or coverage was visible. No one is objecting to the million being spent in New York or lakhs going wasted on ads and printing by MPT.

All I am asking is will the objective be met OR they’ll keep promoting few agencies and officers and spending people hard earned money.Is there any body to review the campaign in New York and the money spent on the advertisement of MPT on world tourism day and other development activities? Both the heads of the department claims the objectives have more than been met. I wish ….they along with an expert, monitor and review marketing activities instead of trusting officials who are working without a vision on their whims and fancies. Who knows what the officials are up to? Hundreds of posters and banners and colorful advertisement also have a cost….

I wish they do a consumer assessment for every single advertisement and foresee the rise or the decline in the market coming from where the advertisements are released.

The question now is India at 60 is incredible but is it credible? India needs a strong brand image to lure foreign investors, but failing to deliver on promises can cause irreversible damage than do any good. Similarly MPT needs an image in its own state and country first.

If people don't live the brand promise... it's dead. We can advertise a bad product only once. India requires its creaking infrastructure to be set right for the experience to change, experts felt and so does the Chairman MPT feels.

The Taj Mahal, the Himalayas, the Stupas, Khajuraho Temple, they can be the sentinels of Incredible India, but what can make India credible is... progress in all areas. India should not be more incredible. It should be more credible.

Besides revamping urban and rural infrastructure, including roads, ports, airports, power sector, water, sanitation, corruption at various levels should also be checked upon.