Political errors that mirror Business ones

In politics too the same mistakes can be made, as in Business. Especially when the landscape's India. The gravest error? Assuming that consumers behave alike. That voters behave alike.

What connects with a certain consumer in India falls flat when it comes to another. Especially across geographical regions. A note of caution (This may sound like a contradiction). Should you map a certain demographic, there could be a possibility of standardising products for that segment across geographies in India. For example the 'youth'. Cafes have worked for them across cities in India. In fact Cafe' Coffee Day has been pretty successful establishing a chain of Cafes across India. Note a paradox again. What gets served within them may change across geographies, though the Cafe' format remains standardised.

Back to my original point. India poses a heterogeneity that's sometimes baffling. This heterogeneity puts even the politicians in a quandary. And I believe it will put the BJP in a fix, post Advani. At the moment, BJP's prime ministerial candidate seems to enjoy a sense of acceptability across India, especially since toning down the Hindutva rhetoric. But what awaits BJP post his reign, will be someone who's a hero in Gujarat but who will turn a major liability when the landscape turns pan India. The heterogeneous voter will be Narendra Modi's bete' noire. Bacause his brand of sarcasm may go down well in Gujarat, but won't work elsewhere. Since the Gujarat riots, Modi too has toned down on his brand of Hindutva, but the riot shadow will be next to impossible to shrug off.

For the BJP to have a shot at pan Indian appeal they have to pick a successor who isn't the darling of a region. Their present pick may have his state in thrall, but the rest of India? I am not sure anyone's amused.

Just as well.


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