Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Data-Driven Strategy which helped Modi become PM

The men behind India’s biggest brand story, the Modi wave
Read more at: http://www.firstpost.com/politics/the-men-behind-indias-biggest-brand-story-the-modi-wave-1563957.html?utm_source=ref_article

The men behind India’s biggest brand story, the Modi wave by Piyasree Dasgupta Jun 11, 2014 10:25 IST #Bharat Vijay rallies #BJP #CAG #Citizens for Accountable Governance #Lok Sabha elections 2014 #Modi #PoliticsDecoder #Prime Minister Narendra Modi #Statue of Unity inShare 1 7 CommentsEmailPrint What could possibly bring together the manager of an alternative rock band, a fashion school graduate, an investment banker, a journalist, a lawyer and a history graduate from an Ivy League university? No, it's not World Cup special discounts at a sports bar, the correct answer is actually Narendra Modi. However, Citizens for Accountable Governance, claim sources, didn't start out to be the present Prime Minister's public relations machinery right at the outset. In fact, the group of professionals who got together to help people make an informed political choice in the 2014 polls was initially even willing to lend a ear to Rahul Gandhi. "This was an election crucial for India, its economy, business in the country. So, initially we were completely apolitical and wanted to do something to battle the widespread apathy that exists in India about voting. So we organised Manthan and the Young India Leaders Conclave. Rahul Gandhi attended one of the events and Narendra Modi attended two of our events," says a CAG member, who quit his banking job in Boston and joined CAG in its inception phase. This was mid 2013. Modi at one of his rallies . PTI Shortly after, in August that year, CAG organised Manthan, a youth initiative aimed at Indian colleges. As a part of the event students were urged to submit presentations and ideas on what the agenda of the 2014 elections should be and what the new government should address. Online submissions were invited, which culminated in a grand finale in Delhi. According to CAG members, the initiative saw participation from 7,000 colleges and managed to reach out to at least one crore students directly and at least nine crore students showed interest in the event. CAG invited Narendra Modi, then touted to be BJP's PM candidate but not nominated officially yet, to address the gathering in the finale of the event. And that's when CAG caught his eye. "Though he was not officially the party's PM candidate (Modi was declared BJP's PM candidate in September 2013 following much internal conflict and drama), he was one of the front-runners. As a result he was choosing his public appearances very carefully and we had to convince him to attend Manthan," said the CAG member. While convincing Modi, the former Gujarat CM was reportedly impressed by CAG's social media strategies. Though the representative Firstpost spoke to said that Modi was impressed with CAG's social media reach, it is evident that it was not their 'reach' but their ideas that impressed Modi. A simple explanation: CAG has 11,000 followers on Twitter, Narendra Modi has 4.8 million. Soon after, Modi chose Indian CAG to be the 'social mobilisation partner' of the 'Statue of Unity' project. "That's how we got closer to Mr Modi. We were primarily responsible for spreading the word about the project and help get donors, etc," says the CAG member. The Statue of Unity project and the discussions around it in social media made considerable news. Interestingly, it was possibly during the Statue of Unity project that Modi's team came up with the 'Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat' refrain. Something that eventually made its way to the BJP's manifesto and even the President's address during the joint session of Parliament. "We made up our minds by December 2013, we wanted to be formally a part of Mr Modi's election campaign," he says. And that's how the stage was set for the highlights of Modi's campaigns - the 3D rallies, the Chai Pe Charchas, the 185-rally Bharat Vijay Rallies that were launched in March and saw the then PM aspirant travel indefatigably across the country never letting either himself, or the BJP, out of people's minds before the polls. And that's when CAG's number crunching talent and managerial skills came to use. Of the 85 members listed under the Indian CAG website's 'Who are We' section, at least one third are management graduates from premier B-schools across India, including IIM-A, IIM-B, IIM-C, ISB, Symbiosis etc. There are engineers, public policy researchers, media and communication consultants among others. While that's the core team, their website shows that they have more than a lakh 'members' and 29 city chapters. "We divided ourselves up in groups for various states. Then we started doing retrograde analysis of each constituency in the major states," he explains. A term commonly associated with chess, the Wikipedia describes retrograde analysis (commonly called retro anaylsis) thus: "In chess, retrograde analysis is a computational method used to solve game positions for optimal play by working backward from known outcomes (eg. checkmate), such as the construction of endgame tablebases. In game theory at large, this method is called backward induction. For most games, retrograde analysis is only feasible in late game situations of reduced complexity, such as a chess position where few pieces remain in play." To simplify what they did, the Indian CAG members dug up all old records of elections, collected data from the ground and came up with campaign solutions - much like what consultants in corporate houses are entrusted with doing for business transactions. "We based our solutions on the granularity of each polling booth which gets around 2000 votes. And then through retro analysis we determined which constituencies were the ones with the most impact. A blanket campaign is one thing and a constituency, booth specific campaign is another. Through that analytics process we figured out for the party and Modi which constituency, if campaigned in, will poll more votes for them," says the CAG member. While it seems like a pristine, professionally managed campaign that the BJP greeted the nation with, it was not without its hiccups. Traditional political processes, when pitted against newer methods of campaigning, managed to ruffle a lot of feathers. BJP leaders at state-levels, say sources, weren't too glad at the bunch of suit-tie professionals with no history of political engagement trying to show them how their own game is played. "Yes, we did face a lot of 'we-don't-need-this' protests. There was a definite trust issue as we were coaxing them to change make changes to traditional politicking," he says. However, Modi reportedly issued a strong diktat to party workers that CAG's strategies have to be taken very seriously. "Then when we explained with data how campaigning in one constituency as opposed to another can translate into votes, they came around," he says. CAG's strategising, evidently, didn't end with just the local leaders. The group burnt the midnight oil to chalk out each stop that PM candidate Modi should make and at what time in the course of the campaign. "We designed his campaign trail based on data from the grassroots, ground reports and retro analysis on poll data. We had volunteers - students, professionals etc - who provided us with state specific date. We also did our our data collection which included demography, polling history, media audits among other things," explains a source in India CAG. For example, says the source, before Modi visited Amethi, there were three 3D rallies in the constituency. It was then decided that he will visit Amethi on the last day of campaigning before the constituency goes to polls. It was also CAG's idea to bombard Uttar Pradesh with Modi - strategically organising 3D rallies in some constituencies, and having Modi address crowds in real life in others. "That's when we also came up with the 'Modi aane wala hai' truck," the source cites as an example. Though all CAG members worked voluntarily and didn't charge for their services, the project costs were shouldered by sources close to the party. "We didn't charge anything. But everything else, which included equipment, travel, data gathering etc wasn't being funded by us. Not sure who was paying for it, has to be the party and its funders," says the member, unwilling to take names. However, it's easy to assume that the cost of the process must have run into crores given its expanse and the sheer number of individuals and professional expertise, products it banked on. A CAG source says, again on condition of anonymity, that they aren't sure as to 'what place in the government' they will be allowed to occupy now. The natural question that follows is that a direct inclusion in the government cannot happen without following procedures already laid down for government services. "We are not sure if we are going to be a formal part of the government or assist the government as consultants from outside. As of now, we are all exhausted and are on break," he says. Do they think they'll have a role to play in the government? "Yes," replies the source. Do they have an assurance from either Modi or the BJP? "Not really," he adds. "We could also work on project basis, where we pitch projects to separate ministries and work if they get approved," he says, though he is not willing to elucidate on the nature of the projects yet. Will a body like the Indian CAG be Narendra Modi's answer to a 'Shrestha Bharat'? Watch this space for more.

Read more at: http://www.firstpost.com/politics/the-men-behind-indias-biggest-brand-story-the-modi-wave-1563957.html?utm_source=ref_article

Friday, May 23, 2014

BJP's MPs are Morally Corrupt? - Meet India's Newly Elected: They're Charged With Murder, Robbery, Kidnapping And More


The right wing Bharatiya Janata Party, which last week won a thumping majority in the 543-seat Indian parliament to form the next government under its Prime Minister -elect Narendra Modi, had campaigned on promises of good governance–especially after a series of allegations of graft under the previous Sonia Gandhi-led UPA government that was routed in the recent elections. But clearly it didn’t take a good look at its own candidates as more incoming legislators than in the previous government are charged with a variety of crimes including murder, attempt to murder, communal disharmony, kidnapping, crimes against women, amongst others, according to a democracy watchdog.
The Association for Democratic Reforms sourced the data from the sworn affidavits that the candidates had filed with the Election Commission of India. (You can see its full report here.)
In an analysis of the 541 lawmakers who won the elections (the documents submitted by the two remaining candidates were poorly scanned and hence illegible, ADR says), it found that 186 or 34% of the winners have criminal cases pending against them, up from 30% in the last government that was elected in 2009.
(According to ADR’s party-wise break up, 98 of BJP’s 281 winners have a range of criminal cases against them pending, in comparison to 8 of Congress’s 44 winners.)
Within those 186 winners, 112 (or 21%) lawmakers have cases related to murder, attempt to murder, communal disharmony, kidnapping, crimes against women pending against them. This is up from 77 winners or 15% in the previous government
Of the nine winners who have cases relating to murder against them, four are from the BJP and one from the Congress.
Seventeen winners have cases related to attempt to murder outstanding. Of these, 10 winners are from the BJP.
Of the 16 winners with cases related to causing communal disharmony 12  are from the BJP.
Of the 10 winners with cases related to robbery and dacoity, seven are from the BJP.
Of the seven winners cases related to kidnapping, three are from the BJP.
ADR’s analysis also found that in India it pays to be a criminal. Reason: candidates with criminal record had a 13% chance of winning, almost three times higher than the 5% chance to win for candidates with clean records.
And money also matters. Of the 541 winners analyzed , 442 (82%) are millionaires (in Indian rupees), up from 300 in the 2009 elections. Within this group, 237 were from BJP’s 281 winners and 35 from Congress’s 44 winners.
Age and education of their lawmakers has mattered to an extent to the Indian electorate.
Of the winners, 202 (37%) lawmakers are between the ages of 25 and 50 while the majority 298 (55%) are between 51 and 70 years old, with a tiny 41 (8%) winners are above the age of 71.
One winning lawmaker (from the regional Telugu Desam Party) is illiterate while 23% or 125 winners are high school graduates, at most. Another 405 winners (or 75%) have college degrees, at least.
On the gender front, despite women’s issues being one of the key campaigning platforms in this election, of the 541 winners, a tiny 11% or 62 women won. This was marginally higher than the 2009 elections where 57 winners were women. According to this report, this will make it the highest number of women lawmakers in Indian history. (However, at the same time, the newly elected lower house of Parliament will also have the least number of Muslim lawmakers in 50 years: only 22 Muslims have won, less than the 29 in the last election in 2009.)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

India to topple Japan as world's 3rd-largest economy

India might become the world's third largest economy in 2011 by overtaking Japan in terms of gross domestic product (GDP) measured according to the domestic purchasing power of the rupee, otherwise called purchasing power parity.

India is now the fourth-largest economy behind the US, China and Japan. Numbers from 2010 show that the Japanese economy was worth $4.31 trillion, with India snapping at its heels at $4.06 trillion. But after March's devastating tsunami and earthquakes, Japan's economy is widely expected to contract while India's economy will grow between 7% and 8% this fiscal. "India should overtake Japan in 2011 to become the third-largest economy in the world at purchasing power parity," said Sunil Sinha, head of research and senior economist at Crisil.

IMF forecasts show India and Japan neck-to-neck in 2011, but the disaster in Japan has brought the event forward. "Were it not for the earthquake and tsunami, India would have overtaken Japan in around 2013-14," said Sinha.

The purchasing power parity (PPP) method measures the size of an economy by levelling price differences between countries that occur in the process of conversion to a single currency.

Under this method, a dollar should be able to buy the same amount of goods anywhere in the world and exchange rates should adjust accordingly.

The Economist's Big Mac Index, which takes the price of a Big Mac burger across 120 countries to calculate the 'real' price of its currency, is a crude way to measure PPP. India was included in the index recently. It showed that the Indian rupee was undervalued by 53% against the US dollar in August.

Earlier, a report by consultant PwC suggested that the Indian economy would surpass the Japanese economy in 2012. The IMF expects the Japanese economy to contract 0.7% this year while India is expected to grow 8.2%. A bigger economy could also give the government additional clout and bargaining power overseas.

"A bigger economy would also mean more clout in international forums," said Madan Sabnavis, chief economist at ratings firm Care.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Rich getting Richer,Poor getting Poorer and the middle classe? - disappearing

How is the middle class is faltering in the US - from howtheworldworks :

The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that big American consumer product companies are beginning to split their product offerings between retail lines aimed either at the low end or the high end.

For generations, Procter & Gamble Co.'s growth strategy was focused on developing household staples for the vast American middle class.

Now, P&G executives say many of its former middle-market shoppers are trading down to lower-priced goods -- widening the pools of have and have-not consumers at the expense of the middle....

A wide swath of American companies is convinced that the consumer market is bifurcating into high and low ends and eroding in the middle. They have begun to alter the way they research, develop and market their products.

Food giant H.J. Heinz Co., for example, is developing more products at lower price ranges. Luxury retailer Saks Inc. is bolstering its high-end apparel and accessories because its wealthiest customers -- not those drawn to entry-level items -- are driving the chain's growth.

But here's the kicker:

To monitor the evolving American consumer market, P&G executives study the Gini index, a widely accepted measure of income inequality that ranges from zero, when everyone earns the same amount, to one, when all income goes to only one person. In 2009, the most recent calculation available, the Gini coefficient totaled 0.468, a 20 percent rise in income disparity over the past 40 years, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

"We now have a Gini index similar to the Philippines and Mexico -- you'd never have imagined that," says Phyllis Jackson, P&G's vice president of consumer market knowledge for North America. "I don't think we've typically thought about America as a country with big income gaps to this extent."

The new numbers from the Census Bureau peg 2010's Gini coefficient at 0.469, which, statistically speaking, doesn't represent a significant change in income inequality as compared to 2009. However, the Bureau notes, "changes in shares of aggregate household income by quintiles showed a slight shift to more inequality." So the basic trend is still depressingly in place.

It's not hard to understand what is happening here. The middle class, squeezed by globalization and advances in technology, is sinking backward, while the rich benefit disproportionately from gains in trade and excessively accommodative tax policy.

My Take: With Oil Price and Interest Rates hikes happening every month, it is soon going to be Indians turn.

Reverse Colonialism - Turn of the tide in globalization?

What a twist of fate and churn in the globalization's history.. Snippets from an interesting article by Charles Payne..

Europe's drama has taken center stage as we wait for the next round of fireworks from the Fed, the Super Committee, White House (big refinance deal on drawing board) and the update on jobs data (shouldn't be hard to be zero). I find it amazing that markets settled down as rumors of a China bailout persisted. One Chinese official called it absurd since it would mean a country with per capita income of $4,000 is bailing out nations with per capita incomes of $40,000.

It goes to show just what can be done when people buckled down for decades and do with less, save half the money they make even when it's pennies, and wait until they have trillions in the bank to make their move. It also goes to show just what can be done when people feel entitled and spend like crazy for decades because they would never do with less or save any money they make or receive even when it's billions, so they gorge until there's nothing and then make their move. These moves seem to be colliding. As those decadent European nations that squandered greatness and fortunes are now sniffing around up and coming nations are being looked to for bailouts.

But, there is also a lesson about hunger. Greece, Italy, Spain, and Portugal have glorious histories of global domination, but as their dominance faded they lived a lie through political systems designed to make everyone feel a sense of power when in fact all the real power of free markets, entrepreneurship, and ambition was being snuffed out. Who's going to make up the collision that bails America out twenty years from now? Mexico, Turkey, Singapore, and Indonesia are on the right track to be our BRICS rescue team by then. The headlines will read: "MITS Bailout USA!"

Monday, August 29, 2011

Reportcard From them Master of Globalization Theory himself : All Together Now By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN

HOLD onto your hats and your wallets. Since the end of the cold war, the global system has been held together to a large degree by four critical ruling bargains. Today all four are coming unstuck at once and will need to be rebuilt. Whether and how that rebuilding happens — beginning in the U.S. — will determine a lot about what’s in your wallet and whether your hat flies off.

Now let me say that in English: the European Union is cracking up. The Arab world is cracking up. China’s growth model is under pressure and America’s credit-driven capitalist model has suffered a warning heart attack and needs a total rethink. Recasting any one of these alone would be huge. Doing all four at once — when the world has never been more interconnected — is mind-boggling. We are again “present at the creation” — but of what?

Let’s start with the Middle East, the world’s oil tap. Libyans just joined Tunisians, Egyptians and Yemenis in ousting their dictator, while Syrians and Iranians hope to soon follow suit. In time, virtually every Middle East autocrat will be deposed or forced to share power. The old model can’t hold. That model was based on kings and military dictators capturing the oil revenue, ensconcing themselves in power — protected by well-financed armies and security services — and buying off key segments of their populations. That lid has been blown off by an Arab youth bulge that today can see just how everyone else is living and is no longer ready to accept being behind, undereducated, unemployed, humiliated and powerless. But while this old Middle East system — based on an iron fist and a fistful of petro-dollars holding together multiethnic/multireligious societies — has broken down, it will take time for these societies to write their own social contracts for how to live together without an iron fist from above. Hope for the best, prepare for anything.

Farther north, it was a nice idea, this European Union and euro-zone: Let’s have a monetary union and a common currency but let everyone run their own fiscal policy, as long as they swear to work and save like Germans. Alas, it was too good to be true. Large government welfare programs in some European countries, without the revenue to finance them from local production, eventually led to a piling up of sovereign debt — mostly owed to European banks — and then a lender revolt. The producer-savers in northern Europe are now drawing up a new deal with the overspenders — the PIIGS: Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain. It is unlikely that the Germans would just break out of the European Union, since a good chunk of their exports go to those overspending, uncompetitive countries. Instead, the northern Europeans are trying to force stronger, rule-based discipline on the PIIGS. But how much more austerity can these countries absorb, especially if there are further social stresses from deeper recessions? More than Londoners will take to the streets. One way or another, the European Union is going to get smaller or tighter, but in the process it could go through a chaotic, world-shaking transition that is not priced into the market yet.

Going East, China has been relying on a model built on a deliberately undervalued currency and export-led growth, with low domestic consumption and high savings. This has allowed the Communist Party to sustain a unique bargain with its people: We give you jobs and rising standards of living, and you give us power. This bargain is now under threat. Persistent unemployment in China’s American and European markets is making Beijing’s undervalued-currency/low-consumption/high-export model less sustainable for the world. China also has to get rich before it gets old. It has to move from two parents saving for one kid, to one kid paying for the retirement of two parents. To do that, it has to move from an assembly-copying-manufacturing economy to a knowledge-services-innovation economy. This requires more freedom and rule of law, and you can already see mounting demands for it. Something has to give there.

As for America, we’ve thrived in recent decades with a credit-consumption-led economy, whereby we maintained a middle class by using more steroids (easy credit, subprime mortgages and construction work) and less muscle-building (education, skill-building and innovation). It’s put us in a deep hole, and the only way to dig out now is a new, hybrid politics that mixes spending cuts, tax increases, tax reform and investments in infrastructure, education, research and production. But that mix is not the agenda of either party. Either our two parties find a way to collaborate in the center around this new hybrid politics, or a third party is going to emerge — or we’re stuck and the pain will just get worse.

When the world is experiencing so many wrenching changes at once — with already high unemployment and weak economies — the need for America, the most important pillar of all, to be rock solid is greater than ever. If we don’t get our act together — which will require collective action normally reserved for wartime — we are not going to just be prolonging an American crisis, but feeding a global one.

annarchy : when graft hit the top in India