Book Review | Reading

One Land One Billion Minds by Ramanujam Sridhar

One Land One Billion Minds- Insights on branding in India by Ramanujam Sridhar

Steel cupboards, even those made local ironmongers, are called Godrej. Small scooters have acquired the generic name ‘Scooty’, a brand created and sustained by TVS Motor Company. National Railway TimeTables were called Bradshaws, a British publication which had its origin on movements of boats in canals! Macintosh and Burberry are generic names for their categories Titan, Tanishq, Fevicol and Maruti are household names today.

NR Narayanamuthy was the brand which made Infosys a household name in India. Nehru, MGR, NTR, Jayalalithaa, Mamata Banerjee and now Narendra Modi are brands built assiduously over time. In contrast, Dr. Manmohan Singh and Narasimha Rao could never became brands. Saurav Ganguly and Kohli are brands, Rahul Dravid and VVS Lakshman are not! Branded leaders have more than mere charisma, their personas are carefully crafted and sustained over time to become their identities.

Advertising Guru David Ogilvy remarked “Any damn fool can put on a deal but it takes genius, faith and perseverance to create a brand.” Andre Welch observed ‘Branding is a journey and not a destination.” Tom Peters said it with dramatic flair ‘Be Distinct or Extinct.

Brands pervade our thinking and dictate our purchase decisions more and more. Not just products even people, are now brands.

Ramanujam Sridhar’s book deals with the challenges of creating brands in our bewilderingly diverse country. He was a regular columnist in newspapers- ‘Third Umpire’ in Hindu Business Line and ‘Ad Speak’ in Deccan Herald. An advertising professional with decades of experience, Sridhar has specialized in study of branding. Sridhar is a passionate advocate for India developing its own unique branding approach suited to its ethos.

Sridhar writes engagingly, overlaying his deep insights in tongue in cheek humor. He covers the entire gamut of branding in his comprehensive book- consumer, branding concepts and management, Corporate branding, techno branding, Advertisement and PR. The narrative flow smoothly. He never overpowers the reader with dry facts. Instead he illustrates his ideas with living examples from the Indian market.

This is not a dull and didactic marketing management tome. It is lively compendium of ideas, challenging the reader with questions. The author is in great demand at IIMs and management schools as adjunct faculty on branding and advertising. I am sure his students would have been amused and spellbound during his lectures, more importantly they would have learnt something useful. He has achieved the same with this funny, serious, light heated and occasionally profound book.

I strongly recommend it to anyone who is interested in understanding how products are marketed and iconic brands created in India.

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