8 management lessons to learn from Narendra Modi’s election juggernaut - R Jagannathan

Forty-five days from now, we will know if Narendra Modi's stupendous effort to bag the country's top job has been successful or not. But no one, friend or foe, bhakt or critic, can deny that he has mounted one hell of a campaign that will, at some point, provide a global B-school case study.

Consider the sheer energy he has put in. The election dates were announced just about a month ago, but Modi has been on the campaign trail since September 2012 – yes, 2012. That’s when he began the Gujarat campaign. That’s 19 months on the stump, a punishing schedule.

If Modi finally makes it 7, Race Course Road, it will be one of the most fascinating victories in Indian history – a story without precedent.

What are the key management lessons one can learn from the success of the Modi juggernaut so far?

First, declare your ambitions and goals clearly. Rarely in Indian elections have we seen any candidate clearly state what he wants and what he hopes to achieve if he gets what he wants. While others pussyfoot around the idea and act coy, Modi has always been clear he wanted to be PM. This is the main reason why many voters are clear about giving him a chance.

This is simple logic. Consider that there are three applicants for a job. The first applicant says it does not matter if he gets the job or not, for he is on to higher things. The second applicant says everyone else is a crook and doesn’t deserve the job. The final applicant says he wants the job and he is best qualified for it. He is willing to work hard and brandishes his past achievements to support his candidature.

Who will you give the job to? The chances are you will consider the person who is keen on the job, seems to have the qualifications, and willing to toil for it.

This is the power of goal clarity and focus.

Second, break the final target into a set of smaller targets and milestones.

Modi’s milestones were clear: First, win Gujarat convincingly, next win public backing for his candidature through carefully-choreographed speeches to specific audiences (starting with the address to the Shriram College of Commerce in January 2013 in Delhi), then win party support by getting the cadre excited at various fora, and then expand his support base by winning votes for his party CMs in various assembly elections (but after sealing his candidature for the top post). Now he is in sight of the final peak: getting enough votes in crucial states to lead his party to victory and form a government. Modi ran his campaign like a US presidential election - from primaries to the final party nomination and on to voting day.

Third, demonstrate strength, then invite stakeholders. One of the big myths perpetrated by the media is that Modi would never get allies because of 2002. For a while it seemed likely to prove true. But Modi did not bother with this theory. He knew allies would come if they saw winning potential in him. Once he demonstrated public support and the opinion polls started conveying the same groundswell of support across the country, allies started trickling in one by one. It is strength that attracts allies, not entreaties.

Fourth, eliminate doubters and bring in team players. This is one of the core philosophies that saw Roald Amundsen, the Norwegian explorer, beat Robert Scott to the South Pole in 1911. Amundsen knew that if his team had to make it first, it needed competent people, but more important, he needed people who would fall in line and not try to be too individualistic. As Morten Hansen writes in this HBR blog: “Amundsen emphasised unity and teamwork over individual competence. He got rid of his best person, Johansen, and booted him from the final assault team because he had quarrelled with Amundsen openly in front of all the others. Amundsen could not risk fracture in his team, which could jeopardise the whole enterprise. Likewise, Bill Gates was quick to manage out people who didn’t fit, including two presidents…”.

This is exactly what Modi did. First, he got his bête noire Sanjay Joshi out of Gujarat in 2012. Then he got the party to appoint his key person, Amit Shah, as the person in charge of his most important state – Uttar Pradesh. Shah is facing cases against him in some encounter killings, but for Modi his loyalty and political acumen was what mattered. He brought back BS Yeddyurappa despite opposition from within, and tied up with Ram Vilas Paswan in Bihar despite misgivings in his party. Inside the party, LK Advani has been neutered, and Jaswant Singh shown the door. Everybody knows now who is boss. To be sure, Modi will still face some internal conspirators – political parties are not like South Pole explorers with small teams of specialists - but he will probably deal with them if he wins. He can’t outplace everyone and still seek to win.

As Hansen writes in his HBR blog: “Amundsen was not nice, warm, and fuzzy. However, he didn’t take the easy path (“let’s hope it will work out”) but made difficult choices ahead of time. In selecting people, it is not about being nice, but rigorous.”

Modi is not in the race to win awards for being nice to people.

Fifth, plan meticulously and in detail. TV viewers watching Modi’s speeches in various places may think it is all about oratory, but that is only one part of the Modi plan to communicate with the masses. The truth is there is an entire army of people working to support his rallies. There in a huge IT crew that monitors the buzz on social media. There is a huge contingent of on-ground researchers who thank people who come to his rallies and seek feedback.

A Narendra Modi rally is not about erecting a stage and giving the speakers a mike. There is water-tight security combing, there are LED screens to give everyone who attends a clear view of the man, there are speakers at vantage points to amplify every soundbyte from the stage - the works. Plus there are feeds organised for the TV channels, and facilities for live streaming on the internet.

Says an Indian Express report: “Narendra Modi rallies have, in recent times, gone on to become full-fledged stage productions involving light, sound, carefully chosen music, stage design and sky cameras — all intended to enhance viewer experience and build the Modi brand.”

An Economic Times report explains why a Modi rally is not just any event: “At every Modi meeting, an army of volunteers combs through the crowd, gathering feedback, profiling attendees and making a headcount. Later the party's IT cell collates all the data.”

Sixth, set the agenda and keep control. Companies which hope to win in a competitive arena must choose their battlefield and the agenda. In this election, Modi has been setting the agenda most of the time. During the Gujarat campaign, he spent more time attacking Sonia and Rahul than on local issues – he took the nation’s eyes way from any nagging issues in his own state. The media labelled him as uncouth, and pooh-paahed him. He won by setting the agenda to his advantage.

After emerging from Gujarat on the national stage, he began talking of the Gujarat model. Suddenly, the man who everyone labelled communal was talking growth and development and introducing new talking points to the TV and media circuit. The agenda excited young voters at a time when Rahul Gandhi was talking elliptically about “escape velocities”. The Gujarat model is now being questioned following Arvind Kejriwal’s foray into Gujarat, but the agenda has changed again. It is too late to debunk the Gujarat model. The Congress gave him space to introduce the Gujarat model by initially ignoring him. Now that they have decided to take him on, he has shifted the agenda again.

Over the last few weeks, the main issue in this election is Modi himself. All his detractors have taken him on – making him the focus of this election. This suits Modi since this election will now be a referendum on him. He has not only set the agenda, he has become the agenda.

Take another example: Till a few months ago, the general assumption was that everyone votes regionally – and regionally alone. Indian Lok Sabha elections are about parties and alliances, not about the candidate. But Modi has succeeded in making this election substantially presidential.

Seventh, attack the enemy where he is weak. This strategy is, of course, obvious. Modi’s strength has been the UPA’s economic failures, and the meekness of Manmohan Singh as PM. It did not need a Modi to discover where the UPA’s chinks were, but it required genius to discover whom to attack, how to attack, and for what.

Contrary to general assumptions, Manmohan Singh’s weakness is actually his strength and his weakness his strength. As LK Advani found out in 2009 and even later in parliament, if you attack Singh’s meekness, you risk public opprobrium and Singh can easily turn the tables. But if you pity him, you gain. The meek always inherit the public’s sympathies. Modi was happy to defend Singh when Rahul Gandhi insulted him by rubbishing the ordinance to help convicted criminals as “nonsense”. Modi defended Singh. He attacks Sonia and Rahul more in order to expose the weakness of their government.

Eighth, never play to your weakness. Answering direct questions from aggressive TV anchors is an uncontrollable situation. As Rahul Gandhi discovered in his TV interview with Arnab Goswami, you can make a fool of yourself. Modi, in contrast, uses only friendly interviewers for his Q&As. He has learnt from bitter experience – as in the India Today Conclave in 2013, when he lost his cool following aggressive questioning about 2002. It is unlikely he will change this strategy as long as he is not PM.

This is not to suggest that every part of his strategy is well worked out. That’s not the case. Modi still does not have a substantial think-tank lending weight to his interviews. He probably talks too much extempore with small strategic inputs, and does not prepare enough when talking on the economy or complex subjects.

On the other hand, he has also not committed himself to making elaborate promises to the electorate that he cannot keep. That will work to his advantage if he gets election. He has great expectations to meet, but few promises to keep. more  

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There is always a second side of argument. I personally feel no one votes only on manifesto. How many Indians have read manifestos of all major parties. Development and corfuption are major issues for majority of people. However the pseudointelectuals are people who want sikularism as issue to polarise people. AAP created flutter on corfuption issue later joined the bandwagon of sikularism. To remind I am Strong supporter of secularism but will vote for Mody in this election more  
'ग़ैर-हिंदुत्व और हिंदुत्व' के बीच फंसी भाजपा
By BBC Hindi, 08 Apr 2014 11:05 AM


2014-04-07T18:33:47+05:30 अजित साही आम चुनाव के लिए भारतीय जनता पार्टी (भाजपा) ने अपना घोषणापत्र जारी कर दिया है. घोषणापत्र से ज़ाहिर होता है कि जीत और सत्ता की चाह ने एक बार फिर पार्टी को ग़ैर-हिंदुत्व और हिंदुत्व के दो पाटन के बीच लटका दिया है. पहले जीत और सत्ता की चाह में हो रहे हिंदुत्व के पाटन की बात करते हैं. भाजपा की ओर से हमेशा ये संकेत रहे हैं कि उन्हें मुसलमानों के वोट की ज़रूरत नहीं है क्योंकि उनका एजेंडा ही हिंदुत्व का है. ऐसे में उनकी राजनीति स्वत: मुस्लिम-विरोधी हो जाती है. लेकिन घोषणापत्र में मुसलमानों को जीतने की भाजपा की पुरज़ोर कोशिश दिखाती है कि उन्हें मालूम है कि बग़ैर मुसलमानों के वोट के भाजपा अकेले दम पर लोकसभा में बहुमत नहीं पा सकती है. भाजपा का घोषणपत्र कहता है भाजपा सरकार देश भर के मदरसों में विज्ञान और गणित की पढ़ाई शुरू करवाएगी. ध्यान देने की बात है कि घोषणापत्र समिति के मुखिया मुरली मनोहर जोशी ने कहा कि मुसलमानों को शिक्षा और उद्योग में उचित मौक़ा मिलना चाहिए. अगर भाजपा वाक़ई संजीदा है तो ये वादे अहम हैं. ये दिखाते हैं कि पिछले बीस सालों में
अगड़ों, पिछड़ों, सिखों और दलितों की राजनीति करने के बाद भाजपा मुस्लिम हितैषी बन कर भारतीय राजनीति में कांग्रेस पार्टी की उत्तराधिकारी बनना चाहती है. लेकिन ऐसा नहीं है कि इस घोषणापत्र को पढ़ते ही मुसलमानों का दिल पिघल जाएगा और वो झट से भाजपा को वोट दे देंगे. हिंदुत्व के पाटन की मजबूरी में एक बार फिर भाजपा ने अयोध्या में रामजन्मभूमि के विवादित स्थल पर मंदिर निर्माण कराने का वादा कर दिया है. और शायद ही कोई भारतीय मुसलमान बाबरी मस्जिद की ज़मीन से अपने वजूद को अलग कर सकता है. युवा मतदाताओं ने रामजन्मभूमि की कहानी भले ही सुन रखी हो, संविधान के अनुच्छेद 370 और यूनिफ़ॉर्म सिविल कोड के बारे में उनको शायद ही मालूम होगा. यह सब जानते हुए भी कि आज के वोटर इन मुद्दों से प्रभावित नहीं होंगे. भाजपा ने मजबूरन इन मुद्दों को अपने घोषणापत्र में शामिल किया है क्योंकि ऐसा नहीं करने से उस पर हिंदू मुद्दों का तिरस्कार करने का आरोप आ जाता. अनुच्छेद 370 मुस्लिम बाहुल्य जम्मू-कश्मीर को देश के बाक़ी राज्यों के मुकाबले विशेष दर्ज़ा देता है जो हिंदुत्व को क़ुबूल नहीं है. यूनिफ़ॉर्म सिविल कोड मुसलमानों को शादी, तलाक़ और उत्तराधिकार जैसे निजी मामले में क़ुरान की रीति पर चलने की मिली आज़ादी को ख़त्म करने की बात करता है. दोनों मुद्दे भाजपा को मुसलमानों से दूर रखते रहे हैं और रखते रहेंगे. यूँ तो घोषणापत्र में हर क़िस्म के वादे हैं, उसका अधिक ज़ोर शहरों पर है जहाँ भाजपा को जीत की ज़्यादा उम्मीद रहती है. भाजपा का दावा है कि वो शहरी इलाक़ों में सार्वजनिक वाईफ़ाई इंटरनेट का प्रावधान करेगी और उच्च शिक्षा को बढ़ावा देगी. लेकिन घोषणापत्र ये नहीं बताता कि उच्च शिक्षा के बढ़ावे के लिए पार्टी कौन से ठोस क़दम उठाएगी. भारतीय जनता पार्टी का मानना है कि घोषणापत्र में किए गए ये वादे युवा वोटरों को आकर्षित करेंगे. भाजपा की पिछली सरकार ने विदेश में पढ़ाई के लिए आसान किश्तों पर छात्र-छात्राओं को सरकारी बैंकों से ऋण दिलाया जिसके कारण पढ़े-लिखे युवा वर्ग ने उनका साथ दिया था. इन सबके बावजूद 2004 के आमचुनाव में भाजपा की तत्कालीन सरकार युवाओं का ज़्यादा वोट नहीं खींच पाई थी. कई वादे ऐसे हैं जिन पर अमल करना अगर असम्भव नहीं तो बेहद मुश्किल होगा. भाजपा का वादा है कि वह शिक्षा पर सरकारी ख़र्च को बढ़ाकर जीडीपी का छह फ़ीसद कर देगी. यानि आज शिक्षा पर जितना ख़र्च होता है लगभग उसका दोगुना. लेकिन घोषणापत्र ये नहीं बताता है कि इस ख़र्च के लिए भाजपा की सरकार 6.5 लाख करोड़ रुपए आख़िर कहाँ से लाएगी. उदारवादी आर्थिक नीति की पक्षधर भाजपा, ख़ासतौर से उसके प्रधानमंत्री पद के उम्मीदवार नरेंद्र मोदी, हर व्यवस्था के निजीकरण की हिमा़यत करते हैं. उनका ये वादा उनकी आर्थिक सोच का अंतर्विरोध दिखाता है. इसी तरह मौलिक सुधार के अधिकतर वादों पर अमल मुश्किल होगा. न्यायालयों की संख्या दोगुनी कर देने का वादा अव्यवहारिक है. न केवल इसके लिए रक़म जुगाड़ना मुश्किल होगा, बल्कि इसका भी भरोसा नहीं कि जजों की संख्या दोगुने हो जाने से मुक़दमों में भी वृद्धि नहीं होगी. ऐसा ही एक वादा उद्योग से जुड़े लोगों, शिक्षाविदों और समाज के विभिन्न वर्गों के लोगों को नौकरशाही में सम्मिलित करने से जुड़ा हुआ है. यहां भी सवाल उठता है कि क्या अफ़सर कभी भी ग़ैर-बाबुओं को अपने बीच आसानी से जगह देंगे? इसी तरह भाजपा के घोषणापत्र में औद्योगिक विनिर्माण में तेज़ी लाने के और कृषि विकास के तमाम वादे सतही हैं. ये कहना आसान है कि रोज़गार-प्रधान उद्योगों को बढ़ावा दिया जाएगा. लेकिन उद्योग लगाने के लिए बाज़ार का होना भी आवश्यक है जहां निर्मित माल बेचा जा सके. पिछले छह सालों की आर्थिक मंदी के चलते यूरोप और अमरीका के विकसित देशों के बाज़ार ठंडे पड़े हैं. इस वजह से चीन, पूर्वोत्तर एशिया और दक्षिण अमेरिका के निर्माण-प्रधान मुल्कों के उद्योगों में काट-छाँट का दौर जारी रहा है. ऐसे में व्यापक स्तर पर भारत में ताज़ा राष्ट्रीय या अंतरराष्ट्रीय निवेश होना कम ही सम्भव दिखता है. कालाबाज़ारी से निपटने के लिए भाजपा कहती है कि वो एक मूल्य स्थिरीकरण कोष स्थापित करेगी. और गोदाम में माल छिपा कर रखने वालों पर मुक़दमे चलाने के लिए विशेष अदालतें बनाएगी. आख़िर इस ख़र्च के लिए उगाही कहाँ से होगी? भाजपा कहती है कि वो कृषि में पारंपरिक रोज़गार के रास्ते मज़बूत करेगी. साथ ही वो कृषि में तकनीकी सुधार की भी बात करती है. दरअसल पार्टी की सोच क्या है ये तभी पता चलेगा जब वो अपनी कृषि नीति की विस्तृत जानकारी देगी. घोषणापत्र कहता है कि भाजपा सरकार हर नागरिक को पक्का घर मुहैया कराएगी और सस्ते घरों की स्कीम निकालेगी. लेकिन वह ये नहीं बताती ये सब कैसे होगा. भारत में हर छठा नागरिक झुग्गी-झोंपड़ी में रहता है. शहरों में 100 में एक इंसान बेघर है. भ्रष्टाचार उन्मूलन के लिए भाजपा के वादे ठोस नहीं हैं. आश्चर्य है कि जहाँ आम आदमी पार्टी ने जनलोकपाल का नारा देकर दे सवाल से एजेंडा तय किया हुआ है वहाँ भाजपा सिर्फ़ ई-गवरनेंस की बात कर रही है. भाजपा का सबसे रोचक सुझाव है कि वह लोकसभा और सभी विधानसभा चुनाव एक साथ करवाएगी. ऐसा हो जाने से चुनावी ख़र्च बहुत कम हो जाएगा. लेकिन क्या ये संसदीय प्रणाली के आधार को ही नहीं ख़त्म कर देगा? more  

Truly, it is amazing.  We all should vote for a leader who is clear what he will do once he becomes PM.

Thanks for sharing.

Warm Regards,
On Sunday, 6 April 2014 7:40 AM, Sheetal Jain <support@localcirclesmail.com> wrote: more  
Already we Indians are paying huge..huge.. huge.. amount to government in shape of indirect taxes.

Because of this amount India is facing Big..Big..Big.. SCAMs, Swiss bank accounts, Luxury life of our politicians INCLUDING retirement benefits for five years service only.



Dil ki Nahi, Dimaag (Mind) ki Suno.

Jo public ki maane, usko Chuno. more  
Its all is fine. Now its result that matters most. NM MUST WIN more  
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      There are times in the history of a republic when it reduces itself to jackboot. Nothing more and nothing less. We are witnessing that moment in Kashmir. But this moment is also a dry run for the p...

      By Azam Yusuf
    • Article 370 eliminated

      Congratulations to Modi Government. 1st bold decision. Do work on the economy though...

      By Sheetal Jain
    • RTI amendment

      Please find attached and fight the misinformation campaign.

      By Rajesh Suri
    • Is it time for yet another demonetisation ?

      In 2016,when Prime Minister Narendra Modi demonetised high value currency notes of Rs. 1000 and Rs. 500, it shocked the nation as all the country men were caught unaware of. Mr. Modi explained that...

      By N.S. Venkataraman
    • Will the $5 trillion economy be possible for India by 2024 ?

      After receiving massive mandate in recent parliament election and getting second term as Prime Minister of India, Mr. Narendra Modi with his characteristic courage of conviction and confidence and...

      By N.S. Venkataraman
    • Congress politicians may cross over to BJP

      candidates whose name I am hearing in Delhi Jyotiraditya Scindia Shashi Tharoor Milind Deora If anyone knows more, share.

      By Rajesh Suri
    • Invitation for Swearing in Ceremony

      Modi ji gave attached invites to all VIPs, party workers, kins of party workers deceased in west bengal. For the next big event half the invites should be reserved for common citizens (s...

      By Rajesh Suri
    • 1984 vs 2019

      Blue turns Orange. If Modi Govt does good work and Congress/3rd fromt rebuilds itself, one can assume it will take 35 years for Orange to turn Blue/Diff colour again

      By Rajesh Suri
    • Muslims Support Modi as much

      Just watch people watch. Amazing Mandate!!!!

      By Rajesh Suri
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