ISB Updates

Niti Aayog and ISB Leaders Forum

Prominent thought leaders from the government, industry and academic discussed directional and policy inputs for national programmes at the NITI Aayog-ISB Leaders Forum. The first meeting of the Forum took place to discuss “Why Nations Need to Brand: The Way Forward for India”. The discussion chaired by NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant, was attended by other senior government officials, captains of industry and ISB Dean, faculty, and other functionaries.

“The objectives of the Forum align with the overarching charter of the NITI Aayog to provide relevant technical advice to the Centre and States, while designing strategic and long term policies and programmes for the Government of India and to create a knowledge, innovation and entrepreneurial support system for the industry,” Amitabh Kant said, adding the Forum would work through a collaborative community of national and international experts, practitioners and other partners.

“ISB on its part will leverage the body of research and academic network at its command, to bring thought leadership to the table. We will put together a sustainable and scalable approach for nation branding and improving perceptions of India for long term advantage,” added Rajendra Srivastava, Dean and Professor Marketing Strategy and Innovation, ISB.

Addressing the first meeting of the Forum, Professor David J. Reibstein, the William S Woodside Professor of Marketing at the Wharton School, shared inputs from his work on “Why Countries Need to Sell Themselves” with a particular emphasis on what India needs to focus on to improve its ranking worldwide.

While India faces challenges on dimensions such as openness to business and quality of life (e.g., health and nutrition), it could play to its strengths and “soft power” such as its influential culture, technological expertise, rich history, great food, politically influential leadership and an affordable economy where it scores better than many other countries. The vibrant discussion engaging industry captains, government officials and thought leaders concluded stressing on a strategy to balance out the negatives with the positives, for gaining prominence among the BRICS countries in the first instance. This engagement also suggested the need for active engagement of industry, government and educational institutions in enhancing India’s brand image and global reputation.