What’s On

One year on, the story of Modi Govt and social media

The Indian market is abuzz with Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance’s government completing a year at its office in South Block. The last year served a filling portion of praises and as well as criticism for the Modi party. Praises as India was emerging after a term of policy paralysis and inefficient governance by the Congress-led government and criticism because some of the expectations from the Modi party were way beyond target for a one-year old government.

While talking about the government’s achievements and failures in the country, we cannot deny digital media its fair share of buzz. Positive or negative but no political party has been able to employ digital media to mobilise a country of over 120 crore people, gather 800 million votes and come to power with largest majority. “With Mr Modi sitting at the Prime Minister’s Officer, everyone wants to now own a piece of the digital revolution – from corporates that are transforming their businesses using technology to every Indian who wants that smartphone to get better connected to the world and enjoy access to education, expression and empowerment,” said Charulata Ravi Kumar, Chief Executive Officer of Razorfish India.

In such a scenario, social media was a bank of all those positive and negative commentary from the voters in India. The new government hasn’t led a ‘movement’ in the digital journey in India but it was calling of Digital India that prompted the new government to take the digital route and steer development for the tech-savvy India. George Kovoor, Senior Creative Director at OgilvyOne Worldwide reiterated the sentiment and said, “Social media is a vehicle for the people to comment on the policies but in the last one year I have seen the government exercising influence over digital media in India but digital media is exercising control over the government.”

But Pradeep Chopra, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder at Digital Vidya feels otherwise. He said, “In addition, other state elections especially Delhi elections have played a major role in driving a lot of new users to social media and in making them more active on this media. A lot of brands who were not serious about social media saw an opportunity and they along with already active brands got present to the fact that they’ve no choice but to embrace social media.”

Digital India being the government’s most proud innovation has managed to shake up the entire digital marketing industry in India and has paved a new road to marketers, which gives them a pool of new opportunities to explore in the space. But proposal such as the National Optical Fibre Network for Gram Panchayats, Cloud documentation, Twitter Samvad, and Make in India are only some of the innovation which the government has kick-started in its first year. But with continued investment and optimism India will soon acquire position as a digital hub in the world map.

With #SaalEkShuruaatAnek as the top trend of Twitter today, and Mr Modi writing an open letter to NDA on completing a year, the government rolling out a new website on the occasion of completing one year, and politicians congratulating PM Modi, the marketing experts in India have interpreted the last one year of Mr Modi’s social media presence in a different fashion.

“Mr Modi’s presence on social media has been accompanied by the constant presence and reactions of organised and unorganised hordes of bhakts. His follower count on Twitter apart, I’m not sure what meanings have been refined for social marketing for brands in India, other than the ones we already knew—connect often, but connect meaningfully. On that count, he’s had some hits, and some misses,” pointed Narayan Devanathan, Executive Vice President and National Planning Director at Dentsu India Group.

However, they largely concluded that the tech and digital innovations cannot be credited to Mr Modi alone. He did help the economic sentiment and the general mood of the country that invited private equity firms and venture capitalists from outside India to invest but only continued momentum in the market can help India maintain the optimism.