Up until a century ago, most of the wealthy and powerful nations exulted their dominance by
going to invading other territories. However, with multiple revolutions and the expulsion of colonialism, the unfortunate countries started to develop a great deal of self-awareness and prestige.
Independence too? Not really. And that is where the twist of the story lies.
Although the government may blow bells and whistles to convince us that we’re an independent nation, the truth is that we are not. But a happier part of the story is that, we are starting to show our dominance in the world in a new way.
Over the past decades, global brands have been Indianized (hesitantly) to a great degree, so that they can be sold in India. Majors such as Unilever and Suzuki are the finest examples of this case. Then, there were brands that were not Indianized, remaining authentically phoren, and in-turn appeared to be a lot more valuable and thus command a premium. These brands were what the then Indian upper-class bought. Proudly.
Today, that is changing. And boy am I glad!
Now, the global expanse and expertise of our Indian corporations is what’s going to steer our culture and pride, and indirectly, bring up a world of Indian dominance.
We’ve all learnt that ancient India was a land of intellectuals. People were highly educated. And through that, they learnt to express themselves; to dream up new innovations. Today, that is what Airtel claims to empower its customers to do, and through that maybe letting India express its desire to take on the world.
Africa is currently touted as an investor’s paradise. The infrastructure in most African countries, at least in capitals, easily puts to shame some of the best infrastructure we’ve got in India. Airtel is the brand that’s singlehandedly showing Indian dominance in Africa. Following a massive acquisition of the Middle East based Zain mobile, it got the rights to operate in fifteen African countries at a go. Something they did that, even today, remains unusual for Indian companies is the consolidation and unification of all the African operations, incorporating them into one international brand, the famous and all-Indian “Airtel”. There, India got its first true multinational brand, with Airtel effortlessly topping up to the top three mobile carriers in the world.
In Africa, where mobile phone tariffs were exorbitant, Airtel moved in and dropped them. Triggering a price war, it put many of the locally established players in a panic and standing on their feet due to the arrival of “that multinational company”. However, consumers continue to benefit to this day. It’d definitely not be wrong to say that Airtel created a mini-revolution of sorts in at least a few of those African countries. As an Indian, it’s even more heartening when randomly, someone’s phone in a busy commercial centre rings to the tunes of A. R. Rahman’s famous Airtel jingle. Oh, and even in Africa, har ek friend zaroori hota hai!
Photo credit: www.mobileworldmag.com