This Veteran Global Brand Manager Believes in Just One – Brand India

The Indian spirit of jugaad innovation will lead to real growth says Chaudhuri.

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A global veteran in marketing, Sanjeeb Chaudhuri, has handled the brand management of some of the world's biggest companies.


From the FMCG stalwarts including Procter & Gamble, Colgate-Palmolive and Unilever to the banking giants such as Citigroup and currently at Standard Chartered Bank Group Plc, Chaudhuri is the voice that knows how to build a brand.

The current Chief Marketing Officer at the British banking conglomerate Standard Chartered Bank sees India as the best place for a company to be in.

In a conversation with Entrepreneur, Chaudhuri, talks about some of key trends for Indian brands and how the country can leverage changes to create value.

Indian Brands Creating Value Overseas

The first trend is that we have some very strong local brands that exist in India's financial services space as well as in the consumer space.

Chaudhuri says what the current policy change is doing in terms of giving an impetus to some more local brands in the payments space is only adding to an already large group of names that are quite well-known.

"I think Indian brands are moving out and creating offices overseas. Some foreign brands may come newly in India, but a strong number of India brands are also likely to create value overseas, says Chaudhuri.

Indian Banks Can Leverage Digitisation

Indian banks' digital offering is at par with the rest of the world. Sometimes even more advanced believes Chaudhuri.

"This phenomenon exists only because the Indian consumer is very advanced. So to that extent, some of the capabilities in functionality terms in mobile banking are best in class," says Chaudhuri.

The fact is it will only get better because the Indian ecosystem requires you to constantly innovate.

You'll see growth of an exponential nature in India only because very large chunks of the unbanked population will come under the regular banking sector. As they do that, you will see a huge surge in financial literacy says Chaudhuri.

Banks Will Stay So Will Mobile Wallets

Incumbent banks are very important in the financial sector because you are dealing with people's money. To the extent that incumbent banks can internalize new technologies and provide those services to customers, that's fine believes Chaudhuri.

Because then you have taken the benefit of the brand along with the cutting edge technology of an innovator and you have brought it to the bank. That is the way of the future. What we are seeing is model management. The stake of investment is too large for only one company to do everything.

The money will flow in the direction of the intellectual capital if it's unique or if the bank things they can do it themselves.

"Most of companies are either licensing or selling to the incumbents. This is a global phenomenon, some great technology is brought in house and everyone wins, says Chaudhuri.

Indian Workforce is Unique

The quality of our workforce, in terms of education, knowledge of English, ability to be mobile is something you don't have in any other part of the world. It's a unique combination says Chaudhuri.

"I know Sri Lanka and Philippines have the knowledge of English but do they have similar engineering skills, numeric skills, but the combination of everything makes us very rich in talent.

High Quality Service Provider – The Real Winner

The need of the hour is an attempt to winning customer value proposition. If that value proposition could be priced, could be serviced, could be features or a combination of all three, whoever has the best one will win says Chaudhuri.

"I feel Indian companies are going out and making a great splash. Some of the innovations that are experimented and tested in India are great and work great outside. Think the Indian ecosystem requires a certain level of skill, to my mind, that is the biggest advantage that we have."

In every economy, the MSMEs are the most thriving part of the economy. In terms of recession, larger companies tend to take a shock. In the Indian context, SMEs tend to be the ones that continue to do business in times of duress because they have much smaller footprint, they have more ambition and I think that will continue.

The Indian spirit of innovation, i.e. the jugaad innovation will lead to real growth says Chaudhuri.