Reflections on Demonetisation in India

Prime Minister Modi’s radical decision to cancel 500 and 1000 INR notes was unprecedented and unexpected. It was designed to stamp out the black economy and in a sop to nationalists was sold as an anti-terrorism measure. No mention was made of the likely impact on political parties who rely on cash donations to grease wheels during election time.


In the short-term the measure has drawn attention to India’s corruption problems and the importance of undisclosed cash payments in all spheres of the economy: 86% of transactions are in cash and much of the paperwork is inaccurate. If successful, the longer term outlook will be beneficial if it leads to a more transparent economy. The challenge will be changing the culture of backhanders and inaccurate invoicing. The question will be if this is just a clearing of the balance and the citizenry will start hoarding the new notes as fast as the old!

Money Reputation

Businesses and citizens rely on the stability of the currency to plan for the future. Modi has show himself to be bold, but the question is whether this will worry people about what else he can do in the future. What other tricks does he have up his sleeve and what impact might that have on investment decisions.

Money is a figure of trust – it means nothing if you cannot trust it – simply a piece of paper to light a fire. Indians have discovered that bundles of paper that were designed to tied them over in the future are now worth nothing. What will be the longer-term impact on citizens? Indians already have an obsession with gold and other portable stores of wealth – will that increase in future?

Anatomy of a modern-day political PR campaign in India

The Anna Hazare fast, now that’s its over, was a nifty PR campaign and a great political one at that. While the 74-year-old Anna with his 12-day fast resembling the many fasts that Gandhi made for the country before and after independence has become an icon; ‘Team Anna’ walked away with PR success.  Arvind Kejriwal, Kiran Bedi and other popular people like actors Anupam Kher, Om Puri and Aamir Khan all made up the PR machine behind the scenes for Team Anna.  Continue reading “Anatomy of a modern-day political PR campaign in India”

Cameron’s predictable zero tolerance policy

David Cameron has emerged from his tuscan holiday hangover with a classic tory response to crime – zero tolerance; which presumably means that he was tolerant of crime before. Politicians like to posture like this as a sign they are tough leaders. For the past few years Cameron has sought to distance himself from the traditional conservative stance on crime with his concept of the big society. Last week’s riot has seen a pivot towards the old positions. Whether this is a long term change or simple expediency… We will see.

Anthony Weiner Lewd photo – Twitter stardom gone sour

Rep. Anthony Weiner was only a few days ago a Twitter celebrity  with a large following and also listed in Time Magazine’s top 140 Tweeps to follow. Politicians who do well on Twitter are rare and Weiner sure had his moments, he’s funny and is not afraid to speak his mind.

Anthony Weiner is of course now embroiled in a controversy.  His twitter account sent a lewd photo to a Seattle college student. He then screamed ‘his twitter was hacked’, and later said he cannot be sure if the picture was actually his. Democrats, Weiner’s party backers, have distanced themselves from him and comedians are having a field day punning his name.

“I can’t say with certitude,” … “My system was hacked. Pictures can be manipulated.”

Weiner on reputation damage control mode made quite a few errors…

Continue reading “Anthony Weiner Lewd photo – Twitter stardom gone sour”

Top Ten Don’ts of Reputation Management

Yesterday we did a piece on the Top Ten Reputation Management Tips, detailing 10 things you really should be doing to preserve your own/brand name on t’internet. And, while we freely admit that the list wasn’t exhaustive, there are also some things which – equally as importantly – you should NOT be doing. Whilst amicable that you should wish to fix any issues that may arise, within you is the potential to make things a whole lot worse, too.

Continue reading “Top Ten Don’ts of Reputation Management”

India corruption fight against bad reputation

India fights its reputation of being one of the most corrupt nations in the world, even as the Father of the nation, Gandhi’, had a new book alluding to his bi-sexuality and asking questions about his reputation. The book has clearly lost the interest it piqued when it was first reported and most Indians seemed quite okay about it, though there were the usual smattering of outrage and calls for ban so characteristic of traditional India.

Corruption has been new India’s worry and national shame and only the recent Cricket world cup win has taken the common man’s attention off of corruption. The stage was however set… the large enraged middle class, often struck with helplessness in the whole system of corruption was looking for a spark. And it came in the form of Anna Hazare, a 71-year old activist, who has invoked Gandhi’s civil disobedience movement with a fast unto death to introduce the 1968 Lok Pal bill which has been bypassed by succesive governments. The Gandhi reputation sure seems unshaken! Continue reading “India corruption fight against bad reputation”

Corporate Reputation lessons from Ben Ali, Mubarak & Gaddafi

Every institution should know that it is dangerous to think that community looks at you as you look yourself. And with falling of dictators in the Middle East reminds me of how the above principle tends to apply, very democratically, through to brands, governments and individuals.

When you look at this from a close quarter, you see that the crisis lies with the leaders who tend to forget that governance, product or service will not withstand for long time, if you have a battered reputation down the line. Public or customer opinion is a key factor, and it’s only when actions ally with the reputation it enhances your brand worth.

And this brings us to the Middle East. Taking into account the ousted leaders in Egypt and Tunisia and now in Libya with Gaddafi feeling the heat, it is obvious, that Public will revolt and is likely to spiral to other parts of the world.  With no concrete measures and hard rule stance the gap had grown between misinformation and public opinion. Continue reading “Corporate Reputation lessons from Ben Ali, Mubarak & Gaddafi”

Egypt crisis and the social media revolution!

The Egypt crisis has escalated and perhaps reached a crescendo with a millon people protesting in Tahrir Square in Cairo, today. Interesting, how it all began and took momentum via the viral nature of Twitter, Facebook and Blackberry messages. Social networks as a socio-political tool is what we can take back from the situation in Egypt and Tunisia.

While economic issues of unemployment is the main reason for the crisis, it is also the tech-savvy, internet user of below 30 years and their disconnect with the ruling government, and in Egypt’s case, the authoritarian 30-year regime of Hosni Mubarak that has caused the crisis.

Social media is just one of the main weapons to galvanize support, to converge, to co-ordinate and vent anger in such a  situation. The hashtag #Egypt continuously comes up on twitter, often much too fast to read. To see democracy being taken seriously in Muslim countries in Africa by itself makes this unrest fascinating for the rest of the world. Continue reading “Egypt crisis and the social media revolution!”

Sarah Palin’s political reputation hit by the Arizona massacre fallout

The former  Alaska governor, Sarah Palin  found herself in the firing range as her opponents unleashed fiery criticisms in the wake of the Arizona massacre that left six people dead. Some of her political opponents  suggested that the violent political rhetoric could have played a role in the attempted assassination of Democratic Representative Gabrielle Giffords. Mrs. Palin  has been criticized for  the website that she created  “Take Back the 20”, which included a map of the US with cross hairs on congressional districts of Democrat candidates including Miss Giffords, which she had singled out for defeat. Continue reading “Sarah Palin’s political reputation hit by the Arizona massacre fallout”

Top 10 reputation crisis of 2010 – a recap!

Being Reputation Management Consultants,  Reputation Management, have come with our list of top 10 reputation crashes in the year that was! Being the festive season and all, we’re doing it as honors awarded to the great captains of Industries, firms, celebrities and brands that went through a reputation storm in 2010… Continue reading “Top 10 reputation crisis of 2010 – a recap!”