Here and Now 365 MD Manish Tiwari Speaks at Asia House
With the great Indian election in the not-so-distant past, Asia House hosted a talk with FICCI aimed at analysing what set the BJP apart resulting in victory. Here and Now 365 Managing Director, Manish Tiwari spoke to an engaged audience about how technology effectively revolutionised the campaigning and thus voting process.
Indian elections of past years were driven by booze power, cash power and muscle power. Narendra Modi effectively broke the mould; he saw beyond the superficial and recognised that using social media and innovative marketing strategies were they way to win voters. There has been a drastic change in technology since 2009 when only 10% of rural Indians owned phones– today there are 519 million mobile subscribers.
There are 93 million Facebook accounts and 33 million Twitter accounts in India and growing exponentially
“Mobile is very integral to our strategy. One of the BJP’s most unique electioneering tools allows potential voters to listen in on Modi’s rally speeches in real time on their phones from anywhere in India. It’s our own innovation.”
— Arvind Gupta, BJP Head of IT
There were three political parties voting in the elections:
- Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) let by Arvind Kejriwal won the election in Delhi by promoting their platform via social media. They failed however because their stance became more about what the party was over country.
- Congress and Rahul Gandhi: While Gandhi was portrayed as the youth minister, he and the party stuck to traditional methods of campaigning and ultimately failed.
- BJP headed by Narendra Modi recognised the change in the way voters consume information and struck a chord with the youth. Even at 63-years-old, Modi saw the opportunity in change used it to his advantage.
- 507 to 509 million voters came out
- 150 million were first-time voters
- As a country, India boasts the most internet users in the world at 238 million
- Maharashtra, UP and Gujarat are the most tech-savvy states
- Modi’s victory tweet was re-tweeted 69,000 times
Innovative strategies used included:
- Crowd- Sourcing Speeches (making speeches contextual and bespoke as per the crowd)
- Digital mobile and desktop advertising
- Google+ Hangout Reaching Millions Abroad
- Rallies featuring 3D holographic speakers
- Maximising social media as a campaign tool