Calling India a unique nation, only in the world, with products galore and the ability to sell emotion, Steve Borgia, Mentor, InDeco Hotels made a passionate plea for working towards garnering market share from international source markets, rather than pinching clientele from one another – which, unfortunately, seemed to be the prevalent norm. Excerpts of his speech:
Frankly speaking, we are all doing what we love to do. Nobody told me to go to a remote village and build a five-star hotel there. I defined five-star there; nobody told Shahjahan to build the Taj Mahal. It is all our passions and we are trying to find a market for it. I do not think India needs to stand in a queue to be sold – oldest civilization, documented from the very first day. If I go to an international market to say that Banaras is older than history, I need one hour just to explain to them what is it all about. We speak 2000 languages and write 50 languages; we taught the world how to count; we introduced air-mail to the world.
I think we need to sell it how it is sold, world over. You put one Angelina Jolie in front of a monument, the very next year the monument gets ten thousand entries. Why are we not doing it? We still want our bureaucrats to stand there. A guy who is holding that position for, may be, 3-4 months. Who knows him? I think we need to see how to change the style of marketing in our own way. I stopped believing in this.
We had a Miss Portuguese coming to India and I spoke to her on the phone, and she said, she is the contestant number three for Miss World. So, I said I will host you in south India, would you like to come? Believe me, she came with seven great press people in the world – and she decided to do a photo shoot in my deer park. Luckily the deer cooperated! It was a great occasion. Now, I am getting Whatsapp pictures from those journalists, who are sharing pictures of the magazines in which these stories have been published. India can sell by itself. What is it that we do not have? And creating products is the last problem we have. You take anything in India, show it to the world and you will have a thousand people coming. But showing it to the right world is where the issue is.
India is the only country that can sell emotion. All other countries will have to content with selling experience. When I take a group of tourists to a local temple, and when they see a Shiva pooja happening, they are all weeping. I ask them why are you doing this? They say they do not know why they were having tears in their eyes. So, there is no dearth of products. We need to market it the way great masters sell it. How is China selling? How is France selling? Sell it the way they sell, and go out of the country and sell, instead of going to the gate of my neighbouring hotel and distributing brochures. We are pinching each other. Let us go to the source market and pinch our share from there. Then India will be the most cost effective and beautiful country, and a country that can give you the best of emotions. Let us work towards that.