In Hong Kong's hip Kowloon district a restaurant serving Avant-Thai cuisine was opened last December by an ex-Taj Mahal hotel manager. When it was time for christening, the owner favoured the humility invoking term, Namo. The Shiva statue at the entrance is one explanation for the choice of name.
The other is given away by the life-sized portrait of the eponymous politician from India. The restaurant naming is part fanboy homage, but part an effort to cash in on the NaMo - a sobriquet for Narendra Modi - wave this election season.
The Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate cannot be credited with creating this wave single-handedly. He has a team of media and advertising experts that has worked meticulously over the past year or so to create Brand Modi and packaged, advertised and sold it to the public much like any other consumer brand.
What makes brand Modi so special?
Indian politicians have usually been arrogant about marketing themselves beyond stipulated speeches, posters and public appearances. They have also been difficult products to be "branded".
Brands must deliver on a promise, consistently. In the context of politicians these two aspects - delivering on a promise and consistency - pretty much lose meaning.
That is where Brand Modi takes the cake. Modi's promise itself is at variance with the typical election promises, laden as they are with sops. He is promising something not exactly perspicuous: good governance and development.
His ability to deliver will be judged if and when he does move into the PMO. But consistency, as his campaign message goes, has been spot on.
Text: Devina Joshi and Masoom Gupte, Business Standard
Image: Narendra Modi, the prime ministerial candidate for India's main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Image Courtesy: Reuters