Opposition Parties manifesto’s: lacks the right product mix

The two ingredients that help any product to be successful in the market are the understanding of customer needs and wants. If the product manager fails to capture these two basic essences in the making of the product, then the probability of the product to be successful will be very low.

As India is exercising the biggest democratic election in the world, the two main national parties are up in the street with their offerings to the voters. Their manifesto talks about the products which they will bring if come to power.

There are many discussions on strategies that should or shouldn’t be adopted in this election season but let me tell you one thing…. Strategies can only add to the reach and success of the product but can never assure success for a poorly designed product as it is in the case of opposition parties.

Let’s discuss the offerings by political parties in structured corporate way analysis.

  • Values- A product symbolizes the values of the organization. What it stands for in the market or in society. Values are very important for any corporate organization and in a similar way, Ideology is very important for political parties. BJP, since its early days has maintained its ideology of Hinduism, Indian culture whereas as Opposition parties willingly changed ideological goal post as per the convenience. DMK never missed an opportunity to speak against Sanatan dharma, Samajwadi party and RJD put their weight firmly behind minorities appeasement ideology and at the same time, Congress has lost its ideology. The confused value of this alliance is giving confusing signals to the voters (buyers of the product) and because of this voter will find it very difficult to vote for opposition parties.
  • National Security– For any citizen of the country, national security comes first. Voters will willingly sacrifice even basic needs but if someone takes lead in boosting defense of the country, they will certainly get bigger support. The mood of the average Indian public can be easily gauged from the increased number of movies made by Bollywood on national security in last few years. In last 10 years, government has built fences over border areas, improved connectivity in the border areas by fast tracking infrastructure projects, took steps like surgical strikes to kill terrorist and if reports are to be believed then went extra mile to kill anti India elements on foreign soil. Opposition parties’ manifestos are silent on national security. Ironically, their track record on national security is not good. There is a story that Congress led government never built good infrastructure near border areas because they fear that it will enemy countries for intrusion in India. Sad but national security is not in your product mix offering to the voters then don’t expect them to vote for you.
  • Aspirations– When a common man goes in the market to buy a car, it’s not because he just need the car but its his aspiration to own a car. Similarly, he keeps thinking about the model of the car he will buy after five years. Oppositions manifestos are only talking about rhetorical promises of bygone era. They are talking about caste census, loan waiver, redistribution of wealth and freebies like electricity, bus ride etc. But BJP is miles ahead of the opposition parties, they have included aspirations of the people in their vision document. They are talking about making India a developed nation by 2047, Carbon neutral by 2070, 5 trillion economies in third term and so on. Its in human nature to buy product which has a vision and aspires you.
  • Hiding behind democracy & pseudo secularism- For the longest time, opposition parties are hiding behind these two things democracy and appeasement. They fooled people big time over the years by creating an atmosphere of fear. The ironic part is that none of these opposition parties have internal democracy but wish to champion the cause of democracy. Their inability to set internal democracy made them fail to connect to the voters on the agenda of save the democracy. India may be the only country where we see few things either from western eyes or from the eyes of congress. All these opposition parties blatantly support minority appeasement. Congress introduced religion-based reservation in the country. This is the only country where appeasement is called secularism. Opposition parties like Congress, SP, RJD, TMC, AIMIM openly supports minority appeasement and ironically are called secular parties by media. They are the biggest communal parties of the country and responsible for many riots in the country. Slowly, steadily voters are learning this plank of opposition parties and opposing this pseudo secularism.
  • Social security-  For voters, living in the bottom of the pyramid needs social security than lip service or corrupt schemes of the government. The BJP government took a giant leap in the last 10 years in fulfilling the social security needs of the voters. While they were many projects launched and successfully implemented by the government, the few that stands out for me are Ujwala Yojana, Ayush Bharat, Swach Bharat Abhiyaan, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana. These projects uplifted many citizens and most importantly gave a life of dignity to live for many women in rural areas. By implementing DBT (Direct bank transfer), the government further reduced the role of intermediary and money could reach the beneficiary directly. On the other hand, most of the social security schemes of opposition parties got marred in corruption. The very hyped MNREGA is one of the most corrupt schemes that benefited only to a certain class of people.
  • Respect, Dignity on the global diaspora– Since BJP came to power in 204, they worked very hard on building foreign affairs. PM Modi is one of the most popular leaders globally. Unlike in the past, India intervened in many global crises and help in resolving the matter. Also, India successfully evacuated many Indians from foreign soil at the time of crisis. Indians living abroad feel safer under Modi regime. They have confidence that there is a government who is willing to walk any mile to help them at the time of crisis.
  • Leadership– For any product, face is very important. Among opposition parties Mamta Banerjee, Akhilesh Yadav, Stalin all are aspiring to be the PM face but don’t have any influence outside their regions. Congress has influence across many regions of the country, but their chosen leader Rahul Gandhi has lost maximum number of elections in Indian history. In his leadership, Congress has disintegrated with many leaders leaving the party. Sycophants are rewarded in his tenure & meritorious leaders shown the doors. Probably, Rahul Gandhi is responsible for the decline of congress over the years. Voters can’t trust him with their needs and aspirations. What he did to Congress, if he is going to do the same with country then nation will go back to decades. On the other hand, PM Narendra Modi had made BJP, country strong over the years. He has delivered on his promises. Voters trust him for their needs & aspirations.

Opposition parties got it all wrong while designing the product. They are trying to push their agenda to the voters rather than accommodating voters’ agenda in their manifesto. Not knowing your customers’ needs & aspirations is a criminal offence for a product manager and no strategy in the world can help the product to sail through to the customers. Unfortunately, opposition parties are living like Alice in wonderland.

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