Campaign As A Service...



One of the biggest business category of all in India are the elections.

There are all kind of elections from Panchayat Samiti, Municipal Elections, Assembly Elections, Parliamentary Elections. Then there are numerous trade union and worker union elections. And then there are university and college elections, which are basically primers for a candidate's entry into mainstream politics.

There are also the intra-party elections, sometimes.

There are so many elections that, most of the times, in some corner of this country, some election is going on.

Monetarily how big it is, one does not have a clear indication of it because no books are maintained as the entire campaign is funded from the black money of industrialists and businessmen.

For a primer, the media campaign budget for Congress and BJP in this election was around Rs.500 Crores. That is the legitimate amount which they are willing to admit, rest I leave it to your imagination. This was supposed to be different than what both the parties would be spending on social media, which was about Rs.100 Crores.

Perhaps this the only organised part of the election business wherein respected companies bid for the business and some amount of information is available as in how the money would be spent. Obviously, you cannot ask for the source of it, unless you have utmost dis-regard for your own safety.

In this election social media would be one of the other organised part of the business, taking part. BJP is supposed to have more than 200 persons on its online and social media team and the result you can see in the stats of Mr. Narendra Modi's social pages.

So what part of the election business is left?

Almost everything...

a) Logistics

b) Offline Media

c) Hospitality

d) Transport

e) Donations

f) Communications

And if you talk about the new age stuff, then the voluminous data which is available to mine. It is offline, online and many a times, real-time. And then effectively putting to use this data to integrate the above mentioned services and present what you can call - "Campaign As A Service".

A political activist's job is to be in touch with the masses all the time and be relevant to their demands and wishes and work for their well-being.

The thing in support of CaaS is that none of the stuff happens, outlined above. Once the polling are done, the electorate is mostly forgotten and are left at the mercy of bureacrats, which rule the roost, almost in every part of world and would not twig a leaf, unless they extract their pound of flesh.

Once the elections are announced or are looming ahead, kind of in a 3 to 4 months horizon, everything gets in to top gear. Now the volunteers and party workers, if only, instead of arranging for the rallies of the heavy-weight, would have been campaigning in the respected constituency, would not be it much better.

As a counter argument, it could be asked that how much time it takes to arrange a successful rally, I am sure it involves considerable resources and time-span.

The need for this type of business is because, the real action starts only after the candidatures of the party are announced for the various political constituency. Till then everything is hunky dory and marks of in-fighting among many prospective candidates.

About 3 weeks are left for the candidate to put his/her act together and in this high intense period, he would rather have all his troops on the ground, interacting with the electorate, rather than focussed on maintaining and keeping his campaign going.

How important could be this service can be gauged by the fact that campaign of every candidate is managed by his/her trusted close associate, which mainly includes either very close relatives or friends. What happens if these trusted close associates are not micro-managing the stuff like arranging for transport and logistics for the rallies or checking the quality of printers for publishing the flyers and pamphlets.

Obviously, these trusted associates are not acting alone, they have an entire army at their disposal, all these guys are not some rookies (mostly) but seasoned political workers, who understand the stuff.

If you look at that way, a lot of politico-intellectual inventory is stuck in maintaining the mundane tasks or campaign management in every elections.

What if you could free this inventory with CaaS( Campaign As A Service)?

a) More number of street contacts.

b) Better reaction to opposition tactics and moves.

c) Streamlined campaigning.

So if this is such a big business then why not people are in it?

Probably because of the accounting of money.

Suppose for one of the Raul's or Narinder's rally, Abhishek Enterprises arranges 200 private buses for transportation of people, then have catering arranged for messing of all those people, then venue management is done. Of course local environment is also needed to be managed at several levels for which essentially the only thing which works is money.

Now you have thousands of rallies happening in every general elections and even in assembly elections, if a CaaS service provider is audited then it could spell troubles for every political party it is associated with.

So all which election commission has to do is to keep its track on the CaaS company's financials and then it is done.

Since there is no hundred percent illegitimate business in this world and there is no hundred percent legitimate business in this world, you see now some sort of openness in political parties delcaring their media expenses.

Probably the best way would be to start with those stuff which are slowly getting some sort of legitimacy, like media spends and incorporation of technology.

The next general election if it does not come early than scheduled, is no brainer, that it would be fought with technology.

I mean it is not that riots and murders would become irrelevant, there are many people who know only this kind of politics and are adapt in hoodwinking people and might also emerge as the single largest party in these general elections, but this is the tragedy of my beloved country.

Oh India !

PS:
a) Tomorrow would mark the first time in my life, that I would cast a vote, if all goes well and hence a politics related post was sort of mandatory. Otherwise, I abhor all forms of politics and politicians.

b) One of the worst kind of politics and politicians is/are present in the corporate/professional world which are equally damaging for an organisation as these Rauls and Narinders are for my beloved country.

c) If you look closely, you can sum up every problem of the world as an inventory problem.

d) This post has 1104 words.

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