It's about time we lauched a India 2.0 branding campaign. Two years ago, I went on a press trip to Kos, Greece with HP for their annual Labs event. There were over 200 journalists, analysts, geeks and normal people. I was the only Indian.
I never paid for anything at the bar in the resort I was staying at. As soon as they came to know I was from India, I was asked if I read palms? Some reason every barmaid on that island was under the impression that all Indians read palm.
"That's what you people do right? Read palm, climb ropes, sleep on a bed of nails, make magic herbs, etc.?"
"Not exactly… not everyone, very few people do that."
"Oh come on, you must know some of it, it is where you guys are from, how come you don't know anything about it? Here, have a few shots of Ouzo on the house and tell me what my future holds"
By the end of the week, I made lot of people happy, I told almost everyone on the island that they have a great future and no need to worry about anything as long as they do good. Had I stayed there any longer, I could have established a cult and maybe rename the island after me.
Now have a look at this TIME magazine cover, this is what India means for most Americans. A mix of tradition and call centres. We need an India 2.0 campaign spread the message that India is not only about he old but increasingly about the new.
So the next time I'm in Kos, I'm paying for my own drinks.