Modi and the Kotler award


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“PM Narendra Modi receives Philip Kotler award for outstanding leadership”

This was too interesting a news item to not follow through. I was especially intrigued because the name Philip Kotler made me reminisce of the times when I had to pore over the large tome he wrote while preparing for class.

Who has given this award?

The award was given by The World Marketing Summit (WMS) which as per its website

“…is an independent global organization, headquartered in Toronto, Canada, committed to “Creating a Better World through Marketing” and thereby alleviating poverty. WMS aims to improve the state of the world by engaging the global leaders and entrepreneurs to create a poverty-free world. “

modi kotler

What is the experience of WMS in giving out awards?

WMS has been giving out Marketing Excellence Awards. As per the WMS website,

“In 2018, Prof. Philip Kotler gave Kotler Impact (KI) and Department of Management Studies, IIT (ISM) Dhanbad organizing committee permission to use his name for recognizing marketing excellence among Indian Industries.”


“The Kotler Awards were developed to recognize genuine mastery in the field of marketing by celebrating exceptional achievements of marketing professionals.”

This is the first time this award has been given to a political leader. I wonder what Prof Kotler feels about that; however masterful a marketer the leader may be, can politics be called an Industry?

Perhaps we will know soon. Perhaps we will not know at all. Perhaps Prof Kotler’s interest ended when he approved of his name being used.

But lets move on.

Who was on the jury and what were the criteria used in selection of the awardee?

At the time I write this (15th January 2019, at around 1230 India time) we don’t know. The website or press release is silent about that. There have been no previous recipients.

Where was this award given?

This award was given at the World Marketing Summit in India.

Who were the sponsors / partners of the Summit?

The summit was sponsored and partnered, amongst others, by

  1. GAIL India (a public sector undertaking which is under government control)
  2. Patanjali (owned by Baba Ramdev)
  3. Republic TV (owned by a BJP MP)

What do I think of this award?

I don’t know how to put this politely. Let me try.

This is a meaningless award, with dubious and opaque selection process, awarded by sycophants to a leader who is heading into a critical election while his government flounders and he himself is being accused of impropriety.

I do not think that it is even worth the wood and metal it is printed on.

It was given so that the IT cell would have something to write about. There are no other achievements to shout about and that Rafale business is hurting.


PS: If I were Narendra Modi, I would say to myself “Let me fire whoever suggested that this award be given to me and that I accept it. What a joke I have become. What was I thinking?”