PolitEco: 5 lessons for Startups from brand BJP’s big Gujarat win

Polit-Eco: The BJP secured over 50 percent of votes and over 150 seats in a triangular contest. Decoding what makes the brand resonate so soundly with the Gujarati voter.

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Tice Creative | 5 lessons for Startups from Gujarat

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) swept to an unprecedented majority in the Gujarat Assembly polls. It was always a favourite to win the elections, despite the high-decibel campaign by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Congress. 

Yet the BJP won 156 out of the 182 seats establishing a domination that is rather rare in the competitive Indian political scenario. The oft-quoted phrase ‘anti-incumbency’ simply does not apply to the BJP in Gujarat. The party has ruled the state for decades at a stretch now. 

Such political domination is a wonder in itself and also holds lessons for others in diverse fields. The BJP’s performance in Gujarat is worth many a case study. The party built itself from scratch and is not the indisputable leader. 

Here is a closer look at the key factors that have led the BJP to the pole position: 

  1. Grassroots: One of the first lessons that can be drawn from the BJP’s performance in Gujarat is the strong connect that the party maintains with its constituency. One of the remarkable characteristics of the BJP as its contests elections is its organisational machinery. The party maintains a tight line of command where there is smooth coordination from the top to the bottom and vice versa. Roles are clearly defined and performances appreciated. The level of functioning could do any organisation proud. For the best of the plans chalked out in boardrooms, it is the execution that matters. So, always have your processes and organisational structure in place. The same organisational cohesion was missing in Himachal Pradesh, where the Congress is back in power.
  2. Respect Talent: A remarkable quality of the BJP led by Narendra Modi and Amit Shah has been its openness to political talent. Leaders like Hardik Patel and Alpesh Thakor were bitter critics of the BJP. The party, however, not only opened its doors to them but also allowed to grow. It has done the same at the national level taking leaders like Himanta Biswa Sarma and Jyotiraditya Scindia in its fold. This is all the more remarkable because the BJP is primarily a cadre-based party.
  3. Motivation: An achievement of the BJP has been that it has been able to keep its cadre motivated and given them a sense of purpose. Often the best of talent becomes unproductive if it feels neglected or bereft of purpose. However, the BJP’s electoral machinery constantly keeps its cadre enthused and on the move. Be it its nationalist agenda or development push, the party constantly keeps its cadre engaged. In fact, the BJP has been a party that has been able to change chief ministers without rebellions.
  4. Eye on rivals: A problem that other political parties have felt while facing the BJP in elections is that they struggle to come up with an issue. The party has tried to keep ahead of others on different issues – whether it social welfare, development or national security matters. It helps to have a USP. It helps more if you have a well-rounded product that the rivals can only imitate but not match.
  5. Trust: This is a quality that gets a brand, individual or a party acquires over a period of time. But trust, once earned, pays. Through his personal conduct, Narendra Modi has ensured that BJP has become a performance-oriented party which is trusted by millions. So, even when the rival parties have an advantage, like in Delhi and Himachal Pradesh, it is this factor that again propels the BJP towards putting a decent show.