Jack Yan & Associates
The Journal of the Medinge Group, vol. 3, no. 1, 2009
Expanded from the Global MDP presentation given by the author to the Proton Business School, Indore, Madhya Pradesh, India, December 26, 2008.
NATION BRANDING is not a new concept. Countries have attempted to market themselves for the sake of their tourism for decades, usually in a piecemeal fashion. In more recent times, it was Wally Olins’s Trading Identities (1) and Simon Anholt’s Brand New Justice that looked at nation branding (2) with a more strategic eye.
Despite these two texts, nation branding is still not practised strategically. Generally, there is no leadership when it comes to nation branding: it is not driven top–down by the head of state (interestingly, one could argue that in the days of warring emperors, it was); and there is confusion about which department should be the one that handles it. Is it a matter of tourism, of commerce, or some other department?
In the United States, which tends to score poorly in terms of cultural heritage in the Anholt Nation Brands’ Index (3), there is—tellingly—no department devoted to marketing the country. The United Kingdom has not fully shaken its image of cobbled streets and double-decker buses for many tourists—despite Tony Blair’s insistence early in his first term that he wished for the country to have a ‘Cool Britannia’ slant. It, too, has failed to get very far with various branding efforts including its ‘UK OK’ logo earlier in the 21st century.
About the only successful one that comes to the author’s mind among the First World is that of Canada, which began its efforts in the 1980s, consisting of the simple word Canada typeset in Baskerville, and a small Canadian flag in the top right-hand corner. Canada does not seem to realize this is a brand: it tries to create different ones for the tourism sector and for agriculture. However, the Canada brand appears on everything from plastic bags from its embassies to Canadian-filmed movie credits.
Asian and Pacific countries that have largely tried to brand their nations, sometimes successfully thanks to an approach that tries to get everyone involved.
Asia is, by no means, fully successful in nation branding. A South Korean campaign in 2001 to encourage tourism was, strangely, internally marketed, and little of its effort was externally directed. However, Malaysia has been mildly successful at least in tourism terms, using a conventional marketing mix. Taiwan has tried to market itself separately of its political concerns, creating a distinctive Taiwan script that has appeared in its tourism marketing and at its economic offices—its de facto embassies around the world. It would also be fair to say that the flag of Hong Kong’s Special Administrative Region is part of a brand—without getting in depth into the connections between flags and brands—when it was conceived in the 1990s for its first day of official usage on July 1, 1997.
In Oceania, New Zealand has been acclaimed and criticized for its 100% Pure campaign. On the one hand, riding on the wave of Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings film trilogy that was filmed there, the campaign became very well known. The flip side is that, as with many nation-branding efforts, 100% Pure fails to extend itself to high-tech ventures or the fashion sector, centring on primary products and tourism. Critics also point out that France spends more on the environment as a percentage of GDP than New Zealand.
However, what has impressed the author is the nation branding of India, a fact that surprises some Indians. But Incredible India, launched in 2002, has had far-reaching effects, not just because it has been successful in tourism marketing—the campaign is seen around the world through traditional media—but because there are signs that Indians truly “live the brand” (4). There are, additionally, signs that the Indian nation brand has crept in to many contact points with its audience, from bureaucracy to the nation’s cosmopolitanism.
Good brands should be able to cover an organization—and in this case a nation—when there are unexpected disasters. The events of November 26, 2008, when Mumbai was the target of attacks by terrorists, have actually not hurt India’s national standing. This chapter deals with some of these points and, more importantly, just how well India is positioned for nation branding in the 21st century.
First, the scene needs to be set.
The bigger trends in the Zeitgeist
It is no secret that for the last 20 years, there has been a greater questioning of the capitalist system. Over the course of 2008, more than one person has raised the subject of the fictional Gordon Gecko character, a shady trader in Oliver Stone’s movie Wall Street. Gecko exemplified excess and greed. There is talk of a sequel to the movie, with Gecko coming out of jail and carrying on with his greedy ways. It was, unfortunately, not clear to all who saw the original film that Gecko wound up in prison because of his corrupt behaviour (5).
When Michael Lewis wrote his book, Liar’s Poker (6), revealing some of the illogical, rhetoric-based decision-making on Wall Street, he expected he could turn students away from being traders. Instead, he began receiving mail from American students wanting to know if he had more tips to trick the system (7).
Those students have now grown up and have probably been behind the derivatives’ and sub-prime mortgage mess that has the western world worried. That means there is a vacuum for some form of business leadership to emerge. And that leadership might emerge from India.
In 1987, with the stock market crash then, some blame was levelled at the Black–Scholes–Merton formulas that encouraged traders to take greater risk than they rationally would. If one could see through this, and raised alarm bells, one might have been ignored because of the way the system institutionalized the behaviour. But rather than abandon the system, the west continued with it (8).
We also saw the mortgage mess unfold largely because ratings’ agencies were complicit in renaming insecure assets as AAA-rated bonds.
When Reader’s Digest did a poll in different countries about their preference for US president, an overwhelming majority indicated then-Sen. Barack Obama (9). This was not so much because they were well informed about George W. Bush or John McCain. On the contrary. The bigger picture is a worldwide shift from the technocracy (10) because people are beginning to see, in a more connected world, just what globalization is doing to people, and it was tempting to connect the Bush administration with the technocratic developments of the last century. This is why there is dissatisfaction in the west with governments and big business: a sense that democratically elected representatives are out of touch with the reality seen by everyday people. The reality is no longer one delivered by mainstream, “old” media, but one where citizens have sought information for themselves thanks to the internet.
People can read first-hand through the blogosphere how host countries have suffered through corporate expansion. They have seen the sweatshops and, in some cases, have exposed them. They see all this is tied in to predominantly US corporate interests, in a corporate system built on arrogance, one that its car industry, in particular, has been built upon.
If one is the superpower, one has a responsibility to lead morally, ethically and transparently, and with the US’s failure to do so, and with a 43rd president whose world-view was likely based upon a technocratic perspective, then of course there was a shift away from it. The question we must have at the beginning of the Obama era is how much change he trulyrepresents—and just how India might fit in to this new world.
No wonder there has been a postmodern questioning of everything from finance to branding. In the late 1990s, Naomi Klein’s No Logo (11) became a movement in its own way. It is ironic, because to solidify the movement, it had to adopt the practices of branding. Which leads to this next point: the tools aren’t faulty, but the motives behind their use are.
You can even see the double-edged sword with the internet. Fifteen years ago, it was dominated by American surfers. In the author’s own experience, in 1998, 70 per cent of the internet public to an English-language site was American. Non-Latin language support on the internet was appalling. Opinions reflected a model of globalization but an inherently western, technocratic one. Global voices were not truly being heard.
Fortunately, since then, the web has given many people who otherwise did not have a voice a medium through which to speak. Rather than get a technocratic view, one where corporations have been getting their way over the citizens of the host country, or even governments, there are now individual human voices in the global village. Harvard University’s Global Voices project often scours the internet for individual opinions (12). Al-Jazeera English’s Listening Post invites them from people with a webcam (13). And the blogosphere has been incredibly valuable for understanding first-hand viewpoints on topics such as the war in Iraq, and how it actually influences families. On a more positive note, websites like Kiva.org, which won a 2009 Brands with a Conscience award, brings together western loans and individual businesses in developing countries.
So the shift online, in a medium that is an interesting microcosm of the “real” world, albeit with more adult websites, does seem to be heading eastward, and that is potentially a good sign.
The internet no longer has a 70 per cent US audience. The US perhaps makes up a fifth. Red China has overtook the US in 2007 and it increased its lead in 2008. But how much of the Chinese growth is sustainable as the country becomes affected by the global credit crunch? Was such a quick leap forward on the internet a worthwhile development?
India in the global context
The west is in disarray, or at least, it is feeling uncertain. It can emerge as a better society if it does its soul-searching accurately. But it will keep sinking if it believes that its current troubles are fleeting and it can sink back into its old behaviours again. After 9-11, one might have expected people to have soul-searched in occidental countries—but as the sub-prime mortgage and derivative mess has illustrated, little soul-searching took place. The behaviours, as even President George W. Bush said in his final address from the East Room of the White House, went back to what they were before 9-11.
So we have these forces already at play, including an eastward shift in influence. If the internet is a representation of the real world, then India is a country growing hugely in stature. It might not dominate online (14), but Indian businesses and events are coming to the fore as far as the Zeitgeist is concerned.
It is not just in tragedies as the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, which occupied news headlines globally for a week. After a few years of rediscovering Chinese film-making, Indian film-making is becoming more notable, even mainstream in the west. Films that rely less on ethnic and almost comedic to stereotypical Indian ideas (e.g. The Guru, Bride and Prejudice) are showing more regularly in occidental countries, including co-productions such as the Hindi film Chandni Chowk to China(15). There is hardly anyone who has not heard of actress Aishwarya Rai. There are many people who have heard of Tata or Mr Ratan Tata. India is no longer a country that just makes Hindustan Ambassadors, but the nation behind innovations such as the Tata Nano and the ownership of Jaguar and Land Rover.
Branding is the ways in which an organization communicates, symbolizes and differentes itself to all of its audiences (16). And branding, being the interface between organization and audience, or company and consumer, or even management and staff, therefore becomes a very important tool.
In the past few years, India has marketed itself admirably. The tourist bureau’s Incredible India campaign does reach many nations. Seven years on, it has gained momentum and is instantly recognizable. But importantly, it is founded in reality.
While any country can claim to be incredible and use superlatives, few have the belief of athithi devo bhava. As a principle, it serves the tourism market well. But it serves many sectors well, too.
Those who have never considered India as a tourist destination are changing their minds. India’s former president, the Hon. Dr A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, has got behind the campaign and mentioned it regularly in speeches—a real sign of an approach that is being pushed from the top, inspiring other government departments. India is, to the author’s knowledge, one of the very few nations that puts the Incredible India logo on its immigration forms when people enter the country—a connection to the positive equity that the campaign has created. Licensed tour guides feature the logo on their business cards, where it works as not just a reminder but an endorsement mark. This sort of integration with the nation’s branding campaign is rare. Certainly nothing about entry into Great Britain reminds one of Cool Britannia; nothing on the forms on New Zealand’s arrival uses 100% Pure. Malaysia and Korea are as “official” as ever; the United States even more so.
As a result of the campaign, many know of India’s image with its beauty—while the Taj Mahal is a famous landmark, there are as many who might target Goa as a perfect getaway.
People know of India, too, as a modernizing, quickly developing country—though the skyscrapers of Gurgaon still come across as a pleasant surprise. The surprise comes because there are still some negative images that Incredible India has not yet addressed. Commerce, for instance, has not relied fully on the nation brand, because it sense it is not the right time to. Some of these corporations, outside the tourist sector, may well be right, but price competition is not exactly the best strategy, either.
It is perfectly natural to market on a price basis: after all, many Indian companies have succeeded because of this. They have capitalized on some basic factors such as the strong take-up of the internet, the usage of English as the lingua franca of business, and price. But price competition only gets one so far, because it is somewhat dependent on first-world nations being customers seeking lower costs. All it will take to end this strategy is another country coming in and undercutting that—and in his election campaign, appealing to nationalism, Barack Obama has said he does not favour continued outsourcing to Asia, though politics have a funny way of changing people’s minds when they are in office.
Readers may be aware of firms that have leveraged themselves so heavily on overseas customers that they have found it hard to deal with downturns in the western economy.
Global competition necessarily takes several forms: head-to-head, flanking, encirclement or bypassing (17). The trick is to find a particularly Indian model of doing it, rather than emulate the west (18).
Indian firms such as the Tata Group have taken a hands-off approach to their foreign units, which is not a bad thing. But only for the time being. The situation is bound to change.
A longer-term view is that Indian companies can leverage themselves against the nation brand. This will take some decades: while the author paints a positive image of India today, there are still old images that need to be erased fully.
If one takes Hong Kong as an example, western filmmakers still showed pictures of junks as late as the 1980s to “set the scene”, even though the former British colony, by then, was a modern metropolis. In fact, some Hong Kong citizens of a certain age might never have seen a junk. It was only in the late 1990s that Hong Kong’s skyscrapers were commonly seen in the opening sequences. India is still dogged by some associations of auto-rickshaws by Bajaj and the cruel stereotype of “Delhi belly”, neither of which help the high-tech and increasingly world-class image.(19) Time will bring the image in line with reality.
Indian education, its service industry, its pride and nationalism, and other images that form its reality need to be incorporated into the Incredible India campaign. Unwittingly, the Indian government’s push to have CNG-powered public transportation is miles ahead of many western nations (20), something that speaks well about the nation and its environmental concern. This fact is hardly ever mentioned externally, yet is impressive to a world that is becoming increasingly eco-conscious.
The wider context of this move is India’s readiness to have public–private partnerships in advancing the country (21) —hence it is easy to not only recommend but predict a wider application of Incredible India—rather than the monetarist policies of the west that have landed it into such deep trouble.
American media were philosophical after 9-11, yet American reaction was divisive. One of the author’s colleagues reported a 2001 incident where an Arab–American was asked to leave a café simply for reading a newspaper printed in Arabic script.
No such race-based panic followed in India after the terrorist attacks of November 26, 2008. While it was believed that militants trained in Pakistan were responsible, most Indians accepted they were not agents of the Pakistani state. Indian media, too, were philosophical. While there were the usual signs of heightened security, India’s more multicultural heritage ensured that there were no attacks aimed at Pakistani expatriates or those practising the Muslim faith. Services held following 26-11 were inclusive, with Mumbai’s many faiths: Hindi, Sikh, Muslim, Jewish, Christian and others all held ceremonies to honour the victims.
The contrast has worked in India’s favour. The Indian brand has not been harmed by the incident, and the way Indians have approached 26-11 has probably improved perceptions.
One lesson can be taken from 9-11: it did not diminish the impression people held of Manhattan. American foreign policy diminished impressions of the country as a whole, but New York City largely maintained the image it had prior to the attacks. The reason: the act of terror was not committed by New Yorkers or Americans. Similarly, the act of terror in Mumbai was not committed by Mumbaikers or Indians.
Red China’s folly
It is not only the west that has proved troublesome. Red China serves as a warning and a contrast. It has been cited often by “experts” as being the country ripe for foreign direct investment. But it is a willing part of the economic establishment, trying to play the technocratic game its own way through price but not innovation. Indian businesses themselves find competing with Chinese firms on price to be an unwise game. Those same Indian firms realize that the quality of Chinese goods is inferior, yet little marketing has been done to tell the world that Indian manufacturing can be world-class. Brands like Haier casino online may have a tenuous historical connection to Germany but the Chinese-made products have proved to be more troublesome than, say, Fisher & Paykel’s. The chairman of Toyota, Okuda Hiroshi, believes Indian manufacture to be superior to Chinese manufacture, for example, and could possibly overtake Japan in quality terms, and Hyundai has seen fit to source the i10 model exclusively from its Indian plant.
But Red China’s problems go further. Where is, one might ask, the goodwill of the Beijing Olympics? While Sydney has been able to hold on to its goodwill after hosting the 2000 Summer Games, Beijing has not remained on a high after its turn in 2008 as it increases its media and internet censorship now that most of the foreign journalists covering the event have gone. The period leading up to the Games stressed again the plundering of Red China’s environmental resources, especially its freshwater, doing little for the Chinese national brand, or any organizations that depend on not only ‘Made in China’ but ‘Owned in China’.
China, through state-owned corporations, may have bought the MG and Rover car companies but has it innovated? Not really: it has followed the model of the west, putting sustainability very low on its list.
Yet countries like New Zealand and Australia have pursued free-trade deals with a régime that cannot even give its people self-determination, a foundation principle of the UN Charter. Australia, in its defence of its trading partner, protested the US–India free-trade pact. Both Australia and New Zealand have pursued free-trade deals with a régime that does not respect intellectual property, has a record of wishing to dominate the manufacturing of its trading “partners”, and has a questionable record in human rights.
Red China does not have a common law system or English as a lingua franca.
The excuse that its one billion consumers are a market for Australia or New Zealand is unconvincing, especially when India is sitting right here as a ready-made trading partner.
The 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, while reaching fewer people than the Olympics, is an opportunity for India to not make the same mistakes that Red China has with Beijing. It is hard to consider that it would, however, not just because of its democracy and constitution, but because of India’s respect for its history—something that Red China ignored for decades, reaching a low with the Cultural Revolution, and is desperately trying to recapture.
By contrast with Red China, India innovates and protects its intellectual property. India has been more conscious of its ecosystem. India has been spending more to help some of its farming communities, rather than rape the land.
India’s aim of sustainable tourism has not quite been realized—there are obviously still environmental problems throughout the country—but campaigns such as ‘Colour of India’ and highlighting wellness as part of Incredible India are a worthwhile aim as the world, rejecting the technocratic abuse of the planet. They embrace environmental and ecological principles. Where better than to learn from a country that has had such a long history—and one that has managed its farmland far better since independence in 1947 than Red China has since the communist occupation in 1949?
India’s common law heritage is one that is shared or at least related with the systems of the US, UK, Australia and New Zealand. And while India has not pursued affluence in the way Red China has, at least India will not be as subject to the financial mood swings of the west. It is, as an independent economy, more stable in its growth.
It has a nation brand that is already paving the way for Indian commerce. In time, that brand must extend itself further because the necessity will emerge, particularly through groups such as Tata and its Jaguar Land Rover division (22). India obviously is an innovator because everything from Hotmail to the Tata Nano has originated from Indians or Indian expatriates. And these are recognized overseas as having Indian roots.
Either industry will drive the extension, or government, and that in turn will see a more powerful Indian nation brand in the 21st century. The author suggests that government needs to take the initiative now, encouraging the latent skills that Indian firms possess.
Incredible India is great from tourism’s point of view, and letting Matt Damon have part of his Bourne films in Goa was a master-stroke for publicity, but there is so much untapped potential for companies relying on a growing, positive, country-of-origin effect in India. The campaign needs to be expanded, and some of India’s top firms can even be used as champions to aid that expansion.
The future of the Indian brand: tackling immorality through humanism
The logical opposite to a global technocracy is the rise of humanism as a marketing strategy principle. This, in its most basic form, means putting people first. That individuals are stake-holders who should be treated with respect. That their needs are recognized and served. What the political shift in the world in 2008 demonstrated is a quickening of the quest for humanism, and the economic collapses illustrated the same. It is, indeed, being demanded by consumers, especially as they wise up to the lies being propagated by many businesses and governments. The winner in commerce in this century is the party that can deliver marketing in a humanistic fashion (23).
The marketing model, as it exists, which is top–down, paternalistic and dictatorial, is being turned on its head. While people are soul-searching, there must be some invalidation of the models that have gone before.
Individuals are being mobilized like never before, and not just in politics, but as economic players. No brand can survive today by being top–down: at best, brand owners are stewards who try to manage the perceptions of their brands held by audience members. The idea of brand stewardship over brand management is a trend that has been emerging since the 1970s (24), and India seems well poised to take advantage of it.
India has a culture that prides itself on service and that is already a sign that its companies are willing to be brand stewards.
When the author wrote a blog entry that was critical of the service at the Crowne Plaza Today Gurgaon hotel in 2008, staff from that hotel contacted him by telephone, wishing to find out what had gone wrong. Management from the property also called and wrote a formal apology to him (25). They understood that the brand needed to be defended and impressions about it needed to be managed and steered—that this was more important than any top–down, conventional marketing approach.
If Indian firms are willing to be more transparent, and India’s service industry has actually been a good training ground for that, then they can indeed put up a differentiated front to those in the west that have become too institutionalized and uncertain for their own good (26). Transparency over labour conditions, for example, might go a long way. Prices might have to rise but if coupled with a strong communications’ strategy, an Indian corporate brand could begin earning cachet.
This concept, too, can be incorporated into a wider idea of Incredible India. The service focus has worked for tourism, and there is no reason it cannot work for commerce—but with these humanist ideas in the background.
Growing through innovation, Indian brands and emphasizing the positive elements of the Indian national image is an admirable strategy to pursue.
The world is different this time
But why will this time be different, if 1987 gave us no changes, and even 9-11’s effects were so short-lived in the way people behaved?
This time will be different because the changes in the market-place have been happening over decades. In 1987, only finance was dented, but regular commerce was not. In 1997, the Asian economic crisis was perceived as mostly an Asian—indeed east Asian—affair. After 9-11, the main casualties were dot coms, which had already been disappearing as the bubble burst. These collapses have been mostly contained.
The pessimism that began with the lack of transparency in an American-led system—if not conspiracy—affects regular people in the US’s main street. It has not been contained. The way those falsely rated bonds have been traded, many times over, has exposed the risk to more people than ever before.
India’s quest will be to find an inherently humanistic marketing model that fills the vacuum. The next step after deciding on the points of differentiation in the nation brand is to symbolize and communicate these principles to all audiences, internal and external.
It is a promising future for India, thanks to the nation’s existing multiculturalism, its cosmopolitanism, and its willingness to create world-class products and experiences. Government needs to begin encouraging this through extending Incredible India, creating confidence among Indian organizations that they are, indeed, capable of taking on the world.
(1) W. Olins: Trading Identities: Why Countries and Companies Are Taking on Each Other’s Roles. London: The Foreign Policy Centre 1999.
(2) S. Anholt: Brand New Justice: the Upside of Global Branding. Oxford: Butterworth–Heinemann 2003.
(3) For more information, visit www.earthspeak.com.
(4) For the significance of this term, coined by Ian Ryder, see N. Ind: Living the Brand: How to Transform Every Member of Your Organization into a Brand Champion, 3rd ed. London: Kogan Page 2003.
(5) A. Wallace: ‘Get Me Rewrite, Rewrite, Rewrite’, Condé Nast Portfolio, February 2009, pp. 59–61.
(6) M. Lewis: Liar’s Poker: Rising through the Wreckage on Wall Street. New York: Penguin 1990.
(7) M. Lewis: ‘The End’, Condé Nast Portfolio, December 2008–January 2009, pp. 114–23, 154–9.
(8) See, e.g. N. N. Taleb: The Black Swan: the Impact of the Highly Improbable. New York: Random House 2007.
(9) C. M. Cannon: ‘Global Poll: How the World Sees the 2008 Election’, Reader’s Digest,
(10) The technocracy, as this author uses the term, is not being used in its strict sense, which sounds like some sort of engineer’s dream society. It is used in the way author John Ralston Saul has: the sense that corporate controls have overwhelmed individual rights. J. R. Saul: The End of Globalism and the Reinvention of the World. New York: Overlook Press 2005.
(11) N. Klein: No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies. New York: Picador 2000.
(13) The author has been a regular contributor himself.
(14) The author believes India’s overseas web influence needs to grow vastly—the internet is a wonderful way to test audiences and to act as a herald for a physical market entry.
(15) Historically, this title is Warner Bros.’ first Hindi-language film.
(16) J. Yan: ‘Online Branding: an Antipodean Experience’, in Kim, Ling, Lee and Park (eds.): Human Society and the Internet. Berlin: Springer 2001, pp. 185–202.
(17) H. Assael: Marketing: Principles and Strategy. Hinsdale, Ill.: the Dryden Press 1990.
(18) Naturally, some things must take a western approach if one is to attain western customers. The way something is presented should look familiar to a first- or second-world customer.
(19) The caste system does not rest well with the west, either. The occident sees itself as progressive even if western organizations themselves depend on more of a hidden caste system, one which has kept real wages so low that a single breadwinner can no longer support a family; q.v. J. R. Saul, op. cit.
(20) New Zealand, by comparison, has entered a retrograde movement. Once leading the world with natural gas-powered taxis, police cars and other vehicles, the country’s petrol companies cancelled retail CNG for automobiles in 1996, harming its environment.
(21) A reassertion of Keynesian economics—that have worked better than the monetarism of the west? See J. R. Saul, op. cit.
(22) Aside from Tata, other global Indian firms have come to the fore over the years, but fewer than expected. Infosys is by no means perfect but it has been inspirational enough to have won a Brands with a Conscience Award from the Medinge Group in 2003.
(23) See, e.g. N. Ind (ed.): Beyond Branding: How the New Values of Transparency and Integrity Are Changing the World of Brands. London: Kogan Page 2003.
(24) It could be argued that the relationship marketing concept is related to these principles; q.v. S. Engeseth: One: a Consumer Revolution in Business. London: Cyan–Marshall Cavendish 2005.
(25) J. Yan: ‘After a Negative Experience, Crowne Plaza Today Gurgaon Impresses’, Lucire, January 6, 2009,
(26) An example is one of the author’s own ventures, Lucire, a fashion magazine published in print and on the internet in various countries. What is encouraged is for team members to live the brand: to be ambassadors for Lucire and to exhibit decent behaviours. Contrasting a great deal of the arrogance of the fashion industry has been its humility. Arrogance gets one only so far, but humility and openness earn allies for the long term. Arrogance has led to the downfall of many a western firm, as the finance and automotive sectors are discovering right now in the US.