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When ballot strategists leap from social gathering to social gathering, why isn’t there a non-compete clause?

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Opinion
Political consulting firms, who’ve labored with rival political events have entry to quite a little bit of insider knowledge, making this a exact hazard, writes Anand Kumar RS.
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within the enterprise of constructing political manufacturers in India, Prashant Kishor or PK to many, has now emerged because the undisputed numero uno. In a transient interval of below ten years, since he began his profession with then Chief Minister Narendra Modi for the Gujarat state election in 2011, he has definitely come a chronic methodology.
the convenience and methodology with which he and his organisation Indian Political movement Committee (IPAC) have managed to segue from one political social gathering to 1 other regardless of ideology and geography is now a subject of shock and awe.
Shock as a consequence of, until he was simply lately expelled from Janata Dal (United), a BJP ally, PK was its serving vp and that didn’t stop West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee from hiring him to help her to wrestle BJP in her state. And awe as a consequence of, PK’s consumer guidelines reads just like the who’s who of Indian politics from nationwide events like BJP and Congress to regional events like Janata Dal (United), Trinamool Congress, Aam Aadmi social gathering and the like.  
and really simply lately, within the south, after YSR Congress (YSRCP) in Andhra Pradesh, DMK has change into the second social gathering to signal up I-PAC and in impact, PK as its political strategist for the Tamil Nadu meeting Elections in 2021. this information was made public through a tweet by the DMK President Stalin simply lately. Welcome to the period of commoditization of Indian events the place ideology takes a again seat whereas advertising and marketing, model positioning, catching eyeballs, mindshare retention and on the finish worthwhile, reign supreme.
The non-compete clause
This brings us to the central challenge of this piece which is the politics of political strategists. after which there stands out because the query of battle of curiosity arising out of aligning with events with competing ideologies, who’re rank opponents. within the enterprise of promoting, manufacturers/corporations signal agreements with non-compete clauses with promoting businesses and totally different strategic consulting corporations. below these agreements, businesses cannot signal up with manufacturers/corporations within the competing house not simply while the forex of the settlement however moreover for a mutually agreed cooling-off interval. The causes behind signing such agreements are apparent. No agency on this terribly aggressive period can afford any leak of commerce secrets and techniques. A model communication confederate would have knowledge of the current and future road map of their shoppers, their strengths and weaknesses and subsequently no settlement is full with out non-disclosure clauses and non-compete clauses.
Such clauses have been half of hiring contracts of senior executives as properly. Even within the terribly aggressive world of sports activities and video games, associated clauses exist. I doubt if a coach of 1 IPL workforce in a season can signal up as a coach for one other workforce the subsequent season with out a cooling-off interval. The an identical holds good on the planet of showbiz too.
i’ve nothing personal in opposition to the likes of PK or his organisation however cannot stop questioning why in India’s political house, there could even be no such non-compete clause whereas signing on election strategists, trying on the methodology election strategists have moved on from one social gathering to 1 other. A political social gathering as we converse is akin to a company entity and its chief to a model. So, whereas corporations are so protecting about their model strategies and rightly so, how come, in India we don’t see such sensitivity amongst political events and their leaders whereas collaborating with political strategists?
From in-house advertising and marketing campaign supervisor to professionals
In media interactions, PK has maintained that I-PAC, an organisation which he based, is on its personal now and his function is restricted to mentoring and giving sensible counsel when needed. This was when any person questioned him on the potential battle of curiosity when he grew to vary into a full-time member of Janata Dal (United) whereas I-PAC was working with totally different events. Now that he has been expelled, it’s not recognized if he’s again in I-PAC on a full-fledged function. The I-PAC web website online carries pretty a number of references of PK and his work for totally different political outfits below its personal umbrella.
It’s not simply PK who’s involved with competing events within the an identical house. John Arockiasamy, who was related to PMK in 2016 below the aegis of JPG-PAC, then went on to work with the Congress in Karnataka in 2018.  Reportedly, he has been in dialogue with AIADMK in Tamil Nadu to be its political advertising and marketing consultant.  
earlier than the introduction of PK as knowledgeable election strategist, events principally relied on in-house talent for working their campaigns. and additionally they used to work largely with promoting businesses for executing the campaigns in a typical type simply like every totally different product. For Congress, Jairam Ramesh was once their election battle room supervisor for years. For BJP, Pramod Mahajan after which Arun Jaitley used to play these roles. So, the danger of ballot strategies getting leaked to rival camp or an espionage operation was restricted.
i suppose that it’s after the introduction of digital and social media that we see the outsourcing of campaigns to exterior businesses by political events gaining traction. knowledge analytics is the excitement phrase as we converse in all fields and so too in election administration. This wants specialists and subsequently events have not any selection however to interact with professional organisations who current finish to complete election administration selections from methodology conception to closing-mile execution. Execution includes again room warriors who work 24*7 on social media and toes on road who do the gross sales house-stage mapping and campaigning.
The potential of social media automobiles like WhatsApp, Twitter and fb to permit tales to go viral very quickly is unparalleled as we converse. it is a boon and at instances a bane. Political consulting firms who’ve labored with rival political events have entry to quite a little bit of insider knowledge on these events. And subsequently there is a exact hazard of such delicate knowledge getting leaked on-line and going viral very quickly. moreover, I marvel how demographic and psychographic knowledge collected as half of 1 social gathering advertising and marketing campaign is firewalled and never used for one other social gathering shortly. reminiscences of Cambridge Analytica, the famed British political consultancy agency that bought caught adopting unethical practices have not pale away.
subsequently, it’s all the extra intriguing that political events in India to this point have not considered incorporating non-competing clause whereas signing up consulting firms. on this politics of political strategists, what are we lacking?
Post script: In Tamil Nadu, the place movies adjust to politics and vice versa, two massive movies of closing yr – LKG and NGK featured election strategists in key roles. a transparent signal that these exterior ballot strategists are right here to keep up.
Anand Kumar RS is a administration professional by week and an avid blogger by weekend. He writes on politics, enterprise, and films. Views are creator’s personal.
 
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