From the director’s Desk – The roots of Glocalization.
- Posted by Harry
- On October 11, 2011
- 0 Comments
- The roots of Glocalization
It’s a term that picked up steam since liberalization was realized in India in 1990 and in the 21st century it has taken up an even more prominent position as people realize the value it inherently holds. Glocalisation can be traced back centuries. The examples of such can be seen even in Carnatic music.
The violin, an instrument that is of European descent has over time time transformed itself into a mainstay in the orthodox Carnatic music scene. It isn’t the only instrument to have adapted to the Indian classical scene but few will dispute the fact that it has adapted the best. It was under the patronage of Vadivelu the bard of the court of Travancore during the regime of Maharajah Swati Tirunal that the violin assumed its current role in Carnatic music.
Significantly despite it being a Western instrument with technique that favoured Western classical music, the instrument could adapt to suit the needs of Carnatic Music. Some redundant Western techniques were overlooked and later discarded. Sound Familiar? The story of the integration of the violin into mainstream Indian culture was one of the first examples of glocalisation. In business the same holds true as we learn from the world and improve our practices to suit the needs of today’s world.
The pizza chains of today are an excellent example of glocalisation within the Indian scenario. They realized that for success in the Indian scenario they need to design a product that satiates Indian taste buds and that people here are different from the people they had previously been serving. In many ways India poses a unique challenge.
Any product, brand, idea or service has a greater chance of success in a local market when it is adjusted and targeted specifically to the corresponding values of the local setup it wishes to operate in. This is how it becomes a glocalised enterprise. It shows globalisation to be not just a monolithic occurrence or a behemoth with unparalleled homogenising energy that forces local cultures to submit and makes adopt norms, practices and values of a global market place. Rather than eradicating local cultures, it fosters their growth and aids in the creation of new glocalised hybridities with yet untapped and unparalleled economic potential. The implications of this are valid for all setups within the Indian economy for while it presents a unique challenge, it also offers a revenue stream that for sheer size alone cannot be ignored.
eBay is a fantastic example of the usage of electronic communications technologies, such as the internet, to provide local services on a global or transregional basis. Google and Craigslist are examples of Web Applications that have glocalised their approach by providing local services on a global scale. As more and more enterprises enter the Indian economic landscape, the buying power of Indian consumer rises ever higher and he constantly craves for more. With multiple competitors in every domain, each one of them understand the implications of not doing everything they can to reel in the Indian consumer.
Indian sentimentalities are at the fore front of all marketing campaigns launched by any multinational conglomerate that wishes to set shop in India for they realize that without it, any business plan they launch will be akin to putting up sign boards in the middle of nowhere. Advertisements which would earlier show flashy models from within or outside the country now use local icons and in many cases, a person that looks no different from you and me to draw in the Indian consumer.
A subject that is often debated is whether globalisation is destroying indigenous cultures. There is public outcry about large scale McDonaldization. No one has really grasped exactly what globalisation implies. It’s a scenario where people have global and local perspectives at the same time. Someone that is tuned into glocalisation, has a tremendous global awareness while also exhibiting insightful local knowledge.
Analysts of Indian cinema have observed a trend amongst the Indian immigrant population. They wish to watch movies in their native languages. This is what the president of Reliance Entertainment Rajesh Sawhney had to say,” have observed that as people start earning more, entertainment actually goes local, rather than turning towards the global English language…..Indians staying in overseas markets want their children to learn their native language and cinema is the best way”. Glocalisation accounts for what he’s talking about.
To fear globalisation as a phenomenon that will destroy local cultures would be short sighted. If correctly understood and implemented, then the words “the global village is really glocal” will come to fruition.
MD – Video Production and Communication, Mirror and Smoke