India contest, organised by The Times of India, aimed at recognising individuals who could be the leaders of the future. However, not many people know how various advertising platforms, particularly digital, were used by the candidates to garner votes.
The winner of the Lead India award, RK Misra, used hoardings, pamphlets, banners and rallies to generate public participation in the campaign. But the most effective platform he used for the purpose was the mobile phone.
MyToday is a free SMS subscription service, which sends out daily message alerts on news, cricket, the sensex, jokes, religion, Bollywood and astrology to its three million subscribers.
In the last phase, the campaign was carried out in select cities of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh for three days, and all over India for the last two days. Around eight million messages were sent out every day to garner votes for Misra.
Abhijit Saxena, chief executive officer, MyToday SMS, says, "The SMS campaign is usually carried out along with the free daily messages which go out to our three million subscribers across India. We embed 70 characters as an advertisement in the 160 character message." For Misra, a line was sent at the end of each alert, soliciting votes via a short code.
Speaking to agencyfaqs! about why he chose SMS marketing, Misra says, "The message provided the option for immediate action and it was useful for a lot of people who cannot access the Internet on the mobile. The SMS acted as a reminder for action for a person who was willing to vote."
Misra also used his blog, www.rajendramisra.blogspot.com, created in October 2007, to promote his ideology and dreams for India.
Now, after winning the contest, Misra is ready to realise his dreams. He is all set to launch a social media website called www.ChangeIndia.in on March 1, which will be along the lines of Orkut and Facebook, but with a purpose.
Misra says, "The site will provide members with email IDs and they will be allowed to create their personal pages, on which they can share their political and social views. It will become a platform for connecting people who want to start a development project or want to fund one. It will also have discussion forums to discuss political and social issues."
This is not the first time that Misra is launching a portal. In 1999, he founded a travel portal called TravelJini.com, which he later sold to ICICI Ventures.
Misra is an IIT Kanpur graduate of 1989 and holds a Master's degree from Tokyo University. He worked with Kajima Corporation in Tokyo as an information systems expert for seven years. In 1996, he started Tekelec India, a wholly owned Indian subsidiary of Tekelec USA. In 1998, he acquired Tekelec India and renamed it Tenet Technologies, which he later sold to Hughes in 2003.