It’s called Namo Saffron X, the latest model in a series of phones dedicated to Narendra Modi.“It has 4GB RAM against the iPhone 5’s 1GB, modern sapphire glass against the regular corning gorilla glass,and a price that’ll suit every pocket. We’ll take on Apple with this phone,” says Anmeet Desai, spokesperson for the Chinabased company that launched the Smart Namo series of phones. The statement appears to be more bluster than substance.But Desai’s assertion is emblematic of the buoyant mood among dozens of entrepreneurs cashing in on the NaMo industry estimated by experts to be between INR 400 Crore to 500 Crore and growing. Apparel chains in Ahmedabad, Sari merchants in Surat, Ludhiana-based knitwear groups,mithai sellers in Jamnagar, tea stall owners in Patna, not to forget China-based businessmen like Desai, have all jumped on the NaMo gravy train.
The BJP’s prime ministerial candidate’s trademark kurta is now a registered label of a clothing chain, Jade Blue. Modi kurtas sell in 20 colours and 12 styles in its 18 retail outlets in Gujarat, MP,Maharashtra and AP. There is reportedly a huge demand for such kurtas from Gujaratis in the UK, the US and East Africa. A lot had earlier been written by Indian media on Modi merchandising, and now, with polls in the air, the demand for Brand Modi products is touching a new high. And there’s more on the way. NaMo stores will sell Modi-branded apparel, even books in
Ahmedabad. Soon, they’ll roll out similar outlets in 18 other cities. National Institute of Design graduates will create its look.Sources say BJP has hired a Ludhiana knitwear group to manufacture and design apparels and a Delhi corporate gift-selling group to make wristwatches and clocks with Modi’s images on them.