Suck Goes to High-Tech India


There's a famous bit of dialogue in The Wild One, the 1954 film starring Marlon Brando as motorcycling bad boy Johnny Strabler. A bewildered local asks, "What are you rebelling against?" "Whaddya got?" replies the black-leathered Brando. Point being, obviously, that for Johnny the act of rebelling was way more important than the substance.

I'm reminded of this scene when I pull out of a sardine-packed minimall parking lot on the back of a motorcylcle belonging to Ankit, The Cult's Hyderabad lieutenant. Ankit is Bipin's protégé. Like Bipin, he comes from money — dad's in banking — and he shares a tremendously ambitious drive to make more by getting into the media business and targeting India's ripest consumer-marketing territory: young Internet users. Also like Bipin, Ankit has several businesses under his command, including a small ad agency, a party-planning company (raking in rupees from profligate dot-coms — instant nostalgia for the circa-1999 Alley), and the Hyderabad arm of The Cult. Oh, and he's 18.

As he kick-starts his Honda, he turns over his shoulder and asks me what brands of consumer goods are very popular in the US.

"Brands of what?"

"Of anything," comes the reply. Doesn't matter what the stuff is; what matters is the act of marketing.

Reassuringly, shopping is evidently not the only flavor of social dissent in today's India: later that evening Ankit shows me some of the places where Hyderabad had violently rioted two days before I arrived. It seems that the Chief Minister Naidu had been angling to cut the state's electricity subsidies, which would raise power prices statewide. Opposition-party politicians organized several thousand people to march on the Andhran parliament and, well, somehow things got a little out of hand, and some state troopers murdered some protestors, and the rest quite reasonably turned parts of the city upside-down. Now that's rebellion.


Speak your mind about today's Suck
Goes to India

Let's Go Bangalore!
E-Commerce, Mom and Pop-Style
The Accidental Feminist
Money Changes Everything
The Billionaire Socialist
Those Crazy Kids and Their Cult
From Hyderbad to Worse
Masterbuilders on the March!


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