New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the first-ever recipient of the Philip Kotler award given by the World Marketing Summit in India. While Kotler was a top trend on Twitter, the face of the Opposition, Congress president Rahul Gandhi, took a rather mischievous dig at PM Modi. 

In a sarcastic tweet, Rahul said, "I want to congratulate our PM, on winning the world famous 'Kotler Presidential Award'! In fact, it's so famous it has no jury, has never been given out before & is backed by an unheard of Aligarh company. Event Partners: Patanjali & Republic TV :)"

A clear insinuation that this award is of no real significance and given by organisations that are considered to be pro-Modi. Let's demolish Rahul's claims point-by-point:  

What is the World Marketing Summit?

It is an independent Toronto-based global organisation. According to the World Marketing Summit website, it "was created in 2010 by Professor Philip Kotler, popularly known as a marketing guru who has initiated global movements through marketing strategies that inspire change in human behaviour, leading to a positive impact on society and living". Right now, it operates in Asia and North America. 

Who is Philip Kotler?

Apart from being a global marketing guru, Kotler is a professor of marketing at Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management. The World Marketing Summit Group was founded by Kotler himself. Kotler has so far written 60 books which include his best selling 'Principles of Marketing'. Eighty-seven-year-old Kotler was the first to receive the 'Leader in Marketing Thought' award from the American Marketing Association (AMA).


What is the award all about?

In 2018, Kotler gave the Kotler Impact and the department of management studies of the prestigious IIT (ISM) Dhanbad permission to use his name for this excellence award. According to the World Marketing Summit website, "The selection process is managed by a committee under the guidance of Prof Philip Kotler and Prof Pramod Pathak, IIT (ISM) Dhanbad. The KME Awards were developed to recognise genuine mastery in the field of marketing by celebrating exceptional achievements of organisations."

About the sponsors

The Congress president highlighted only Republic TV and Patanjali as the sponsors of the World Marketing Summit awards ceremony to suggest that the award was given by organisations that are pro-Modi. What Rahul conveniently overlooked was that there were sponsors like Havells, Gail, Inox, Business World, Exchange4Media, Sage, Zebronics, Divya Jal, 94.3 FM and others.

Kotler expressed his delight at being able to confer the award on Modi for his public leadership.  

"I can't find the words to express how wonderful you have been in making it possible to give the Kotler award to Prime Miniser Modi for his public leadership. It looks like the event went well. I am only saddened that I couldn't be there. My letter hopefully expressed with deep admiration of Prime Minister Modi and his accomplishments," Kotler wrote in an email to Jagdish Sheth, who presented Modi the award.  

"Our idea with the World Marketing Summit is to choose each year a national leader who epitomises the best ideas for advancing their society with democratic values and ideals. I talked to a number of people from India and elsewhere who felt that Prime Minister Modi is doing his best to advance the common good in India. We choose a public leader who encourages companies in that country to pursue the triple bottom line of profits, people and the planet," Kotler explained in the email.