Building Brand India through its Cultural and Creative Economy

The cultural and creative economy of a country leverages the commercial potential of indigenous culture, heritage and knowledge transformed into a product, service or experience. It spurs innovation, protects and promotes intellectual property and creates robust markets for the cultural and creative economy to thrive. Further, the trade of cultural and creative goods or services at the global level significantly enhances a country’s brand value, and, in-turn, its soft power.


With a share of over 3 percent of global GDP, the cultural and creative economy (CCE) broadly comprises crafts, fashion and gastronomy, performing arts, visual arts and tourism. As cultures differ across geographies, so do the attributes of the cultural and creative economy. Successful brands – distinct in their form and function, reflective of national aesthetics and culture, and possessing a competitive advantage – are often synonymous with a country’s identity. Furthermore, the country of origin (COO) plays a crucial role in shaping perceptions and influencing the exports of creative goods. The pre-eminence of Italian cuisine, French fashion and Japanese entertainment amply demonstrates the close links between nation branding and soft power.

While India is the seventh largest exporter of cultural and creative goods across the world, there remains a significant gap between its trade value and that of market leaders. Consequently, a strong, coherent and influential brand image of India, which reflects our rich cultural heritage and practices as well as our entrepreneurial spirit, remains to be developed to its maximum potential. At the same time, it is important to protect yet propagate intellectual capital and indigenous knowledge, as a symbiosis of science, traditions and innovation, to establish its contemporary relevance.

India has much to offer the world for sustainable, healthier and conscious ways of living. The answers lie in shaping Brand India through enterprises that are cognizant of consumer choices, innovative, enabled by technology and, above all, rooted in Indian and indigenous cultures, know-how and heritage.