That the international defense industry is keen on getting a piece of the enormous Indian defense market is not surprising, considering the expenditure the Indian government is planning on defense equipment. The government plans to acquire a whole range of materiel from fighter aircraft, battle tanks, artillery howitzers, missiles of all ranges, naval vessels etc. Arms vendors all over the world are keenly interested in orders from India, as has been seen in the keenly watched race for the 126 Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) order.
But another measure of this eagerness to do business with India is also the innovative video marketing which an Israeli arms company, Rafael displayed on large screen televisions at their stall at Aero India 2009 recently.
The video is a Bollywood-style dance number featuring Israeli artists in full Bollywood costume singing in English about the potential for the Indo-Israeli defense trade relationship and dancing around mock-ups of Rafael’s products. It is significant that recent reports have indicated Israel to have overtaken Russia as India’s single-largest defense materiel supplier.
StratPost spoke to Assy Josephy the Director of Exhibitions for Rafael about how this video came about. “In Israel we have Jewish people from India, so we know about Bollywood and the song and dance numbers. Israelis are generally aware of Indian culture. This video is to help build familiarity between India and Israel and Rafael,” he says.
But this is not the first time Rafael has exhibited something of the sort. Josephy says Rafael has displayed such videos in many countries with various themes customized to the culture of the locations. “In Brazil we did a video of football. Football is very big there. In Paris the video had a theme that included Napoleon and the Renaissance. In Poland our video had themes of Chopin and Copernicus. In England it was about Shakespeare,” says Josephy.