The 2019 Indian elections, which begin in less than a week, loom large in Diggaj Mogra’s life. It’s all he has time for. “If you were to register as a candidate today, by tomorrow you would have 50 different companies calling you saying, ‘We’ll do SMS for you, give you databases, etc.’,” says Mogra, a director at Jarvis Consulting. A Mumbai-based election strategy and tech company, Jarvis (like the AI in the Iron Man films) was founded by two former executives at cab aggregator Ola—Piyush Jalan and Piyush Gupta—in December 2016.
The growing digital economy of the Indian election machine
Political parties’ digital campaigns are getting increasingly sophisticated in technology and strategy, and a wave of companies new and old are cashing in
Estimates vary widely, but digital spending is seen to have grown from 5% to 25% of total marketing expenditure for political parties
Everyone from traditional media agencies to adtech startups to analytics firms is eyeing the market
Social media teams, online advertising, WhatsApp are the baseline now, with the bigger and more ambitious looking at serious data science
But what does this really mean for how elections are run in India?