Consultants make a cool Rs 700-800 cr from general elections – study

Consulting firms that help political parties plan their campaign and media strategy are making around Rs 700-800 crore from the general elections, a study by industry body ASSOCHAM found.

While releasing the ASSOCHAM paper on “LokSabha elections throw new biz opportunities” Mr. D S Rawat, Secretary General ASSOCHAM said, “the disaggregating of the poll data is becoming important as things like vote shares, winning margins, vote concentration, demographical profiling etc are being used. The parties which lose or win do not want to take the elections as one-time affairs. Those winning would like to retain their hold while those losing would do a scientific analysis for their future strategy. All this requires professional approach”, said Mr. Rawat.

“Though the assignments given to these consulting firms are time-bound, terminus with the elections, some of the bigger parties with rich resources may use their services for longer time when they do the post-poll analysis with some of the advanced mathematical and economic tools”, said Mr. Rawat.

As per the ASSOCHAM recent estimates, In India, there are nearly around 150 political consultants, big and small, charging nearly around from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 50 lakh for each constituencies (for 543 seats). The services on offer include managing media, planning campaigns, marketing policies, designing promotional material, website and social media page and weighing the prospects of rival candidates. Voters’ profiling and sending right kind of message to the right kind of voters is the key, said Mr. Rawat while releasing the paper.

It is not just national parties such as the Congress, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) but also smaller regional parties that are using political agencies this year, according to the report. And it’s not limited to larger metros like Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Ahmadabad, Kolkata but also in tier- II and tier-III cities, political parties are betting on specialist to manage their campaigns.

Once the candidate is elected, the political advising may also be necessary for press statements, crisis management and re-election strategies.

It may be noted that many consulting firms offer services that involve shouting down opponents and critics on social media and news comments on major websites.

Rawat further said that these political parties are increasingly focusing on specialists to manage their campaigns during the election polls. Currently, the political consultancy is a flourishing business not just in cities but also in small towns and rural areas.