New Delhi: Former Consul General of Israel in New York Ido Aharoni said India's presence has become more robust in the last eight years and called Prime Minister Narendra Modi's leadership "inspirational".

"I think that during the last eight years Brand India had a more robust presence in the world. It's a combination of the opportunity given by technology, especially during the three-year window of COVID-19. Because COVID-19 was a big disruption. And in a way, people were sitting at home and they were looking for content to consume and things that were unheard of before for example, people consuming content from other countries all of a sudden became common place... And I think that his (PM Modi) leadership is inspirational within India, and it has an impact on the way India is being perceived in the world," Ido Aharoni told ANI here.

He also mentioned that the visit to Israel by Prime Minister Narendra Modi was hugely important not just for Israelis and Indians but also for the international community.

"I think it was a very important step I would even describe it as a historical step because whoever will follow in the footsteps of PM Modi in the future will have to take an example from him. He set the bar really high. And that's a good thing, I think for the benefit of Israel and also humbly I say, as an Israeli representative, it is also for the benefit of India as well," Aharoni, who is also APCO Worldwide consultant, Lecturer at New York University and Tel Aviv University, said.

Aharoni also highlighted that India is one of the most powerful and popular country brands in Israel. He said, "I would put India up there with the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia and so on. Israelis love India because of the welcoming spirit of the Indian people. And I think the numbers show that politically. Obviously, India has been viewed certainly since the establishment of diplomatic ties 30 years ago as one of the rising global superpowers and accordingly Israel is investing in its ties with India."

"You can see that in the number of diplomatic representations that Israel has in India. In Embassy, two consulates and more are planned in the pipeline. Certainly, the intensive ties between the two military establishments, of course, the very fruitful exchange between the academic establishments in the two countries, and the interaction between scientists and the tech sector. so I think India is in a very good position in the eyes of Israeli and Israelis love India. they think India is very important for Israel's future," he added.

He further said that a country's brand is measured by the number of tourists the country is able to attract, the amount of foreign money the country is able to attract, the level of attraction like museums, and institutions, and lastly the experience. A strong country brand is a promise delivered and in many cases, India delivered the promises in a big way.