Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles There is no one in India more powerful than this man. Victory to India! Four years after leading his party to a spectacular general election win, Indian prime minister Narendra Modi remains a favorite to win again in 2019. Modi travels the globe promoting a new modern India, bear hugging world leaders along the way. He tweets regularly to his 40 million followers and even connects with supporters through an app named after him. Prime Minister Modi and I are world leaders in social media. Still, Modi's record is mixed. There are questions about whether the ground reality has changed much under his leadership. And some of his biggest economic reforms have caused confusion and disrupted the economy. This is the story of how Narendra Modi is trying to rebrand India as a modern economy and how the reality does not always match the rhetoric. Since taking office in 2014, Modi has become India's “salesman in chief”. He's largely singing the same tune, Iain Marlow covers Indian politics for Bloomberg News in New Delhi. Come invest in India. Come start a business here. Trade with us. Buy Indian goods. Do yoga. He openly courts countries like Japan, Israel and Saudi Arabia and he's gotten closer to the US, even addressing a joint session of congress in 2016. To all of these countries, his message is the same. India is now the fastest growing large economy with the most open investment climate. It's not just a dusty place where people hang off the sides of trains. It's a new modern economy. It's the skyscrapers in Bombay. it's the start-ups in Bangalore. Modi came into power with the reputation of being a pro-business reformer. For 13 years he was the chief minister of the western state of Gujarat where he presided over more than a decade of rapid economic growth. His policies became known as the 'Gujarat model” and they were the promise of what he might do for India. But his economic policies have gotten mixed reviews. On the plus side he's opened millions of bank accounts for the poor, attracted more foreign direct investment and India has eclipsed China as the world's fastest growing major economy. He's also seen a number of setbacks. In November 2016 Modi surprised the nation by banning 86 percent of India's cash overnight. The 500 rupee and 1,000 rupee currency notes presently in use will no longer be legal tender from midnight tonight. It was as if the US banned the $20 and $100 bills overnight. The idea was to tackle so-called black money, a local term for cash stashed away to avoid taxes. A lot of poor people thought he was hitting the rich and then you had his critics who said, oh my god, what are you doing? You just eliminated the vast majority of cash in a country that basically only operates on cash. The day after people lined up outside banks to deposit their money. And small businesses didn't know how to pay their workers. It caused India's expansion to slow to a three-year low. Then in June 2017 Modi introduced a national sales tax, called the goods and services tax, or GST. The goal of the GST was to unify India's complicated tax structure and make it easier to do business, but … In some cases, the tax rates were really confusing. Say one nut, a cashew, would attract a different tax than an almond or a peanut. So, if you had a bag of mixed nuts, what was the tax rate? Nobody knew how to do business. People stopped buying things. The economy basically seized up. While the cash ban and GST have not been economically beneficial in the short term, they still helped build Modi's reputation as an authoritative leader. There's no single reason for Modi's enduring popularity. On the political side, the Hindu nationalist agenda of his Bharatiya Janata party, or BJP has made him electorally successful but it also makes him controversial. There are parts of the population that will never forgive Modi for his handling of the 2002 gujarat riots which killed as many as 2000 people, mostly Muslims. A lot of human rights organizations accused the government at the time, which was run by Modi. It actually Lead to Modi being denied a US visa. But he was eventually cleared of any wrongdoing. More recently, he has come under fire for failing to quickly condemn attacks by Hindu nationalists on Muslims. Members of his own party have even supported people accused of raping and killing a young Muslim girl. So while India has moved up 30 places in the World Bank's ease of doing business ranking since Modi became prime minister, Many of the problems that India is known for: lack of infrastructure, poverty, malnutrition, bad education system, bad health system haven't changed much. What has changed to some extent, is the momentum that people see around India. Modi is trying to create an India that people can believe in, that people can be hopeful about. Modi remains India's most popular leader. Many Indians are likely to re-elect him in 2019 with the hope that changes will come and it just takes time.