On 12th May, when PM Narendra Modi had addressed the nation and hinted that lockdown 4.0 was inevitable, he also appealed to the nation to become ‘Vocal about Local’. WHO has also announced that we have to learn to live with the Corona virus and craft our way ahead. We need to be prepared for the new reality.
In this crucial and difficult time, it doesn’t matter if you or I support PM Modi’s narrative and agendas or not but, the idea of self – reliant India does make sense and is worth working towards. A self – reliant India will create new employments, it will help in augmenting an upswing in GDP, it will aid the growth of Micro, Small and Medium enterprises (MSME).
The world may have to suffer and face the catastrophe. But it’s the resilience to thrive through challenges that makes humankind unique. In the same way, though India may have seen rise in Corona cases, it has been resilient in face of this adversity. The response of Indian domestic market to head on with the shortage of vital resources, required to fight the pandemic, has been remarkable. DRDO developed low costs, high volume products like masks, PPE kits and multi patient ventilators. IITs and Indian railway also came up with low cost ventilators. Daily, India is producing 2 lakh of N-95 masks and PPE kits each. This throws a little light on India’s capability of becoming self – reliant.
The pandemic has also underlined an opportunity for India because the need for an alternative market has made countries eye India as a viable option. PM Modi also highlighted the new goal, to be ‘ vocal ‘ for ‘ local ‘, which appeals to the citizens to buy Indian products and promote them proudly. It can really change the fate of Indian brands globally. Local brands need recognition and support. Nike is one of the greatest examples of the big global companies who started their journey from the scratch. Nike didn’t even have a garage to begin with. It began as Blue Ribbon sports under the trunk of a car and was a ‘local’ shoe manufacturer once. It’s customers supported the quality and performance which led it to worldwide recognition.
Therefore, India needs to strive towards building global products and global brands. But this can only be possible if India focuses in a sector where it has a competitive advantage and also, if we decide to be determined to buy and promote Indian products.
India needs to address it’s complexity of land regulations, labour law and banking finance to achieve competitive advantage. Pharmaceutical and space research have been outstanding performers when it comes to cost – effective performances with wonderful scientific skills. These fields have added to India’s benefit which can lead to cost advantage.
Coming to the Indian products, people need to realise their role to make Indian brands go global. Buying domestically produced products and promoting them should become a new norm. We should provide feedback to the Indian companies regarding their products’ quality and performance. So, they can raise products’ standard in terms of cost and quality to make it as par to the global level and utilise this opportunity.
Indian products might be expensive as compared to the Chinese or some other products but nothing is more expensive than a missed opportunity.