Where is our own story?
The fervour with which non-Indian brands are playing up the ‘Make in India’ campaign, it is quite possible Indian consumers start believing that the Xiaomis, the Huaweis and the Lenovos of the world are actually Indian companies. Seriously? We can barely pronounce these names.
It is pretty funny to see extensive media campaigns being run by these companies stressing on how their products are made in India and how well they understand the needs of the Indian consumers and how they can solve the problems we face. The fact of the matter is that they are doing bare minimum last stage assembly of these devices to qualify for 12.5% import tax waiver under Make in India campaign.
Not so long ago, products from China were looked down upon and considered to be the most unreliable. Today, companies from China are pretty much dominating the Indian technology gadgets market from mobile to home to enterprise. This indicates lack of strong Indian product ecosystem that could have leveraged Make in India more than anybody else. Wouldn’t it be awesome if we have true Indian product brands creating and keeping the wealth here?
So, what just happened? Did we give up on the idea of building our own product companies? Or we could not find enough support to do that? Or we simply don’t have the risk appetite for it? Are we happy with “services” ecosystem and playing back-end office to the world? Can’t we build or create home-grown companies that are more likely to understand Indian needs and innovate products accordingly? It is a matter of creating the culture of product innovation for long term growth and value. When can Indian brands go and market products in China, Korea and elsewhere? It is a matter of national security and pride.