It seems like chinese, korean and other non-indian brands are exploiting "make in india" the most

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.

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To me this is good to start with. Initially, when China started as manufacturing hub, there were no known chinese brands and all the brands were US MNCs. But after about a decade or so, Chinese brands came up, became world wide known companies and got recognition.

So, even if today a lot of foreign companies claim ‘Make in India’ and manfacture products, this is good as this will spur sooner or later Indian MNCs taking shape similar to Lenovo, Xiaomi, Samsung, LG etc. So, I would still like to encourage and support current Make in India initiative. Additionally, it will create some jobs in India, as well as have decent savings on Forex.

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Definitely, emphasis on manufacturing is a good start. But, we all agree that creating a strong home grown product ecosystem is the key for long term value creation and growth. Ideally, we want to both Foxconns and Apples of the India for India and the world. In order for India to close the gap with China, it must focus on both manufacturing and products at the same time. Creating product ecosystem is not as easy as manufacturing. It requires a complete mindset change, as it needs passionate entrepreneurs, lot of risk capital, and long time to market. China has spent close to $100B to create the current product brands. It is doling out another $50B to create the largest semiconductor company. So, the work has been cut out for us. In terms of jobs, manufacturing sector creates low wage jobs for lower skill set people. On the other hand, product companies create high paying jobs for higher skill sets. We need both quickly. We need jobs paying INR 10,000-20,000 per month as well as INR 1,00,000 - 2,00,000 per month.

How is the government supporting companies like you? What are your long term plans interms of products and expansion in INDIA?

I don’t think there is anything special govt is doing for companies like ours. We will have to just go out and compete with other brands. Lack of strong innovation infrastructure and product ecosystem are definitely big hurdles for Indian product companies. We plan to expand our product portfolio from mobile to home to enterprise and committed to targeting both Indian and global markets.

@Smartron But there is one important point to consider when comparing India and China. When China started becoming manufacturing hub, they started exploiting loopholes of WTO to there advantage. Just think about it, in China if you want market access, you need to partner with a local company. You can’t open country specific subsidiary but India there is no such restriction. If you read articles on newspapers, you will read most of the executive of MNC says that India is the last billion+ open market available in this world though they still pressurize India to open more. Plus China has a very weak IP regime which really helped local companies. There is also jump of labours who due to low wages jumped between companies both MNC and Local which helped in transferred of some knowledge though in small quantity but still valuable. There is also the issue of scale and Chinese consumers are much more experimental than Indian consumers though both are price sensitive market. You can only improve your product when you get large feedbacks. Chinese companies also improved their turn around time of newer products in local market making product development a lot faster. Lastly, Chinese and India consumer behavior are most likely the same and since Chinese are almost 10 to 20 years ahead of us so they are bringing their tried and tested product in India skipping the learning curve making it easy for them to understand the market and improve upon the product with more India focussed features. This is not possible for Indian brands since they need to stabilized in Indian market first and go through the learning curve. Also when you are asking for components from another country so obviously your turn around time to the market will be slow compare to others. Also unlike MNC, Indian brands have to stabilize supply chain. The other important issue is retaining brand visibility in consumer minds, better services and support. Indian brands also have to develop their own IP and innovative features since our market doesn’t work on Chinese model and we most likely follow the western system which is bad when you are not a developed country. Since Indian political class and bureaucracy are basically apes following the colonial masters, you can’t expect much help or support from them. Also we are a billion+ populated country but most of the Indian brands are targetting the same set of users which the MNCs are targetting. So how can you compete and make profit in such a scenerio. People who already got the taste of Apple, Samsung, Nokia, Xiaomi, Oppo and so on, why would they buy Lava, Micromax, Smartron etc. There is no incentives so you have to go for low value or first time users with greater specs to price ratio just like Xiaomi. Capturing new users should be the priority of Indian brands. Just see the Indian automobile sector both two and four wheeler and you will see Indian brands survive the onslaught while also exporting products to countries. We should talk about export destination like Africa, Latin America, Middle East and so on and not fancy markets like South Korea, China, Japan or Europe etc. They are already way ahead of us and are also saturated market. If you need to scale you will go to underdeveloped and underserved market.