By Jinelle D’Souza
If I were to ask you to name some of your favourite brands – let’s say, from apparel – what would be the first names that pop up in your head?
Nike? Adidas? Forever21? Ralph Lauren? H&M! Zara! Tommy Hilfiger? Gucci and so many more, right?
Don’t all of us dream of having all these luxury brands? And not just in our closets, but everywhere!
For our homes, IKEA furniture and Urban Outfitters decor would be good, no?
Well, I wouldn’t deny that the list for me seems pretty long too. Side effects of being a shopaholic… *sigh*
But did you notice one thing? Most of these brands listed above are mostly – if not all – foreign brands.
Doesn’t this answer the question of Indian inclination towards foreign brands? And to this, you would say, “So what?”
Yes, I do prefer an iPhone over Micromax, duh! But is my preference for foreign brands over our very own Indian brands harming our economy in some way?
The government is trying to implement many campaigns under the “Make in India” movement, wherein they are encouraging companies of other countries to manufacture products within India by eliminating unnecessary laws and regulations that make it difficult for them to enter India and set up manufacturing. Seeing as how India is a service hub, the government is trying to make it a manufacturing hub as well.
The government is also trying to encourage start-ups in India with the campaign called “Start-up India” which aims at providing easy financing for start-ups, hence trying to encourage entrepreneurship, which in turn will create more jobs, that will finally improve the economy. Now only time will tell if they will succeed.
But is it only the government who is responsible for developing the economy? Or is there more to the story? Do we, as citizens have a role to play?
Let me explain. When we use foreign products, we have to import them. When we call for more foreign products, more money is spent on imports; thereby weakening the Rupee compared to the Dollar. This is because there are more Indian rupees going out due to imports, compared to the foreign currencies coming in via exports. Moreover, due to the difference in currency value, the amount varies: in importing one shirt, we may be spending 100 Indian Rupees, while had that shirt been exported, we would have got barely one US Dollar.
It is not the main cause for the harm to our economy, but can be listed as one of the causes.
Now that we are just a little smarter, think about this… What if we start using more Indian than foreign products? Will that benefit our economy?
Yes, that would be very beneficial to our economy.
Well, the more Indian products being used, more the profits generated by Indian companies, hence we become richer internally. Maybe some day, we will be back to “Sone ki Chidiya”!
So as Indians don’t you feel we should be more loyal to our home companies than to those foreign ones who charge triple the amount just because they are carrying labels of “MNC”.
I think “Going Desi” has its perks… Indian brands like Jaguar, Allen Solly, Lakme, Tanishq, Peter England, HIDESIGN, Royal Enfield, Colorbar Cosmetics, Van Heusen, Louis Philippe and many others (OH YEAH! These are VERY Indian) not only carry their own Panache and brand value, but they are also helping in building Indian Economy. I would switch my Mercedes to a Jaguar any day, anyway!
So next time you plan on buying that beautiful bag you saw at a Gucci outlet, think twice.
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Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.