Healthcare and the associated industries stood up in the testing times during the global pandemic. India has produced PPE kits and masks and exported Hydroxychloroquine to the rest of the world. Related sectors like the preventive healthcare platforms have also stood and fought the pandemic with all their might to help the people of the country.
We at MediaNews4u have spoken to people from various sectors, startups, and brand consultants to understand as to what how they have interpreted the term ‘Be Vocal for Local’.
Today we speak to Piyush Kothari, Co-Founder & CRO at Healthism, launched with an intent to enhance people’s health and overall well-being. The brand offers multiple solutions to make healthcare accessible and easy. Multiple healthcare centric services are bundled up under the brand name Healthism. The journey has already started with a privileged healthcare card. The purpose of the card is to lower the everyday healthcare expedition of the user.
How do you interpret the term “Be vocal for local”?
History has shown us that many nations faced tremendous losses through World War II. Post-WWII, the phenomenal rise of many of them has been through their focused approach on strengthening their internal capabilities.
“Be vocal for local” would simply mean to buy and endorse local products reaching the consumer through local manufacturing, use of local markets and local supply chain. While the khadi movement did help us abandon the more expensive foreign cloth for the locally made one, the clarion call for ‘AtmaNirbhar Bharat’ is a much larger one. It talks about the eventual exports of Indian goods and making them available overseas.
Also, this is not the first time that the consumption of Swadeshi or local goods have been endorsed politically. Be vocal for local is simply a change in terminology for “Make in India”.So, my sense is that while going all-in for the self-reliant approach, there has to be a balance keeping in mind the economic factors and the highly interactive world that we live in.
The difference between ‘local’ and ‘swadeshi’
To me, ‘local’ and ‘swadeshi’ would fall as natural synonyms to each other as both promote local manufacturing of goods and fosters trust in indigenous industries, resources, and entrepreneurs. However, there is a thin line of difference; Swadeshi would mean purely Indian i.e local products made by Indian origin companies. Eg. Parle, Amul, Patanjali, etc. Whereas Local would mean manufacturing in India by Indian origin companies as well as MNC’s. (Eg. Nestle, HUL, P&G, etc.)
It would be fair to say that whatever is swadeshi is local but whatever is local is not necessarily swadeshi.
Are you seeing a spurt in buying of swadeshi brands?
It is thrilling to note that India’s largest consumer companies like Parle Products, ITC, Amul, Dabur, Godrej, Marico, Voltas etc. have re-aligned their advertising and marketing campaigns along the lines of “be vocal for local” with bright and catchy slogans and tag lines. It has hardly been a fortnight since the PM made his nationwide appeal. The lockdown has curtailed the purchasing options available for the informed consumer to make a pro-local choice. The trend lines are yet to be formed and while the movement is yet to gather traction, there is hope. However, India still remains an open market and local companies will have to win the consumers on the back of quality, innovation, pricing, and the right marketing mix.
We have companies that may be global but have been in India produce here and employ locals. Will consumers now stop buying these products?
The Ruling Party has made it abundantly clear post PM’s speech that, “Anything made in India, including by MNCs, is local for us”.I believe modern Indian consumers are always inclined towards buying goods that really fulfill their needs whether the manufacturing is Swadeshi/local or Videshi. The recent endorsement by the government might drive the consumers more towards having a fact check of Swadeshi vs Videshi brands in the short run. Having said that, it is highly unlikely that consumers would stop buying these products as a lot depends on their tastes and preferences.