The Hon. PM Narendra Modi had made a clarion call to support local brands. ‘During this time of crisis it has made us realise the importance of local traders who have helped the country sustain during this long period of Lockdown due to the Coronavirus’ he said.
Experts despite the PM’s call, India will remain an open market and home-grown brands are not going to get any preferential treatment from the government. They have to win the consumer on the back of quality, innovation, pricing, and the right marketing mix.
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 Smita Murarka, Vice President- Marketing, Duroflex. The company was incorporated in 1963, Duroflex is one of the leading manufacturers of mattresses in South India. It manufactures rubberised coir mattresses, PU foam mattresses and spring mattresses. Further, the company also manufactures PU foam for use in a wide range of industries. It also sells other home comfort products such as pillows, bedspreads, cushions, protectors, and comforters. At present, the company owns and operates five manufacturing facilities in India.
How do you interpret the term ‘Be vocal for local’?
We see “Be Vocal for Local” as a great spotlight for experienced home grown brands to cater to the varied Indian market needs. We believe that needs of the domestic market are have many nuances which are unique , “ Be Vocal For Local” allows for home grown brands to tailor to these needs of the Indian consumer and unlike global brand which often tends to be “ one size fit for all”. Vocal for Local is also a platform to for brand like us to highlight the innovation capabilities we have built over 5 decades in understanding and catering to consumers across different regions of India. It is also an opportunity to talk about these innovations and quality benchmarks of Made In India brands which are at par with global brands so that consumer do not feel like they are not settling for anything lesser when they purchase an 100% Made In India brand. Therefore for brand like us who are trusted over many decades will come out stronger and take on this growth opportunity.
The difference between Local & Swadeshi?
From our perspective, Swadeshi brands are more of handicrafts and artisanal. The local brand is a collective representation of organized brands with innovation and technology at the helm.
How will companies which may be global but have been in India, produce here and employ locals will consumers now stop buying these products?
It all comes down to the role these brands play in reviving our economy, creating jobs and empowering local communities, adopting environmentally-friendly measures, CSR and such genuine effort to give back to society. Consumers will continue to opt for these brands if it is helping India.
Are you seeing a spurt in buying of ‘Swadeshi’ brands?
Whether it is Swadeshi, Local or Global brands consumers will surely want a bang for their buck, high quality, a trusted brand, and highest safety and hygiene standards practiced across. Innovation and understanding consumer needs and sentiments will be key. In our category, we definitely see a shift in purchase from unbranded to brand because of health and hygiene concerns, and as a brand with 5 decades of expertise we will definitely lead this change. If we look back at the journey we also started as a Swadeshi brand in the backwaters of Kerala in 1963, armed with a dream to help India sleep better. Today through continued innovation we are one of the leading sleep solutions brands in India and a truly Made In India brand.