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Local will rule, not Global

“We can make India a self-reliant nation. We will make India self-reliant. —Prime Minister Narendra Modi”.

As far as brands go, India is a brand maker. From Ayurveda to Khadi, it has over the millennia given the world myriad products with generic impact. The COVID-19 pandemic compelled him to reassert his swadeshi roots when during a 31-minute speech he announced a mammoth relief package of Rs 20 lakh crore to revive indigenous talent and hidden skills. Modi appealed to Indians to think local and become vocal. The Indian bureaucracy has converted Make in India into Take From India .

The local v/s global debate with respect to brands has been one that has been in the spotlight even before prime minster Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ movement began nearly three years ago or before outspoken yoga preacher Baba Ramdev’s consumer goods brand Patanjali hit the shelves.

Business isn’t expected to shrink because Indian consumers prefer global brands to local ones, mostly said. Global brands dominate the Indian market in most categories and there are few local alternatives, the companies said. But, it is high time that we change this fact. If we look forward for a self-reliant India, then “the way ahead lies in local. Local manufacturing, local markets, local supply chain. Local is not merely a need but a responsibility.”

Many multinational companies have already set up manufacturing units in India and procure raw material locally. Their mobile phones, television sets, toothpastes and soaps, and apparel will retain the global brand ethos in consumer campaigns and communication. And local brands such as ITC, Parle Products, Amul, Dabur, Bisleri, Godrej, Marico and Voltas are jumping on the call as an opportunity to garner support and increase consumer consideration.

“Going local does not mean walling off the outside world. It Means nurturing locally owned businesses which use local resources sustainably, employ local workers at decent wages and serve primarily local consumers. It means becoming more self-sufficient and less dependant on imports. Control moves from the boardrooms of distant corporations and back into the community where it belongs.” – Michael H. Shuman, author of the book Going Local.

The question here is “ WHY INDIA NEEDS TO GO VOCAL FOR LOCAL”? Do answer this in the comments section below.

So ‘Vocal for Local’ would have been a brilliant strategy for some sectors in India but definitely not in most of the sectors. While ‘Vocal for Local’ is a great idea, we have to recognise that the realities of the global environment have changed significantly.

It is no longer impossible to create globally competitive products without access to globally competitive resources, and without creating globally competitive synergies. We just need the right planning & the global brands will have to set up their manufacturing units here in India.

Buying Local in India means we are helping the weaver and craft communities survive and overcome these tough times, giving you plenty of reasons to love what you buy while doing your part for the community.

5 TIPS to keep in mind while we go VOCAL for LOCAL:

  1. Brand Localisation: Middle-class consumers are loyal to brands. Make sure to have a strategy that focuses on local branding. I believe getting genuine social media influencers for a product launch can give your product or service a good boost as compared to paid video ads.

  2. Understanding the demographics: Understand where your target audience lives. Is it smaller or larger cities? You can use local language in your communication if your audience is in smaller cities or in rural areas. Let’s not forget how big the rural market is. Indian rural is around 700 million people and is not well penetrated for health and wellness products or other consumer goods giving you ample opportunity to grow!

  3. Adapting to preferences: I am not asking you to change your products or services completely. You can adapt to certain preferences, tastes, or even culture if that’s possible. It can help improve your chances of success and grow fast.

  4. The language: Things like language and symbolism need to be looked upon while considering marketing in India. Maybe you can start with a more Indian company name when supplying your product or providing your service in India. Get proper advice before registering a name. Law is not that stringent in India for advertisements; however, a bad move can lead to a huge public outrage and can diminish your brand to a great extent.

  5. Price Obviously matters: Price is an important factor for Indian consumers, mainly the lower income levels. People may spend more on high-status items, but commodities other than that are likely to be purchased based on the cost. Make sure you provide a good quality at an affordable price too.

13 Indian brands that are truly timeless– Boroline, Bata India, Arvind Limited, Asian Paints, Mahindra & Mahindra , Mysore sandal soap, Amul Butter, Old Monk, Air India, Rooh Afza, Parle G, Bajaj Auto and Fevicol.

Lastly, Right said by PM MODI, the country should now focus on ‘People, Planet and Profit’ model and find ways to maximise profit for local businesses and make India a self-reliant country.

Let’s pledge to make our country- “THINK GLOBAL, ACT LOCAL”

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