The outbreak of covid-19 and government mandated social distancing norms have impacted various sectors and while short-term repercussions are likely to be seen in the coming months, India’s long-term fundamentals remain sound.
A report by McKinsey estimated that India’s GDP could shrink by 20 per cent in the first quarter of the fiscal year over that of the previous one. When the nation was under complete lockdown, business sustenance was a major task. Organisations had to fast track their digitalisation journey. While a smooth conversion might be difficult in the short run, as we progress, industries like telecom, manufacturing, electronics etc. can witness a huge transformation.
Sustaining businesses and meeting customer demands requires the collective efforts of all stakeholders – organisations, the government, industry bodies, and the consumer. The government has extended support to organisations at all levels and initiated a path toward a self-reliant India by strengthening key pillars like the economy, infrastructure, the system, the demography, and demand
‘Purpose led’ to ‘Purpose bred’: This movement opens up a wide opportunity for ‘Indian brands’ – meaning brands that are operating, manufacturing, and employing within the country and for its citizens. While India has always been a great market and an emerging production hub, now is the time for brands to develop India’s production capacity by working on the country’s distinct strengths and weaknesses across factors such as wages, market accessibility, and infrastructure. While devising a strategy for the Make in India campaign, brands must understand the supply chain. Brands with operations in other nations bring the experience and expertise needed in this development.
Brands headquartered outside India but operating in India, hold the potential to increase foreign investment. These brands also encourage transfer of highly sophisticated technology to developing countries which are essential for raising the productivity of the working-class. With more and more brands focussing on the India chapter of their development, they are also investing in the development of global research and development centres in the country. The support and development of local communities is imperative for brands to maximise their potential. They need to work in synchronisation with these communities and engage with them to understand customer ideology as well. Hence it is the need of the hour that as individuals we continue learning and for brands to introduce and upskill regional talent with the latest technology. Working together is what will help us revive, grow and sustain in the long run.
Path to Self – Reliance: This movement will charter the next course of growth for both – Brand India and Indian brands. We need to work together at all levels to promote literacy, skilling and in turn, employment. India is rich in talent and multiple skilled artisans and individuals need the right platform to showcase their innovation. The R&D centres of brands can be that platform. We, as a country need to believe that together we can. It is the unified and collaborative efforts of individuals, brands and the government that will make India ‘Atma Nirbhar’.
The author is Vice President and R&D Head, OPPO India
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