‘Made in India’ tag or ‘Brand India’ is at the lower end of value chain. However, it is not that we have nothing to offer or lack marketers, it is just that we do not know how to market ourselves.
The importance of the ‘Made in…’ tag is a disputed topic, but that does not hide the fact that Brand India has been suffering from quite some time now, feel industry experts.
According to Kamini Banga, Independent Marketing Consultant, Kamini Banga Dimensions Consulting, “The origin of a product matters immensely. For instance when Tata bought Jaguar, they purchased a brand and innovations pipeline. What mattered to the consumers was not where it was from, but that it was not from India.
”India is a new kid on the M&A block, added Banga. The success rate of acquisitions in India is 1.4 per cent and the success rate of acquisitions in China is 6.2 per cent. She explained that out of the major acquisitions this year (Tata Motors, Tata Steel, Birla Novelis and Airtel) only two made profits. Thus, while the importing quotient matters, there is no guarantee that a merger will improve the image of Brand India worldwide.
While Kamini pointed out the beliefs at the consumer end, Abheek Singhi – Partner and Director, The Boston Consulting Group said, “We are poor at marketing Brand india and Made in India, not bad at marketing products. If one tries to identify Brand India, a lot of positive aspects might appear, but the lack of innovation and the ‘chalta hai…’ attitude costs a lot to the country.” The problem according to him is that the citizens themselves do not take pride in the ‘Made in India’ tag.
India has changed a lot over the years. It is now looked at as the land of possibilities instead as the land of exotica, pointed out Rakesh Pandey, President – Retail and Business Development, Raymond.
He noted that India has soft skills power on one hand and Bollywood charm on the other. The soft skills power enhances creative activities such as advertising, writing, etc. and Bollywood has an extremely wide reach. India is a diverse country and is able to relate, reach out and embrace other cultures. Thus, he says that Brand India is still evolving.
Brand India is suffering from lack of ambition and big dreams, according to Piyush Pandey, Executive Chairman and Creative Director, Oglivy and Mather South Asia. Pandey said that M&As are not the answer to every problem. Brand India is not about marketing failures, but about building a product that is universally or partially accepted. He said that ‘Made in India’ is not a bad stamp because there is no stamp.
On the other hand Harish Bijoor, CEO, Harish Bijoor Consultants stated that Brand India stands out in the service sector. There are three segments in a country – manufacturing, service and agriculture. While ‘Made in India’ may not be as strong in manufacturing, service is unique in India.
India has very poor investors. We lack investments in research and development, and technology, felt A Mahendran, Managing Director, Godrej Consumer Products. Compared to other emerging markets, we spend less in R&D and technology and thus are going through a ‘credibility deficit’ in the country.
Neeraj Chandra, Vice President and COO, Britannia Industries looks at the scenario differently. Chandra shared that India has a strong market of one billion people. And when Brand India can cater to a large market as this, it can go ahead to cater the big market of six billion people around the world.“Indians have an eastern mindset – we make good things and let them speak for themselves. Thus, Brand India needs little more awareness and extensive marketing measures,” concluded Chandra.
The above mentioned industry experts were sharing their views at the 12th CII Marketing Summit, held in Mumbai.