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Atmanirbhar Bharat: How the pandemic has shown local manufacturing is need of the hour

PM Narendra Modi's call for Atmanirbhar Bharat during the pandemic has encouraged local companies to boost manufacturing and people are now searching for more India-made products. This emotional call has shed light on the importance of using homemade products in boosting the economy and simultaneously transforming the local businesses.

Abhinav Ranjan Abhinav Ranjan @abhinav_1108
New Delhi Updated on: December 22, 2020 17:52 IST
Atmanirbhar Bharat, manufacturing sector
Image Source : INDIA TV

Atmanirbhar Bharat: How the pandemic has shown local manufacturing is need of the hour

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is truly the master of building emotional connect to make the right use of the right things at the right time and deliver the results. Remember his pitch for the Khadi industry soon after he took over as the Prime Minister in 2014? He promoted the Khadi and its products worldwide. According to Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC), a body under the MSME ministry, the last five years witnessed the widest acceptance of ‘Brand Khadi’. The production of Khadi has more than doubled since 2015-16 and the sales have gone up by nearly 100 per cent. Modi's pitch has successfully transitioned from local to global and Khadi has now become a matter of case study for many business schools. Likewise, he wants to make India a hub of manufacturing and often emphasizes the importance of local manufacturing and supply chains. His call for Atmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India) during the pandemic has encouraged local companies to boost manufacturing and people are now searching for more India-made products. This emotional call has shed light on the importance of using homemade products in boosting the economy and simultaneously transforming the local businesses.

The pandemic has exposed the feebleness of the supply chains and certain companies started to reconfigure their sourcing and manufacturing footprints. They are now setting up more local units so that they don’t need to depend on certain factors to drive their business. According to Kiran Dham, CEO of Noida-based edtech solution provider, Globus Infocom, although manufacturing PMI saw the sharpest contraction due to the lockdowns, the sector has the potential to become an engine for economic growth and jobs in India. She said that the government's thrust on local manufacturing has provided tremendous results and helped in earning the public’s trust in desi products. Especially during the pandemic, the crisis has helped India-based companies to increase the productions to meet the demands as people are heeding to PM Modi’s ‘vocal for local’ calls. She said that the growing demands for local products have encouraged the manufacturers to meet the standards of global products.

Turning adversity into opportunity

Speaking about how the Globus Infocom turned the pandemic time into an opportunity, Kiran said that while things were on a downhill, “we turned this unfortunate period into an opportunity to support the government's noble initiatives of Aatmanirbhar Bharat. "We started a new vertical of healthcare and wellness. This was driven by the sheer thought of being independent in terms of medical support and making quality health essentials available in our country. We are designing this beautifully and achieving results and contributing to the Prime Minister's idea to cut our dependency on foreign products," she said.

Kiran explained that the company brought a thermal camera among others during the pandemic to help detect elevated body temperatures and offer an early diagnosis of infections. This, she said, has cut the dependency on such products that were earlier imported. She said that technology provides easy solutions and “we are also privileged enough to create employment opportunities as well”, adding that being a Make in India brand, the company is today ready to face any crisis and challenge without being dependent on other countries.

'Make in India' push

She said that the government's support in the last few years has been phenomenal in boosting local manufacturing. She added that the new policies have surely boosted the ease of doing business for Indian companies, adding that developing very strong research and development infrastructure and creating innovative technology solutions can help in "finding solutions to many problems in our home" itself.

"With schemes and policy amendments announced to encourage the local approach, more and more companies are inclined towards manufacturing in India," Kiran said.

Challenges Ahead

But there have been challenges too. She said that the Indian market is dominated by multinational brands and the government’s efforts to ensure ‘vocal to local’ is trying to make sure they use and promote local products as much as they can and cut our dependency on foreign products. She suggested that the government should bring more reforms and consider introducing a purchasing guideline in order to create a more friendly and right ecosystem for businesses. She said that industry-specific clusters should be created in a defined ecosystem. “Quality products should be manufactured at reasonable prices to challenge the multinational brands available in the market. We are surely looking forward to India being the manufacturing hub in the coming future,” Kiran opined.

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