Made In India – Made For India

Henry Ford rightly said, ‘You cannot build your reputation on what you are going to do!’ It is all about what we have already done and are doing. The customer today is a sleuth– eager to check every fact, every claim before believing in you.

Till a few years ago, Indian brands found place in the shopper’s basket out of price benefit; they were perceived to be a local, with no flash value. Now with “#AatmaNirbharBharat” taking centre stage, the decision to purchase a homegrown brand is a conscious decision. A decision that’s made after careful consideration and comparison with its global counterpart. Which leads one to ask, are all Indian homegrown brands not quite up to the mark? Is it perceived that we are compromising on quality when we choose an Indian brand? Or are we so blinkered by foreign brands, that our Indian counterparts are naturally considered to be anything but trustworthy?

Not true on all counts.

A Brand we love.
Tata Group is a fine example of a great homegrown favourite that has progressively built their brand, not just in India but on foreign shores too. They continue to connect with the urban, small town or rural masses.  They evolve to the unique needs and aspirations of their markets. They are stable, consistent and deliver on the promise of quality that they make. It is no surprise then that consumers love them back! Looks like ‘Make in India’ is not a new phenomenon after all. Then, what changed?

Brand India has changed. It has come into its own. ‘Make in India’ and ‘Vocal for Local’ are great steps. While ‘Make in India’ agenda is all about the manufacturing sector, I see no reason why every industry including insurance, cannot take a page out of this book.

Here is my list of top 5 must do’s that will help us carpe diem & build truly trusted brands!

1. Scale is the name of the game
You may want to re-look at your company’s distribution model to make your brand accessible to the masses. It is important to ensure that the consumer in every urban, small town and rural area has access to your products. I take immense pride and comfort in the fact that IndiaFirst Life caters to almost 98% of Indian pin codes. This is a huge advantage!

2. Are you on my side? Asks the Customer:
And rightly so! If a brand does not put the customer at the centre of its activity, it has already lost the game. The increasing smart phone penetration in the country implies increasing awareness of the world around. The young consumer is savvy, asks the right questions and accordingly invests his or her time and money. Put your #CustomerFirst, everything else falls in place thereafter.

3. I Am Me and I Am Special
In other words, personalisation is key. Organisations must go back to the drawing board and revisit the customer segmentations and focus on micro clusters. This could mean a spring cleaning and renovation. It becomes imperative to do away with redundant products and launch products that target every segment. Nothing builds trust more than understanding what your customers want and giving it to them – personalized.

4. Glocal is the way to go
While we are all for local, it doesn’t mean that we isolate ourselves from the rest of the world. In fact, we must open our doors and imbibe international best practices, adopt world class technology and learn from our foreign counterparts. This potent mixture must then be adapted to suit the Indian market.

5. People…It is always about the people
Our actions won’t mean anything if our teams are not aligned. An empowered and trained people resource is like the glue in a craft project. It holds everything together. When employees interact with your customers, they are the ones who can make or break trust. They need to be the embodiment of your values – so that customers get what your brand has been promising them in advertisements or through any other form of communication..

If we focus on the above, success cannot elude us. And more importantly, it is what will make us trustworthy.

To sum it up, I’d just like to say that an Indian brand will always evoke a lot of love. After all, it is easy to take a man out of India, but it is near impossible to take India out of a man.