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why indians prefer imported items

Updated on December 15, 2009

BE INDIAN, BUY THE BEST

WHY INDIANS PREFER IMPORTED ITEMS

BE INDIAN, BUY THE BEST

During our freedom struggle movement, Gandhi ji stressed the need for `Swadeshi`. Even today Indians remember the patriotic slogan BE INDIAN, BUY INDIAN. But what happens when we enter show room of any international brand?

It was recently disclosed in a summit held in New Delhi that most of the Indians prefer to purchase luxury items from abroad. They are ready to pay much more for the brands at the showrooms in Chicago, London, Singapore or Dubai, they may even not ask for a discount. While at their native country they may not like to purchase the same cheaper local brand items without bargaining.

We may agree that when a person is abroad, there is nothing wrong in purchasing whatever he likes from the visiting country. It is not only Indians but tourists from all over the world prefer shopping. Some may shop to collect memories of the place visited. Others may like to take some gifts for their near and dear ones. And one more category – it must be good because it is a foreign brand.

Till recently it was very common that if you own anything that is of international brand or from abroad, it sets you apart from others. Primary purpose of most of the Indians visiting nearby countries like Singapore, Dubai, etc. was shopping various electronic items, garments, perfumes, jewelry etc. Even at the planning stage, such visitors tried for searching everything that could be purchased from the places being visited. While touring at such places, sightseeing and enjoyment is natural but becomes secondary.

Time has changed and the days are gone when people used to specially travel abroad for getting foreign brand items. Today the internet and the information spread through the wide cable network channels have changed the mindset of consumers. While sitting at home one can see, experience and order for anything he likes from any country and get it.

There seems nothing wrong if sometime anyone may prefers some foreign made items because of its non-availability at his home country or because of its genuine quality or uniqueness.

But the question is while in India, why people prefer or search for such items which have the production tag of some other country, whereas the same product is available in the domestic market and that too at lower rates. It is because of the general thought that has been established through long experience that the products available in domestic market are of sub-standard quality. In return they are ready to pay almost 30% more price which costs them because of Import duty, transportation etc.

When asked, someone replied that he always prefer domestic products but whenever gets a chance, he likes chocolates of a particular country. The reason was that the milk available in that country was non-comparable. The other person told me that he prefers electronic items of a particular country because they are of international standards and rarely available in India at a higher rate or available only when the product is outdated in the originating country.

In today’s tough competitive business environment only fittest can survive. It is not possible for any competitor to compromise on the quality. We do agree that Indian products are second to none in quality, but that quality is honored for exports. What about the products that are supplied within country?

We agree that `All that glitters is not gold`. Similarly whatever we purchase from abroad may not always be good stuff. But the promise of good after sales service also exists behind international brands.

Whenever we think for quality and branded items of luxury, electronics, perfumes, automobiles, garments etc., if not all, most of them (like Lacoste, Samsung, Sony, Addidas, Reebok, Honda etc.) are from other countries. Indians are producing in collaboration with different international branded companies. Items produced in one country are being assembled somewhere else. Pickles and other food items produced and processed in India are packed & sold in USA.

There is nothing best like own home i.e. East or West Indian is the best. Many Indian companies (like Raymond, Bata, Good Year, BPL, Videocon, Maruti etc.) are exceptionally good in international market. We find Indian handicraft and decorative items throughout the world market.

During my recent visit to USA, on internet I experienced - Be Indian, Buy American. At other place it was – Buy American, Be Indian. A long list of branded items, which has yet no presence in India, being liked by Indians at Wal-mart, Starbucks, Disneyland, Office-Max etc. But I also experienced as the world being integrated.

Non-availability or Inferior quality of any product in the domestic market has also forced the citizens to compare domestic products with international standards.

Many of famous multinational brands from all over the world have rapidly moved India while others have taken note and are keen than ever to reach our doorsteps . Is it not a sign of true globalization? But consumer is the ultimate ringmaster.

Though slowly, but mindset is changing and there seems no reason in thinking – BE INDIAN, BUY THE BEST.

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    • profile image

      narasv 

      4 years ago

      You can shop from any US website and ship the items to India using shopusa.in It will be delivered to your doorstep in India

    • pramodgokhale profile image

      pramodgokhale 

      5 years ago from Pune( India)

      Sir,

      Long back i worked in middle east, we used to bring foreign items while coming on vacation.The reason is, Japan was top in manufacturing electronic goods and after sales service. Their products were very superior by technology and looks.At that time China was nowhere in the scene.

      Second thing is most important , in these nations import duties or taxes were nominal and their citizens were provided subsidies by their government for food and imported items so expatriates were also beneficiaries.

      Electronics and household items from Japan and Europe were of high quality and durable.Indian consumer market was about to make mark so people were always under impression that imported is best.

      After 1991, we embraced globalization and liberalized our economy , we invited foreign manufacturers and Indian manufacturers to make consumer items on large scale.

      Now we don't need to import electronic gadgets , washing machines, CDs , we produce it here.Indian consumers afford to buy these items because income levels rose.

      Slowly but definitely craze of imported items is fading.

      Thank you sir,

      pramodgokhale

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