The Coronavirus pandemic has dramatically changed the way businesses are carried on, in general. Clearly, the way the entire planet functions has changed, almost radically, and commercial setups and businesses are no exception. Sustainability and self-sufficiency have suddenly gained prominence, since imports had to be curbed, across the globe, to try and contain the spread of the deadly virus. The limitation on imports across the globe has both tangible and intangible effects - short-term as well as long-term - and on global well as local Economies. Every major Country has taken a hit. While the immediate impact on Economies across the globe have obviously been felt, there surely will also be repercussions of the pandemic in the long-run as well, most of which are already predictable, and a few, currently unpredictable, that can only be quantified based on how the Markets across the globe reopen, gradually. In the wake of this, the best option is to start preparing to be self-sufficient ; to be in line with the old saying - hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. Here’s hoping that no part of the Planet has to go through anything that comes even remotely close to the current, ongoing pandemic that shows no sign of subsiding. So, in a bid to prepare for the worst, by which we mean a natural calamity similar to this pandemic, let’s go Local. Let’s be self-sufficient and let’s go vocal for local, as our Central Government has put it.
Let’s take an example - when the pandemic hit us, Indians, hard, were we equipped enough to feed the current electronics supply chain that depends entirely on Chinese Electronics? While no sector was and would suddenly be left in the wild, permanently, we definitely took temporary hits and, God forbid, but if another natural calamity hits the globe, we will most certainly have our backs against the wall, and will be under tremendous, unprecedented pressure. Let alone another natural calamity, this pandemic itself has left a huge vacuum. In line with this situation, it’s paramount for us to be ready for another similar situation. The best way to be ready for something similar is by slowly moving towards Local Products, which is where manufacturing comes into play, something countries like China, South Korea and Taiwan have mastered. China, especially, holds the lion’s share when it comes to manufacturing and are, therefore, the least dependant. It’s imperative for us to start laying a strong platform as soon as possible so that we will gradually be self-sufficient when it comes to manufacturing, be it electronics or be it automobile or be it garments. While we import a large share of electronics from countries like China, we have traditionally relied on countries like Germany and South Korea for Automobiles, and Bangladesh and Pakistan for Garments. It’s only after the later part of 2000s that we have started manufacturing, even if in miniscule quantities. The lack of manufacturing forces a better part of our supply chain to rely on imports.
Local manufacturing will not only provide a certain, much needed pace to our Economy, which already had been in doldrums, and more so after the Corona pandemic, but also make sure that our supply chains are dependant more on the local market than on imports. This will automatically speed up growth and also make us less susceptible to any natural calamities. It’ll ensure a certain stability rather than fragility to the Economy. Any flimsy looking supply chain, will, therefore start looking a lot more firm and strong, while being able to hold its own in wake of any similar natural calamity.
The Vocal For Local campaign, therefore, launched by our Hon’ble PM, will ensure that we start laying a platform to pave way for local manufacturing, which, in a way, will gradually ensure we become self-sufficient at the soonest, and that we can shield our economy better against any impending crises. Let’s be vocal for local and let’s truly make ourselves the manufacturing hub that we have the potential to become.