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India needs to make global brands to build the nation's brand: Anand Mahindra

Mahindra Group chairman and managing director says India could continue to gain from the current tough economic conditions that impact China

By Salil Panchal Forbes India Staff
Published: Feb 14, 2016

Life is not a template and neither is mine. Like several who have worked as journalists, I am a generalist in my over two decade experience across print, global news wires and dotcom firms. But there has been one underlying theme in each phase; life gave me the chance to observe and tell a story -- from early days tracking a securities scam to terror attacks and some of India's most significant court trials. Besides writing, I have jumped fences to become an entrepreneur, as an investment advisor -- and also taught the finer aspects of business journalism to young minds. At Forbes India, I also keep an eye on some of its proprietary specials like the Rich list, GenNext and Celebrity lists. An alumnus of Xavier Institute of Communications and H.R College of Commerce and Economics in Mumbai, I have worked for organisations such as Agence France-Presse, Business Standard, The Financial Express and The Times of India prior to this.

Panel of experts speak at the CNN Asia Business Forum 2016, as part of the ongoing ‘Make in India’ week in Mumbai.
Image: Joshua Navalkar
Panel of experts speak at the CNN Asia Business Forum 2016, as part of the ongoing ‘Make in India’ week in Mumbai.

India will need to build global brands if it has to compete head on with China, said Anand Mahindra, chairman and managing director of the Mahindra Group.
 
“If we have to build brand India, India will need to build global brands. We have to leapfrog China and start doing that quickly,” he said.
 
He was speaking at the CNN Asia Business Forum 2016, which was taking place in Mumbai on February 14, as part of the ongoing ‘Make in India’ week.
 
Mahindra said that India could continue to gain from the current tough economic conditions which impact China. “There will be migration of some low-cost work to India, from China [due to the slowdown there],” Mahindra said. “But my only concern is that this should not be the only place where we (India and China) do battle,” he said.
 
Mahindra stressed that Make in India was not just a policy. “Make in India is a rallying cry. The government has to give direction and move away after creating institutions which regulate,” he said.
 
Mahindra called for the swifter imposition of the bankruptcy laws and remove the stigma of failure, which businessmen faced. He argued against the perception that some people had, that the Make in India campaign would make India a sweat shop of the world, to manufacture products. “This is not so," Mahindra said.

SPECIAL COVERAGE: Make in India Week 2016

Kumar Mangalam Birla, chairman of the aluminium-to-retail Aditya Birla Group, said that India economically, was in a sweet spot, at this stage, being one of the fastest growing major economies in the world, with strong foreign direct investment,” Birla said.
 
Birla dismissed concerns from some sections of the audience over the quality of products that India has been producing.
 
“It is important to understand that India has a strong track record in manufacturing, whether it be petroleum refineries, textile and cement plants.
 
Birla also said Indian companies will need to constantly evolve in a rapidly expanding world led by technology. “We (at Aditya Birla Group) are looking at the use of algorithms to optimise manufacturing. Also the use of remote sensing; these are the new skills which corporates and employees will need to adapt,” Birla told a packed audience.

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