Baba Ramdev makes a call to Indians to embrace Swadeshi products and Indian values at ASSOCHAM’s ‘Wisdom Series’

New Delhi: The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), one of the apex trade associations of India in association with ITC Sunfeast concluded the second edition of its Wisdom Series lecture on the theme of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat – Vocal for Local – Moving towards Self-Reliant India’. His Holiness Param Pujya Swami Ramdev Ji, who was invited to hold dialogue with an expert panel of speakers appealed to Indian consumers to proactively embrace Indians brands to help build a self-reliant India.

Swami Ramdev and recognized industry leaders deliberated on how to promote local MSMEs and industries to achieve a self-reliant India in an engaging webinar.

Speaking on the occasion of Ram Janmabhoomi puja from Ayodhya, the spiritual leader and CEO of Patanjali, Swami Ramdev elaborated on his personal practice of adopting Swadeshi goods.

“I had decided almost 35 years ago to embrace Swadeshi products completely aside a few technical equipment using high-technology. For goods that run on zero-technology I have never opted for a foreign brand. Consumers too should take up this mindset and bear in mind that they should live for the country. This is a long journey and it cannot be done in one day,” he said emphasizing the need for going Vocal for Local. He also suggested that Indians should not just embrace home-grown brands but also imbibe their inherent values and carry it further from generation to generation.

Inspired by Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision to build an India that nourishes and chooses local brands first, ‘Vocal For Local’ is being envisaged as a great opportunity to strengthen Brand India and promote Swadeshi companies, their products and supply chain and make India global hub for manufacturing.

Swami Ramdev then went on to express how India can structurally work to create a nourishing atmosphere for Atmanirbhar Bharat. “To make India a global manufacturing hub, the right environmental conditions need to be provided. People shouldn’t in any form indulge in tax evasion or inspector raj or become victims of politics. The system should not see businessmen as criminals. Policy makers should prioritise honest taxpayers and allow gains with honesty. Policy makers should encourage gains with honesty.”

Exploring the potential of Indian brands and small-scale businesses, he said “We should be prepared to create brands with honesty, scientific research, focus on building supply chain, distribution system and good teamwork. It is important to build a team and instil honesty in them. There must be devotion, dedication and determination. These values need to be instilled in the institution one is planning to build so that upcoming generations carry on those values. These values can be seen in brands like ITC, TATA and Birla.”

He then went on to highlight how small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs can rise to the current occasion under the Vocal for Local campaign and use it to build a brand and its vision. “First learn a subject completely and honestly. Then you will be able to build a brand and always do it with a vision of 10-20 years. This way you will have a reliable brand. I want at least 50-100 more brands like Patanjali to exist,” he added.

He also added that for any individual striving to succeed in life, it is crucial that they become self-confident as an individual first, only then will their businesses turn self-reliant. “The best way to become self-confident is to invest 10-20 minutes every day in activities like yoga, meditation and other physical workouts. Shed sweat. A person who wakes up early to take control over his body and shed sweat is a person who does not need to shed blood at work. This will keep at bay ailments like pressure, blood pressure, cholesterol, stress and others. When you become self-confident then self-reliance in your work will follow and help contribute to nation building,” he said.

Using the example of Patanjali and how Swami Ramdev has successfully been able to capture a marked previously dominated by large corporate conglomerates, ASSOCHAM President, Dr. Niranjan Hiranandani highlighted how small businesses now aspire to make their own brands and business reach a national scale.

Mr Anil Rajput, Chairman, ASSOCHAM FMCG Brand Promotion and Protection Council iterated, “In the ancient times, India was considered an economic global force to recon with and contributed 25% to the global GDP. When the British left India, the country’s contribution to the world GDP was merely 4%. Then came the wave of globalisation which benefited some countries more than the rest. In 2020, we are witnessing a changed global order triggered by the COVID pandemic making countries to revisit their economic development strategies. In India, our Prime Minister has envisioned for an Atmanirbhar Bharat with emphasis on Vocal for Local. The need of the hour therefore is for all the stakeholders to come together to realize this dream.”

Mr. Vineet Agarwal, Senior Vice President, ASSOCHAM, said, “for Atmanirbhar we also need Atmavishwas especially during times like COVID-19 when an individual is stressed both in personal and work life.”

Focusing on the need for an Atmanirbhar Bharat, Mr. Deepak Sood, Secretary General, ASSOCHAM explained what such a nation means, “An Atmanirbhar Bharat is a highly capable India which is globally competitive and at a stage where everybody in the world wants to associate with us.”

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