From “Made-in-China” to “Make-in-India”
The Journey may be arduous but achievable as we Indians have it in us!
All these talks about “Chinese goods” rather ‘Ban Chinese Goods” in our country took me several years back when I had first brush with China and its industry. Probably the year was 2003, so nearly 17 years down the line…
I couldn’t resist sharing the experience with you considering the current scenario. I was part of the “International Journalist Delegation” representing “Indian Textile industry” for a summit in Hong Kong. This was probably the third time I was on a trip to HK, I loved going back to HK for some obvious reasons. It is truly a world city, very developed, very modern, very friendly, connected by a canal, metros, transit and unlimited shopping options. I visited ladies market Mong – Kong sometimes twice a day to shop to my heart’s content. I shopped, till I dropped…literally!
But this trip was different, as I had to take along very pertinent and important stories back home responsibly and not just the shopped stuff for the family. The change was too much to handle but writing & shopping are my equal passions. There were journalists (read Editors, I was Executive Editor for Apparel / Textile Magazine) from the U.S. U.K. Europe, Germany, Taiwan, Korea etc. and it was an experience of its kind amidst so many gems. It was during this trip that we were taken to Guangzhou, in China for some textile factory visit. It was very enlightening and interesting trip. We were briefed about the place and we set out for the journey after having meals in the floating restaurant. Though it was not that I had not seen textile hubs in India but this was certainly going to be different, much, much different.
Guangzhou appeared to be very neat, clean, green and developed, it set me thinking, I wish we had a place like this in India. The expression ran on my face, but we had to move on with our job. The roads, the flyovers, the shopping malls, commercial complexes were too much, whereas I thought it would be somewhere close to our humble Surat or at best Coimbatore…but I was like Alice in Wonderland.
Besides, being a major textile manufacturing hub, which supplies textile to the world, Guangzhou is a well-known wholesale market too. I came to know that most of the Indian companies shop from here especially fabrics and accessories. The place has many fabulous varieties to boot and you can find a phenomenal range of designs and patterns of fabrics like cotton, polyester, velvet, and microfibers fabrics. The stunning selection of fabrics is being used to produce magnificent apparel and garments by major brands of the world. Except for this, the market consists of home textile things as well.
My objective is not to glorify this, but that time my mind was synching for a variety of stories which I am going to share in India. The manufacturing plants are stupendously big, beyond comprehension and look-through not achievable in a single day. The workers on the shop floor didn’t even flutter their eye even when a strong team of nearly 20 foreigners walked in. I noticed this! Their scale of operation is quite big, the plant was spic and span, huge work-force, surrounded by greenery, indoor plants what to say of machinery, plant and products that were being churned out. Every aspect was worthy of praise and story…
Years later, when I visited Walmart in Toronto, Canada what I noticed was astonishing. Every second shelf was full of Chinese goods, the impression of China was rampant. This was the year 2004. After having some great time in Walmart, I came out and told my husband, “China will take over every country, everybody, all over the world, it would be all things Chinese if we don’t give up the lure of Chinese goods,” Was it a prophecy? Can’t say but my words turned out so true. Every country on the planet has exposure in China, which makes China, CHINA! which it is thriving.
But on the back of mind was trip to Hong Kong and Guangzhou, I had all the reasons to support my argument.
It’s very pleasant to hear that we are talking about “Atm Nirbhar Bharat” but we have a long way to travel to achieve that.
Believe me, it would be worth it!