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  • Saturday, October, 2020| Today's Market | Current Time: 07:55:53
  • Powerful discussion on Atamnirbhar Bharat by Charudutta Panigrahi & Sandee Behera

    Published on August 5, 2020

    “Atmanirbhar Bharat, if implemented as envisioned, would change the atma of India, forever”. A self-reliant India would not only build the capacity of the country but would engage all in the working age group and bring about a socio economic revolution in the country which not only the country but the entire Region has been aspiring for. Atmanirbhar would help make India’s economy dominant and rekindle the social ethos.” These were some of the thoughts expressed by Mr Charudutta Panigrahi, the Indian thinker and Futurist during a fireside chat with Mr Sandeep Behera, a communication expert and journalist.

    During the talk Mr Panigrahi mentioned about ‘woke capitalism” and how CSR would play a critical role in localising Atmanirbhar Bharat. After the recent amendments in CSR regulations in the country, the corporate is looking at the community programs with renewed vigour. From Reliance Jio’s Made-in-India 5G plan to the recent boom in desi apps and PPE manufacturing, Indian industry is preparing for a swadeshi turn and this journey has to start bottoms up. Quality supply is the clinching factor and that can happen when we inculcate the spirit of excellence in workmanship among the working age group from village upwards. The movement for ‘Made-in-India’, ‘Made-for-India’ and ‘Made-for-the-World’ products has to start from the ground and CSRs would have a major role to play in behaviour change, rural entrepreneurship and innovations. The scarcity in the availability of PPEs for management of Covid-19 positive cases prompted the garment manufacturers in Tiruppur who started making them in a small way. After learning the process of manufacturing these garments and getting their samples approved, at first only a few units started making these PPEs. But the orders kept coming in, the business expanded, pegged today at whopping Rs7000 Crore segment.  What started as a completely humanitarian gesture turned to be a large business opportunity. Across the country, both large and small manufacturers, began to make PPEs. For a market that didn’t exist three months ago, India is now believed to have become the world’s second largest producer of PPE suits.

    COVID and related lifestyle is the new norm. WITH new consumer needs after the lockdown, many companies saw an opportunity, where previously nothing much existed. Food delivery platforms turned into grocery suppliers to provide contactless purchases of essentials. Indian edutech firm like Byju’s, are experiencing huge registrations in their app. Mr Panigrahi spoke about the concept of Antarik which is an equation (propounded by him stating a TED Talk) explaining the diffusion or the absorption of social schemes or reforms amongst the communities. He is of the opinion that any shake up in the availability of products and services in the country due to the embargo on imports can be met by the Indian manufacturers and developers provided we realise that there is Time, Communication and Participation (∑ Antarik = T+C+i(Time+ Communication+ internalisationParticipation) which are crucial factors to change our economy as a whole. Another example of fast adaptability was due to the sudden opportunity which came when the Indian Government banned a number of Chinese-owned apps, most notably, TikTok. Overnight, an estimated 200 million users of TikTok in India were available as consumers. A number of new and old Indian apps have since tried to capture this market. Roposo, one such platform had already been growing rapidly reaching about 50 million users. Jio could soon create a super-app like China’s super app WeChat where a user can do multiple things, from hailing a cab or making payments for purchases to chatting with friends and a host of other things without once exiting the app. The streaming platform Zee5 is also working towards becoming an Indian super-app.

    Mr Panigrahi believes in the adage ‘trade is good but imports are bad’. Atmanirbhar Bharat (‘Self-reliant India’) is the only path. Vital supply chains need to be kept within India. India’s potentially huge domestic market should be tapped. He gives the example of mittelstand, the backbone of Germany’s industrial wonder.  Germany’s small and medium-sized enterprises are the envy of the world and the backbone of the German economy. The country’s “Mittelstand” companies, as they are known, include more global market leaders than any from any other country. The Mittelstand companies are strongly anchored in their region and have a strong connection with their employees and the local community. A similar foundation with SMEs can be laid in India with the help of CSR and not only CSR. In her announcements on the Atmanirbhar Bharat programme, our Finance Minister announced out a number of changes that redefined the scope of MSMEs. Output and productivity for Indian MSMEs have to be the drivers in the times ahead.

    During the discussions, to a question of Mr Behera, he answered saying that ‘we need to give business time to develop” under Atmanirbhar Bharat. Nothing happens magically. He elaborated on the following pointers:

    –        Localisation of Atmanirbhar Bharat

    –        Sector analysis and demand forecast for MSMEs

    –        Skill gap analysis at the last mile

    –        Woke capitalism

    –        Antarik Model and how it can help reduce gestation period for MSMEs to provide goods and services to the home market without delay

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