From ‘Made in China’ to ‘Making Chinese Brands in India’

By Somali K Chakrabarti

Made In China goods set new Indian standards                                                                                        –  The Times of India on 05th May, 2015

Today if you see your laptop, your cell phone, your TV , or your wifi dongle, there is a high possibility that you’ll find ‘Made in China’ labels on all of them.

China, the manufacturing hub and workshop of the world, is the largest exporter of goods in the world.  ‘Made in China’ goods are to be found in almost all different parts of the world – be it in Europe, be it in the US or be it in India.

 

Made in China

 

A wide range of utility items from electric bulbs, to thermometers, to bottles, to cutlery, to nail cutters, to those brightly coloured gizmos, some with flashy lights, fancy Chinese dragons are made in China and shipped to different countries including India. I have picked up a couple of them from different places and surprisingly some of them lasted for a few years.

Mind you, the list is not limited only to toys and gizmos.

Even idols of Gods and Goddesses such as Ganapati, Laxmi or Krishna are now being made en masse in China, and shipped to India in containers; it seems the China made gods are much in demand.

 

idols-may-15-sl
Idols Made in China |Image credit : post.jagran.com

 

China is all set to build Global brands

Though colourful, fancy & attractively prices and they sell quickly, yet the faith of ‘Made in China’ goods still remains low.

Though this is the case with most Emerging Market brands, the perception of Chinese brands is likely to change soon, aided by the mandates of Make in India campaign.

The Make in India campaign requires that all products to be manufactured and sold in India have to comply with Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) norms.

All manufacturers Indian or foreign goods would be registered after their products are tested and found to confirm with the BIS standards. Availing this opportunity, Chinese manufacturers are upgrading their products to meet Indian standards and register under the new BIS scheme to declare conformity to Indian standards.

Of the 1574, items registered with BIS, 960 are Chinese goods.

Companies like Dell (tablets and servers), Sony (LCD monitors), Cisco routers are using China to ship goods into India.

Other Chinese players like Huawei, Haier and Xiaomi have already emerged as global brands.

Huawei

Using an approach similar to how Honda and Toyota had set up their subsidiaries, production facilities and R&D in US, Europe in the 1960s, Huawei, Haier and Xiaomi have set up production facilities and R&D centres in India to get the consumer insights from India.

These global Chinese brands are using this opportunity to conform to Indian standards.

Having acquired the expertise to make world class products for Apple, Bosch, Dell or Ericsson, the day is not very far away when the Chinese start putting their own labels on their products.

The coming years will see more Chinese goods entering our homes.

Read my post ‘ Branded Hilsa on a Platteron why Emerging Markets need to build Global Brands.

 

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31 thoughts on “From ‘Made in China’ to ‘Making Chinese Brands in India’

  • May 5, 2015 at 10:15 pm
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    We seem to have come a full circle after Gandhi’s Swadeshi movement.
    Do you think its Chinese cost, quality or perseverance that is paying off for them? Or are we just too snobbish about accepting Indian made items?

    Reply
    • May 5, 2015 at 11:28 pm
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      Thank you for sharing your views Sweety. Yes the right noise about Make in India is there.
      To answer your question about our acceptability towards Chinese vs Indian made goods, let me share a perspective.
      If we have the option to choose from brands from different parts of the world, we as consumers will go for the best that we get in terms of value. That makes competition tougher for local brands unless they have a definite value proposition for us.
      In case of Chinese they have been building products for all big global brands. Low cost and Perseverance of course is paying off for them, along with their govt incentives that support manufacturing.
      The Chinese brands with global ambitions will have to be at par in terms of quality at a given cost to compete with established global players. They will also have to manage the perception of consumers.
      From the number of registrations under the BIS scheme by Chinese manufacturers, their willingness to cater to the Indian market is very apparent. So we may see more Chinese brands in India in the near future.

      Reply
      • May 8, 2015 at 11:47 pm
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        So do you think we are going back to History? Trade is how the British initially got a foot into India.

        Reply
        • May 14, 2015 at 12:51 am
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          Dear Sweety, At the onset let me say a sorry for the delay in reply. I had to change the settings for the nested comment for replying and finally managed to do that today.
          In the free trade regime, no country can impose unreasonable trade restrictions as there could be multiple economic repercussions. So it all depends on the soundness of the trade policies whether we are going into history or going forward. We have to trust our leaders for that.

          Reply
          • May 15, 2015 at 12:06 am
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            our leaders are exactly whom I mistrust …or is it distrust? They do not have India’s welfare on minds – only their own welfare. Anyways, lets hope for the best.

          • May 17, 2015 at 7:21 pm
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            We survive on hope. It has to get better, b’cos it sure cannot get worse than present day scenario.

  • May 6, 2015 at 7:41 am
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    They are ruling the world, if we look closely. Majority of things I buy in US are Chinese made. I think labor cost is a major factor. Even brands like Apple have manufacturing hubs there. As long as the quality is good, I don’t mind where they are manufactured. But if we look from employment perspective, it is causing a lot of stress in other economies.

    Reply
    • May 6, 2015 at 8:07 am
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      I agree with your point Saru about the employment factor, but over a long term shifts in macroeconomic trends do occur in favour of efficiencies -whether it is cost efficiency or proximity to resources or any other factor. Job destinations may change accordingly and other economies will have to live up to the competition and create/have their own value proposition. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views.

      Reply
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  • May 6, 2015 at 10:48 am
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    They are a super power, the only thing is that no one realizes it.

    Reply
    • May 6, 2015 at 1:34 pm
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      Yes Anoop. In the 1950s after WWII nobody would have believed that Japanese brands will come up in a big way. Similarly Chinese may just emerge in a big way in the near future.

      Reply
  • May 6, 2015 at 8:26 pm
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    Made in China is everywhere. Very few can match them in terms of cost though they don’t exactly count for quality. I think they are addressing that now.

    Reply
    • May 6, 2015 at 8:28 pm
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      Yes Rachna, the Chinese brand that are addressing the quality issue are the once to watch out for. Thanks for stopping by.

      Reply
  • May 6, 2015 at 8:57 pm
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    The Chinese Ganeshjis are the height! Great post Somali… am thoroughly enjoying the brand series 🙂

    Reply
    • May 7, 2015 at 7:50 am
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      Thank you Archana. Chinese Ganeshjis sell faster than Indian Ganeshjis and local artisans are facing problems due to that.

      Reply
  • May 6, 2015 at 10:16 pm
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    It’s quite interesting: Company’s production units are mainly found in China & billing units in Ireland.

    Reply
    • May 7, 2015 at 9:13 am
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      Very true Ravish. Production units of many Western brands are located in China. In fact 90% of Apple components are made in China.

      Reply
  • May 6, 2015 at 10:30 pm
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    I consciously avoid these stuffs. The post makes me worried.

    Reply
    • May 7, 2015 at 9:24 am
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      Indrani, Yes there have been reports of use of heavy metals, lead poisoning and all. So its beter to avoid the inexpensive stuff, but then all Apple and Lenovo devices are also made in China, and we can’t avoid those. Now with the BIS mandates, Chinese cos that make goods in India will have to comply with Indian standards, and the Chinese manufacturers appear to be game for that. Thanks for stopping by.

      Reply
  • May 7, 2015 at 12:15 am
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    Chinese brands are ruling now, everywhere. It’s very difficult to compete them in terms of cost. That is definitely the greatest factor. But I doubt the quality of the product. Market survey says, most people are dubious about the quality, but still they buy it due to the lower price.

    I read somewhere that apart from Ganapati and other such God statues, which are extremely in demand, they are now trying to imitate the intricate designs of traditional Indian sarees like Banarasi, baluchari, etc artificially. The look-alike creations, if they ever come, will definitely hit the economy, and that too, in a hard manner.

    Reply
    • May 7, 2015 at 9:33 am
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      Yes Maniparna, the low end Chinese goods have penetrated all markets, they can replicate almost anything, produce it en-mass and sell it cheaper. Quality in such cases is doubtful.
      However, the point I am making here is that in addition to these low end commodities, Chinese are also gearing up to produce global brands as well, wherein they will compete with the best in the world. In such products, they can’t compromise on quality, and their eagerness to produce high quality brands (as predicted earlier by Marketing experts) is now apparent from the fact that they are willing to comply with Indian quality standards, more than any other global player. Impact on economy – yes of course, that’s what Indian companies and govt will have to figure out how to counter. Have to be careful with banarasi and baluchari henceforth. Thanks for the caution 🙂 .

      Reply
  • May 7, 2015 at 10:39 am
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    An informative post on Chinese brands .

    Reply
  • May 8, 2015 at 11:48 am
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    Very information and great post Somali… am thoroughly enjoying the brand series 🙂

    Reply
  • May 28, 2015 at 1:03 pm
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    A very interesting read. 😀

    Reply

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