Do you know that ‘Vocal for Local’ is a concept that dates back to the era of the Swadeshi movement that started in the year 1905 as part of the Indian independence movement? It was an economic strategy that helped India to create and grow a base of domestic big industry. When our honorable PM Narendra Modi addressed the nation, his ‘Vocal for Local’ became the most important slogan the country has heard. While addressing the nation, he announced Rs. 20 lakh crore economic package to revive the country’s economy that has been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. He urged people to create self-reliant (Aatma Nirbhar) by supporting local businesses.
In lieu of the same, we got to talk to Mr. Narendra Singh Dahiya, Founder and Director, Homefoodi about the significance of ‘Vocal for Local’ for the Indian startup ecosystem. Homefoodi is a Noida based Private Limited Indian Company that was formed with a mission of “Ghar Ghar Start-up” to empower homemakers towards nation-building. Homefoodi with its army of Home-chefs aims to create India’s largest job opportunity for women to work from the comfort of their homes. While every consumer ordering Home Food is a shining example for ‘Vocal for Local’, every Home Chef is an epitome for ‘Aatma Nirbhar’ and a symbol of ‘Self Reliance‘.
Here are a few excerpts from the interview with Mr. Narendra Singh Dahiya:
1. What does ‘Being Vocal for Local’ mean for Indian economy?
While most people choose to believe that ‘Vocal for Local’ is about buying local products and being proudly vocal about it, the philosophy behind the same is about Self-Reliance or being Aatmanirbhar. A self-reliant economy has dimensions of being both domestic and global: An economy that is able to harness the domestic potential by making locally relevant products/ services, and at the same time take these local products/services to global markets competitively. Indian economy can be self-reliant if we support every industry to prosper and evolve by leveraging domestic resources and manpower to achieve its full potential.
2. Will it not isolate India from the global economy?
Self-Reliance is not about isolation. All prosperous economies have been built by creating products and services that have a strong domestic and global demand. All such economies have made every effort to ensure that their domestic industries progress to become globally competitive. ‘Vocal for Local’ should be understood holistically as it does not mean protectionism for locally made products and services. It means that locally made products and services should be couraged to become globally competitive. Our government’s intent is to boost the domestic industry’s competitiveness and not about closing our markets.
3. What is the significance of ‘Vocal for Local’ in the start-up ecosystem?
Start-ups play a key role in economic prosperity, it is a fact known to all. They thrive when a country creates an environment of self-reliance and encourages innovation at a local level. Often the countries with the greatest needs present the biggest opportunities for start-ups. A start-up ecosystem brings in new ideas to the table that are the key ingredients for innovation and employment. Vocal for Local initiatives, like Start-up India, Make in India will definitely create new-age homegrown revolutionary technologies and new industries over time.
4. How will Homefoodi achieve ‘vocal for local’?
Vocal for Local is at the heart of Homefoodi. Our Vocal for Local approach translates to healthy eating for our consumers and a generation of a large-scale self-employment platform for homemakers to work and earn from home being a Home Chef. Eating authentic, healthy, and traditional food from different local cultures of India made by passionate home chefs is what describes Homefoodi. Every Home Chef on Homefoodi is patronizing the rich heritage of Indian recipes and cuisines. We are revolutionizing the food culture of India.
5. Anything else that you would like to add on?
It is absolutely necessary that we view ‘Vocal for Local’ as a doctrine to build a stronger nation. Gandhi Ji had an impeccable vision of Swadeshi which had economic and social dimensions. Gandhiji advocated the spirit of Swadeshi by using things that are produced locally and serving those industries by making them efficient and strengthen them in areas where they are found deficient. Gandhiji realized that the economic salvation of prosperity and employment rests in encouraging and reviving indigenous industries.