"Made for India" is increasingly becoming a coveted tag these days. This is a far cry from the early days of liberalisation when many companies came in with their older (often discontinued ) models with a misplaced confidence that Indian consumers were just waiting to lap it up . But a rude shock awaited them with them the harsh truth that Indian consumers were as discerning as their counterparts in the other parts of the world . Even luxury brands like Merc have learnt their lessons and today their product portfolio has their latest offering, learning from their hard experience of consumer rejecting the initial model which was being used mostly as a taxi in New york, though it will be a long time before they start thinking about making cars for specifically Indians.
This interest of developing products specifically for Indian market has been around for some years now, though with the global financial turmoil we might be one of those few countries with any growth left. One company which has done this seriously is and achieved substantial success in India is Nokia. Nokia 1100 was one of its first mobiles to designed exclusively for Indian markets. The torch light , unique grip were introduced specifically to cater to the specific needs of Indian consumers, weather and usage. The latest is the proposed introduction of ' Nokia Life Tools' service would be an additional service with focus on e-mail, agriculture and education which would enhance its standing in the Indian market.
Coming back to automobiles, we have been waiting for a long time for the Toyota Indian car, but the company is taking its own time to come up with it. Latest is MUL which says it will come up with a its first made in India car by 2010-11 and ford has also been planning to come up with a small car for both Indian as well as export markets. And Nano has brought a lot of interest in low cost cars and many companies want to develop such cars for the Indian market.
We have come a full circle of days when people spoke about only global products to localisation to developing products exclusively for a market, in the next part we will look at a few more examples of MNCs which had to develop products exclusively for Indian markets...