If I were to define a successful business strategy in these uncertain times, I would say, ‘To grow global, go local’. In the most stressful phase of the pandemic, many businesses adopted a “glocal” approach – aspiring for a seamless integration between global and local elements. And as we align business operations to the new reality, we are embracing localisation in India. Because localisation requires channelling efforts toward specific local customers, it can boost revenue streams. This is why companies are increasingly setting up their units regionally, and it’s something that the Indian government has been driving to boost its regional economies. As an aftermath of the ongoing global crisis, businesses are seeing the benefits of going ‘glocal’ on multiple fronts.
Businesses are looking at an ecosystem that offers prosperity
Every region comes with its own set of business policies. Businesses need to adapt their sourcing, talent, and ESG (Environment, Social and Governance) policies in line with the requirements of the markets they are operating in to achieve holistic business growth.
Regardless of what the business manufactures or sells, it is essential to localize business policies to sustain in the market and have a competitive edge. For example, in our line of work, where a single glitch in the functioning of an elevator or escalator can impact the business growth, we must follow the manufacturing and service guidelines laid out by the government in every state of India. We benefit from a global base of talent, experience and expertise, and we apply this to meet the needs of the local market.
Businesses are clinging to stakeholder centricity by localising manufacturing
With the government’s initiatives to boost domestic manufacturing, companies stand to benefit from cost efficiencies in addition to having increased control over the quality, and faster turnaround times in terms of production, transportation, deliveries, etc.
Businesses have noticed that localization does not just save production costs through government initiatives, but it also cuts down the heavy logistics costs of a business.
The biggest hurdles faced by businesses during the pandemic were delays in production due to disruption in supply chains. Localization of manufacturing enables more controllable and disruption-proof manufacturing as the raw materials are procured from the local markets. The reduced distance between producers and the consumers also means the products are likely better tailored to meet the ongoing needs of the customers. It can also reduce the product’s carbon footprint, by shortening the distance goods are shipped.
With the localization of manufacturing, the power lies in the hands of the business to determine when and how to innovate to add local touches to the standard global business policies to better serve customers.
In the vertical transportation industry, rapid urbanization is driving increased demand for vertical mobility in India. Elevator and escalator companies and other manufacturing industries are increasingly looking at being made in India, for India, and eventually, for neighbouring regional markets. Given that, the business sense lies in creating regional manufacturing hubs.
Businesses are gauging perspective of customers to understand their tastes and preferences
In a world where choices change from region to region, a global standard product won’t hit the mark
in every region. Nelson Mandela once said, “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” Therefore, it is important to customise a brand’s product and services based on the needs and preferences of local customers. In India itself, the diversity of consumption patterns warrants customised approaches to catering to a varied audience base. Adapting a product or service to new markets is the key to global growth of a business.
In conclusion, localisation is here to stay. Businesses are embracing it because it is good for business and benefits the people, communities and the economies we operate in. Paying close attention toward localizing brands in local markets not only improves customer experience, builds customer loyalty, but also increases sales. And in India it can catalyse the country to a new level of competitiveness.
Views are personal. The author is President, Otis India.
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