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PM's 'vocal for local' call interpreted differently by some quarters: Nestle India CMD

Business Finance

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

FMCG major Nestle India on Tuesday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'vocal for local' call has been interpreted differently by some, while asserting that the company is all about 'made in India' and its brands are loved by people.

The subsidiary of Swiss firm, which has been operating in India for the last 108 years, said central armed police forces' (CAPFs) canteens have asked for information from the company over its products in the wake of a recent direction from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to buy only domestic products.

Following the prime minister's call to be "vocal for local", the MHA had issued an order last week asking CAPFs canteens to "sell only indigenous products" beginning June 1.

"I think he (Modi) was referring to Make in India and products that are manufactured in India, which unfortunately has reached a different kind of interpretation in some quarters," Nestle India Chairman and Managing Director Suresh Narayanan said in a video conference with the media.

He was replying to a question on what challenges do the company foresee due to the government's push for only local products in CAPFs canteens.

Narayanan further said, "Police canteens have asked for details, but their details were quite clear and categorical, in line with exactly what the prime minister had indicated.

"They have asked to list whether they (products) are made in India, whether raw materials are from India, whether they are assembled in India or whether they are imported products. It is a very very clear list that they have asked for, which we have provided. I do hope that there will be clarifications on this soon..."

Through lakhs and lakhs of farmers, Nestle India sources milk, wheat, spices and coffee, besides 99 per cent of its 7,200 employees being Indian, he said.

"Our brands are "sine qua non" for Indianness, and people have loved them over decades, if not centuries, therefore I believe that in every sense of the term, Nestle India is all about 'made in India', 'made for India' serving India and Indian consumers," Narayanan asserted.

He added that "we also contribute our own humble might to the Indian exchequer -- Rs 36 billion (Rs 3,600 crore) is contributed each year and also there are 1,25,000 shareholders who are quite happy with Nestle".

"If my brands as Kit Kat, Maggie, Nescafe and Everyday are satisfying the Indian consumer, then I am feeling proud that the Indian consumer loves that," he said.

Earlier, on May 12, Prime Minister Narendra Modi pitched for the use of products manufactured in the country, saying the coronavirus pandemic has taught the importance of local manufacturing, local market and local supply chain.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, May 19 2020. 18:36 IST