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'Labelling Indian companies as cheap creates negative branding'

Posted on Aug 22 2014 | IANS

Kolkata, Aug 22 : A German expert Friday said the practice of Indian companies marketing themselves as "low-cost" creates negative branding for the country and should be done away with as the nation is not viewed as such by investors.

Andreas Waldraff, chairman of UBF.B GmbH, a global management consultancy firm with a focus on Indo-German business ties, said his country was ready to extend help to West Bengal in launching high-end vocational training programmes that could boost investments.

"Being cheap is misleading, and often creates negative branding. Moreover, when you take everything into account, India is hardly seen as a low-cost country after all," Waldraff said at the Manufacturing Conclave organised by CII Eastern here.

He suggested domestic companies should collaborate to initiate vocational training programmes that could address the gap of skilled manpower in the manufacturing sector and thereby attract investments.

In addition, he iterated the state must focus on quality and research and development capability.

"True, that eastern India, for that matter West Bengal is not as visible as the other provinces such as Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka and there are many reasons for that, but I firmly believe that Bengal can still catch up with the rest of India.

"It is not an easy process and there is no shortcut to it either. But the process must start now. The onus is on the domestic companies. You must combine and collaborate to launch top-class vocational training programmes. We Germans will be happy to help," he said.

Trained personnel in the hardcore aspects of manufacturing would also enhance competitiveness in the long run, according to him.

"You devise a system for yourself, organise a circle among yourselves and make a pledge that you will offer jobs to a few candidates at the end of each programme which will train young talents in all the hardcore aspects of manufacturing.

"This will enhance the competitiveness as a whole across the world in the long run. I strongly believe that CII can take the lead role," said Waldraff.

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