Friday, July 3, 2009

Made in china

There have been so many occasions where someone has said “No guarantee of this stuff. See it is made in china.” And I just don’t get it. How can a product’s quality be measured by the country it is manufactured in. Quality depends on how it is manufactured and not where it is manufactured. Quality is directly proportional to the cost. If you want cheaper products you get cheaper quality. It’s that simple.

How can I be so ignorant to ‘Made in china’ when the flat screen Dell monitor I am looking at, the keyboard I am typing on, the mouse and the coffee mug too have a ‘Made in China’ tag on them. My daughter’s Fisher Price toys (considered the best brand in toys) are made in China. My Levi’s jeans are made in China. I have a 200Rs unbranded wrist watch and a 5000Rs branded wrist watch – both made in china. I can’t blame if the cheaper watch falls slow in two years. I can’t say “hey this thing does not work cause it’s made in china”.

As Indians in general I think we have always been envious of China. We are proud of our democracy (something we ought too) but that’s it. We are envious of the fact that china has made far more progress than we have in the last couple of years. We know it’s our enemy, we know it’s progressing like a bullet train; we know we can’t catch up and so we want it to fail. China-bashing thus becomes our favorite pass time.

A better approach would be to learn from them. How is it that after manufacturing to the whole world, their markets are still full? The year we decided to export mangoes to the US, there is a shortage of mangoes in the local market. Chintachen a small town in china has every household manufacturing just porcelain ware – cups, saucers, soup bowls, vases – you name it. Wuxi another small town has everyone manufacturing toys. I am not envious but in awe of how they have made effective use of their mass population for mass production (not reproduction ;-)).
It’s like the entire country is determined to make their country number 1. And they are aware of their weaknesses too. They know we are far ahead of them in one main area – language – that we can speak English, while they can’t, and beware they are catching up on that too.

Wake up Indians before even the air we breathe is ‘Made in china’.

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