Craving for all things foreign — past tense now. “Look at this blouse,” urged Padma Tata, my back packing colleague while we were recently sightseeing in Rome. “I would like to take a blouse back as a memento and this one looks really nice.” However on the way to the cash counter, she checked the tag and hurriedly back tracked to the racks.
“I refuse to pay 29 Euros for a blouse with a Made in India tag, even if it's on sale,” she smiled widely. There is no need to shop in the West and carry home suitcases groaning with goodies any more, when they can all be bought right here in India. Yes back in the 70's and 80's right up to the 90's there were a lot of luxuries like perfumes and clothes, kitchen needs and even food condiments which we lugged home religiously from our trips abroad. That pair of original Levis jeans, a coffee percolator, or bone china dinner set, a toaster, even a cake mixer or hair dryer were all the must have's in the past. Today one can find all the brands right here in India, of excellent quality, and the prices are far less than the Euro prices quoted.
“My family is back home in Canada,” reveals Schonali Rebello, who is a marketing consultant in the city, “but I don't bring anything back from Toronto when I go home on vacation. I find all the best stuff can be bought right here. In fact, I carry a list of things back from here for my Mum.”
“Earlier when we came in from a trip abroad, we were worried about carrying a lot of goods which would attract duty. Going through the customs check was a huge stressful exercise. Now we just carry off our bags from the carousel and head through the green channel with absolutely nothing to declare,” reveals Manas Chakravarthy, a software engineer who travels frequently.
“I was particularly keen on a particular brand of electrical tools and white goods. I knew the brand was reliable and we could not get them here, so every time I travelled I would carry them back or ask relatives to bring them. Now you can get any and every brand in all the stores across the city,” says a relieved Mallesh V. Rao an HR professional in the Whitefield Tech Park.
“I do however carry home chocolates and cheese,” says Michelle Cherian, a tech writer in the city. “I have yet to find chocolates or cheese comparable to the variety and flavours that we get abroad, here in the city.”
Today one can buy the best of clothes, shoes, perfumes and electronic goods right here in the city. There is no desperate need to shop in the West where one ends up paying four or five times the cost of a product which has been made most often in Asia.