Last week, X, formerly Twitter, was abuzz with polarised opinions as an Indian technology company CEO, irked by diversity and inclusion policies of a global tech major, decided to hit the American company where it hurts. He took to X and announced to the world that his company would stop hosting its cloud servers on the tech giant’s infrastructure and instead build their own cloud computing systems.

The Indian company in question dabbles in various businesses, and the entrepreneur has a history of leaning on nationalism to market his products. While the company’s products and services have often let down customers, who have taken to all social channels to get their queries answered, the CEO continues to urge people to ‘be Indian and buy Indian’. He’s not the only one. Increasingly, Indian businesses are taking a leaf out of China’s playbook and trying to appeal to consumers’ nationalism and patriotism to market their products. While there is no doubt that more localisation can lift the economy in terms of job creation and value accretion, one wishes companies and CXOs spent as much time strengthening products rather than painting global competitors in bad light.

It is an insult to the Indian customer’s intelligence if they believe that dramatic pronouncements about competition or Swadeshi can actually translate to sales. Why must I, as a consumer, not seek out best value for my money, but only pick a product for its roots? Would the business owner compromise on input quality for his business just because they are made in India?

Focus on making the product stand on its own legs, market it for its strengths, and then see adoption soar. And let’s not forget, big tech majors, despite all their commercial and cultural flaws, have helped script India’s start-up story as venture investors, infrastructure and service providers. Finally, CEOs must leave the political mudslinging to politicians, and put their heads down to build world-class products.