The Empire Strikes Back By Nisha JamVwal


In her inimitable style, Nisha JamVwal proudly reveals how globalisation has an Indian heart and why she’d rather be Indian, buy Indian

Are we still living in the Raj? I mean, in our heads? Sycophants to foreign brands? Bowing and scraping to the white sahibs and scoffing at Indian people, brands, cars, clothes? Did we not learn a hard, bitter lesson all those years ago, with the British treating us like riff raff? What greater shock do we expect to hit us again until we wake up and smell the coffee? Or in this case the home-grown Darjeeling aromatic brew? To shake us out of this enamoured trance, which things from foreign shores with prices upwards of a few hundreds of dollars look attractive?

India: Flavour of the Year
Observe the current scenario and hold your head up proudly. We’re the flavour of the year, or maybe even the decade. The roles are currently reversed. The white sahibs need us to spend because Indians are nearly the only ones spending, travelling, wearing and winning. And that too stylishly. Indian takeovers of global companies is a proud trend and I could go on citing global takeovers, the many new factories Indian companies are putting up overseas, Indian nationals acquiring foreign software companies and BPOs, and so on. I want you to sit up and notice the few that stood out and have given me goosebumps of pride in the last decade.

Our Trophy Case

  • Tata Tea took over a global company twice its size, Tetley Tea, the second biggest tea company in the world.
  • Subhash Chandra’s Essel Packaging formed Essel Propack after his takeover of Propack of Switzerland, where the impressive merger created the world’s biggest producer of laminated tubes, and an Indian MNC became the global number one.
  • The world’s second largest steel maker, Arcelor, finally bent to a US$ 32 billion takeover bid by the world’s largest steel maker, Mittal Steel. It was reported to be a ‘wrenching turnaround for Arcelor’s management’, which had once dismissed Mittal as a ‘company of Indians’ but were forced to backtrack after shareholders threatened to revolt.

And a few more heroes – Tata Motors, Ambanis, Ranbaxy (who acquired RPG Aventis), Khorakiwala’s Wockhardt (acquired CP Pharmaceuticals of UK and Wallis Laboratories), Kumar Birla’s Hindalco (acquired famed copper mines Mount Gordon and Nifty), Sterlite (also acquired copper mines in Australia), Sundaram Fasteners (acquired Dana Spicer in Europe and set up a plant in China), Amtek Auto (acquired the GWK group in the UK which is twice its size), Kirloskar Brothers (acquired a majority stake UK-based SPP Pumps).

We, the People
It is we who allow this very superior attitude to nurture in people from foreign shores. We have to respect ourselves, our country, our Indian brothers and sisters, rather than be ever-ready toddies and lackeys to every import that hits our country – human or inanimate. Be a proud Indian and a warm dignified host to the foreign guests; this is my plea this month when we celebrate  Republic Day.

Read Nisha’s entire article online at and more of her point of view at Follow her on Twitter @nishajamvwal.


Volume 2 Issue 7


  1. It’s interesting to see Indias admiration and idea of western culture. We have our love for international brands whilst the west are busy taking ideas from our stunning indian outfits. For instance London’s high street store Monsoon has taken heavily eastern influences such as kaftan style tops and lengha skirts. Sames goes for our obsession with our skin colour. TV channels in India are abudent with constant fairness ads whilst the west are busy spending millions on tanning salons and products. The richest man in the UK is an indian… Despite a slight recession India continues to boom whilst the West is suffering another double dip recession…. need i say more? India may have flaws but then so do many other so called “developed” countries. Having been born and brought up in the UK and also lived in The USA and Spain, i have always been obsessed with all things India, be it the country, culture, movies, fashion etc. Never do i feel the same homesicknesses then when i leave India after a visit. Alot of my friends in London were in shock after being informed of my future move to Mumbai this year but i feel nothing but excitement, as if I’m coming back home. Brilliant article its about time this was addressed!


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