Why India must spend more on education?

Today India will announce its Budget for the next financial year. Budgets are important because the gives an estimate of the tax collection and government expenditures.

Everyone has different expectations from the budget. The middle class wants lower taxes. The poor want more welfare and subsidies. The rich want better infrastructure.

But most of us also desire high economic growth. A strong economy solves most problems. A rising tide lifts all boats. And the biggest driver of long term economic growth is education. The best way for the government to put the country on a high growth trajectory is to educate our kids.

We must demand from our government to spend more on primary education. The more we spend on education, the better it is for the country because the benefits of education add up over time. It’s like compound interest.

The economist recently published an article on how poor countries are failing their children. Around 60% of 10- year-old Indian children can’t understand a simple text. It’s a colossal failure. For all our economic growth and development, a majority of our kids are illiterate.

How will they build the future companies and the country when they can’t even read? What skills are they learning at their school that can help them to build a successful future?

If India wants to have a bright future, it must start by educating its children. Everything will fall in place once we prioritise education. We must give our children a better future. Otherwise, we will be doing them a big disservice.

A new ingredient becomes popular, and a plethora of brands start offering products. Like apple cider, onion oil, and rice water, charcoal but sooner or later these will be replaced by the next fads. But ingredients which have been traditionally used at home and are popularly known are more likely to stand the test of time. Like Himalaya having Neem, or Vicco with the turmeric story.

The benefit of an ingredient story is that you can leverage existing associations with it, but the challenge is that the existing associations can also limit you. For example, turmeric has been used on the skin with the belief of lightening and also as an anti-inflammatory so extensions from face creams to face, washes are easy. But let us say the key ingredient is charcoal, which is currently associated with cleansing, it does not work with moisturizing.

From the set of new brands, mCaffeine is focusing on the ingredient story. Unlike neem or turmeric where the inherent goodness of the ingredient is well known, caffeine requires education in many categories. Current associations of caffeine are mainly as a stimulant, which works for face washes or body washes where refreshment is an expectation. But categories like serums, oils, and deodorants will require education on the ingredient benefit.

Focusing on an ingredient does build expertise cues for the brand. But ingredients can and do go out of fashion, which is where PR and content play an important role. A quick search on turmeric or caffeine yields articles from multiple brands talking about the ingredient benefits.

What is your take on this?? Should brands focus on one ingredient?




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