Unfazed by yoga guru Ramdev-led Patanjali’s anti-MNC campaign, Nestle India on Tuesday said its commitment to India will be “unwavering” with a history of over 104 years of presence in the country and described itself as “99.9 per cent” Indian. “We have been in India for 104 years, 99.9 per cent of my company is Indian starting with me... I am proud of this heritage that we have in this country and proud of what the company has done in this country,” Nestle India Chairman and Managing Director Suresh Narayanan said.
Stating that the company’s consumers, suppliers, vendors, partners and shareholders are all Indians, he said: “My contribution to taxes and salaries are all to Indians and therefore I am at a loss to understand as what else must I be doing to be called as Indian.” He was responding to a query on how the company views allegations by Patanjali through various advertisements that just like the way “East India Company enslaved and looted us, multinational companies are still doing the same by selling soap, shampoo, toothpaste, cream, powder and similar daily items at exorbitant price”.
Narayanan further said: “So, while the statements are read also by my board both India and globally in Switzerland, we do not change our views simply because of the rhetoric.”
Choosing not to get into a slanging match, he said: “Irrespective of what people might say, they have their points of view, I respect their point of view. Nestle’s purpose and value will be unwavering and its commitment to this country would also be unwavering.”
Reiterating that the “bond and relationship” with India built over the course of a century “are rock-solid”, he said “the dignity and respect that we command as an entity is something we are grateful for and we would always be grateful”.
Citing the example of the Maggi crisis, Narayanan said not even once that during the entire crisis, the company had a single incident of unrest.
Even though Nestle India shut down five factories for five months due to the ban on Maggi, it did not have a single problem at any of the plants, he added.