Transcript: Doing business in India

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>>Nicola Watkinson: Hello, Welcome to this Austrade podcast and welcome to India!

My name is Nicola Watkinson and I am the Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner for South Asia.

I would like to take a few moments to tell you about the development of the Indian market, the opportunities that we see developing for Australian business and how you can tap into the potential of this growing market.

The Indian Economy is growing at 7 to 7 ½ per cent per annum. There are a number of good reasons for that growth.

One is Consumerism with the burgeoning middle class of over 300 million many of whom have worked or studied overseas and want to bring that part of that international experience into India. Another great cause (opportunity) is the investment in infrastructure across power, road, education and health. And the third area is the drive by the Indian Government to improve the international competitiveness of the Indian businesses through strategies such as Make in India and Digital India.

All of these areas offer a wealth of opportunity for Australian businesses.

So let’s explore some of those opportunities in a lit bit more detail. Austrade has an extensive network of offices throughout India and we have done a lot of research into where the best opportunities for Australian business lie. These fold into 3 major groupings. One is consumerism focusing on premium food and wine, on sport and on tourism. The second is around capability in areas such as vocational education and training, and water management. And the third is around capacity looking at sectors such as the mining equipment, freight rail and road safety. All of these areas offer huge potential for Australian business. So let’s explore them in a little bit more detail.

The Indian market for imported foods is growing at over 30 per cent a year with wine, dairy, pasta and sauces and chocolate being some of the fastest growing product categories. In fact, India has become the fastest growing chocolate market in the world. And I am not taking sole responsibility for that.

Another area of opportunity is e-commerce. In India over 65 million people are visiting some of the top 3 e-commerce websites each month and that is growing over 30 per cent a year. Some companies like Flipkart and Amazon are already starting to look at the Australian market to see what products they can source from Australia. That is in the areas of things like the food and wine area but also in areas such as fashion. These opens up a whole new area of opportunity for our small and medium sized businesses looking to enter the Indian marketplace.

Over 20 million Indians enter the workforce every year that’s nearly the population of Australia and this is placing huge demands for vocational education and training here in the Indian market. Austrade has been working to identify ways in which Australian institutions can get the right balance of price, quality and volume to meet the needs of the Indian market. We are starting to see a number of institutions such as The Australian Retail College, Deakin University and SEDA really growing and succeeding in the market place. And this is an exciting area of opportunity both to service that have workers who are going to stay and work here in India as well as looking at the transnational education market for many of the Indian workers seeking opportunities in regional markets like the Middle East.

The Indian Government has set an ambitious target of increasing the level of manufacturing in India from 15 to 22 per cent of GDP. In order to do that, Indian businesses are going to have become more internationally competitive. Australia has world-class expertise in ICT, Life Sciences, Agri-Tech, and Advanced Manufacturing and materials that can help India to succeed in its goal.

Already we have seen companies coming into the market to take advantage of what Australia has to offer and we see this as an enormous opportunity for Australian technology and research institutes with commercial ready solutions that are looking for industrial partners and a way into the global value chain.

There are over 200,000 Indians already visiting Australia every year. But India is also keen to grow its tourism from Australia and from around the world. One of its greatest assets is its cultural heritage with over 32 UNESCO world heritage sites listed in India and 1000s more cultural assets that need to be explored by the International tourist. Many of those need better conservation and better tourism interpretation and this is an area where Australia has world-class capability to offer. We already have a number of groups such as Narrowcasters and Sue Hodges Productions who are starting to come into the market to offer their services and solutions and we see this is another area a strong opportunity for Australian business.

I hope that this short podcast has inspired you to look at the wealth of opportunities in India. We in South Asia look forward to helping you to grow into the market place and stand ready to answer any further enquiries you may have.

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