The trade mission to India led by Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Lilianne Ploumen, generated two contracts and an abundance of useful contacts for Women on Wings. From September 2 to 6, co-founder Maria van der Heijden and managing director for India Ronald van het Hof took part in the mission that consisted of forty Dutch companies. Women on Wings was able to sign agreements with Indian partners in both New Delhi and Mumbai. In New Delhi, a contract was signed with Aakar Innovations and SSP/Sakhi Retail (a network of 1,000 female entrepreneurs in Maharashtra) with a view to starting a sanitary pads business in October 2013. In Mumbai, Women on Wings signed a contract with the EXIM Bank of India to collaborate on financing and knowledge to benefit social entrepreneurs in rural India.
Several discussions also took place with Indian companies and government organizations. Together with representatives from the National Rural Livelihood Mission, Women on Wings discussed collaborating on programs that generate jobs for women in rural areas. And together with companies such as Hindustan Lever and retailers such as Shoppers Stop and Spar Supermarkets, they examined how these companies could contribute to creating job opportunities and income for women. India recently introduced a scheme for devoting 2% of profits to social activities.
The trade mission consisted of forty companies from the Netherlands, with collaboration agreements signed between several of them. WASTE is interested in organizing the waste management of sanitary pads in rural areas. Further discussions regarding forms of collaboration will be held in the near future with other participating companies, such as ING, KPMG and Royal Haskoning/DHV.
Maria van der Heijden is more than satisfied with the results of this mission. “This trade mission will generate jobs and income for both India and the Netherlands. All in all, several hundred talks were held for the purpose of getting down to business. The Dutch embassy in India organized seminars, appointments with relevant companies and authorities, and networking events. The week was a whirlwind of introductory talks and presentations. With our two contracts and twenty follow-up appointments, we are extremely pleased with the results of our participation.”
Caption: David Rasquinha, Executive Director of EXIM Bank of India and Maria van der Heijden, co-founder of Women on Wings, present one another with the signed contracts under the watchful eye of the minister, Lilianne Ploumen, and Fons Stoelinga, the ambassador.
Video Dutch Trade Mission to India 2013 – New Delhi
source: Dutch Ambassy
Video Dutch Trade Mission to India 2013 – Mumbai
source: Dutch Ambassy