Champion strategies for India

The Netherlands India Business Meet (NIBM) is an annual gathering of the Indian and Dutch business network. The aim of the event is to share knowledge, build relationships and seek new opportunities between India and The Netherlands. Maria van der Heijden, co-founder of Women on Wings, joined the event on 21 October at KPMG Management Consultants in Amstelveen, the Netherlands.

Make in India
On the World Bank Ease of Doing Business index, India ranks number 134 out of 189. This implies there are plenty of opportunities for progress. Maria: “The young population of India is ready for a change, a change for the better. They have high expectations of the new Prime Minister Modi. Some large-scale flagship campaigns are launched in India, like ‘Make in India’ which is designed by the Modi government to facilitate investments, foster innovation, enhance skill development and build a manufacturing infrastructure. The campaign aims to transform India into a global manufacturing hub.”

Adapt the local flavor
One of the key-note speakers at NIBM was David Moore, Business Development Manager at SPAR International, a Dutch multinational foodstore retail chain. SPAR started doing business in India eight years ago. It took a lot of effort and time to incorporate the local flavors into the SPAR hypermarkets in India. Moore: “It is often said that India is not organized. In our view, India is extremely well organized, but in a low cost and practical way. It may look primitive, but in reality it is very efficient.” Moore’s view on e-commerce, which is booming in India: “India has known ‘home delivery’ for centuries. This means that the infrastructure of home delivery is already there. The key is to identify the needs of your customers and tap in on the existing infrastructure.”

Three tips
Girish Ramachandran, Vice President of Tata Consultancy Services and Chairman of Confederation of Indian Industry, shared three tips for doing business in India:

  1. India is simplifying the rules for doing business, so use the opportunities!
  2. Manufacturing is a high-end topic, so manufacturers: step in now!
  3. Water and sanitation is one of the main topics in India. Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Campaign) could be a big opportunity for Dutch water and waste management experts/businesses.