Diaspora key to doing business with India – report

A new report identifies the value of building connections with Indian businesspeople in New Zealand, so that Kiwi exporters can explore full potential of Indian market.

“The growing, well-educated and well-connected Indian diaspora in New Zealand provides a valuable resource for building sustainable businesses, as well as cultural and social links between the two countries,” says a new report by Asia New Zealand Foundation.

“Managers and policy-makers should work more extensively with the Indian diaspora in New Zealand, particularly its members involved in the business community.

“This community provides considerable potential for business managers to improve their understanding of the Indian business culture and prepare for successful business engagement in the market,” says the report.

India can offer huge potential market for New Zealand businesses as long as entrepreneurs are well-prepared for India’s regulatory environment and business culture, says the report.

One of the biggest differences is the style of meetings, says New Zealand email security firm SMX. “Everybody’s got about two phones ringing at the same time. There are people walking in and out of the office all the time. Messengers bringing papers on the desk which are signed and then sent off again in the middle of the meeting.”

SMX is one of 14 New Zealand managers operating in India that has been interviewed for “Getting to Know Indian Businesses” report published by Asia New Zealand Foundation.  The report also draws on the experiences of their 14 Indian counterparts and provides advice like the need for using local contacts to help navigate the bureaucracy.

India was ranked 134th out of 184 countries in the World Bank’s 2011 Ease of Doing Business report, while New Zealand was ranked third. “That is a stark difference that comes about primarily because of that regulatory environment,” Says author Val Lindsay, Associate Professor in International Business at Victoria University of Wellington, in an audio interview accompanying the report.

India is New Zealand’s seventh-largest export market and the subject of ongoing Free Trade Agreement negotiations. Prime Minister John Key launched the Government’s Opening Doors to India strategy in October, setting out six goals that include growing merchandise exports to $2 billion by 2015.

There is also “huge potential” for New Zealand firms to tackle India in a more coordinated way, Dr Lindsay says, pointing to the successful approach taken by Aviation New Zealand.

“One of the key things about the Indian market is the size and the need to meet the scale requirements. For New Zealand firms, the collaborative approach is clearly one that would provide a lot of potential.”

Access the Getting to Know Indian Businesses report.


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