As part of the ongoing India Unplugged series, INZBC organised an event on 23rd May 2019, at the Ellen Melville Centre, in Auckland CBD. The focus was to discuss the opportunities and challenges of working with India.
New Zealand Trade & Enterprise (NZTE) former Trade Commissioner to India Jane Cunliffe and Fonterra’s Global Stakeholders Director Simon Tucker spoke about India-New Zealand trade at the event. Along with them was the CEO of Quality NZ, Geoff Allott.
Jane, who has just returned from her tenure in India, is rich with knowledge and experiences of Kiwi companies, who are working to make a mark in India, including some success stories.
She said Kiwi companies needed to see India “as a country to do things with rather than a country to sell things to.” Kiwi companies like Glidepath and some others had been “smart about setting up in India” and with this approach they have successfully leveraged their expertise along with India’s human capacity and scalability to sell globally.
Jane explained that the top end consumer market is potentially lucrative but tackling it requires a customised approach. She emphasised working with NZTE India and local partners to help navigate this market.
Sharing some personal pictures of her visit to client events, Jane reiterated that, “Relationships and partnerships are more holistic, and important, in India, than in many other markets.
As per her advise, some elements that lead to success in India would include:
• Understand which business model is best for your business • Build and support your local network • Take time to find the right partner • Get good regulatory advice • Review local conditions and be prepared to adapt • Plan for the long-term
Next up was Simon Tucker, Director of Global Stakeholder Affairs, at Fonterra.
Mr Tucker said Fonterra was poised to re-enter the Indian market shortly with its collaboration with the retail giant Future Retail Group.
He detailed the stark differences between the dairy environment in India and New Zealand and explained briefly what Fonterra was planning to offer the Indian consumer.
He said Fonterra’s previous foray into the Indian market might have been a little premature but with a growing highly aspirational and mobile middle class, the consumer scenario is different now and tastes have widened and there is a growing demand for niche products.
Simon explained how the Free Trade agreements and RCEP in particular is important to open up huge markets for the Kiwi companies, including Fonterra. Also busting the myth that the NZ dairy exports to India could harm the Indian local dairy industry in any way, he explained that, “the consumption in India is so huge, that any exports from NZ cannot be deemed as a threat”.
India New Zealand Council board member and dairy industry doyen Earl Rattray was the Master of Ceremonies and conducted a brief panel discussions with the two speakers and Quality NZ CEO and Director Geoff Allott, who has also been working with Indian markets for several years.
INZBC also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Bihar Foundation
INZBC Chair, Sameer Handa and NZ Chapter Head, Bihar Foundation, Ragini Gautam signed an MOU to work for events and to take a delegation of Kiwi businesses to the state of Bihar, in India.
Explaining the need for this, Ragini said, “NZ - India share some common values of democracy and are keen to further their engagement through trade, investment and knowledge sharing. It is with the idea of promoting these objectives that Bihar Foundation- Auckland Chapter in association with India NZ Business Council , has signed an MoU. Bihar, being India’s third largest populated state is dominantly an agricultural and service oriented economy and is currently the top state in state in India, clocking a stunning 11.3% growth rate in 2018.”
Bihar Foundation , is a not- for- profit, autonomous body working under the guidance of the Bihar government across India and abroad. It adheres to the vision of bonding, branding and business with the help of Indians diaspora.
“We look forward to an exciting and long term relationship with the INZBC in furthering India NZ trade relationship”, said Ragini, further explaining that a business delegation to the state of Bihar is being planned for later this year.