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Good homework needed for Indian connection

New Zealand companies and investors keen on engaging with India would do well to connect with a number of credible official and non-official organisations in major Indian cities, a prominent business leader has said.

Auckland based businessman and former India New Zealand Business Council Chair Wenceslaus Antony said that businesses that have a point of reference (in India) have greater potential of success, with the ability of minimising risks.

Risk Management

“New Zealand businesses should consider establishing their presence in India and employ local staff to interface well with Indian companies. Assessing and managing risks in a large country with diverse business practices and cultures would be critical,” he said.

Mr Anthony was speaking to delegates attending the annual ‘Ethnic People in Commerce New Zealand’ (EPIC NZ) held at Sky City Convention Centre on May 2.

EPIC NZ is an initiative of the Office of Ethnic Affairs functioning under the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The Conference this year was sponsored by ExportNZ and the Employers & Manufacturers Association.

Among the keynote speakers at the inaugural session of the Conference were Ethnic Affairs Minister Judith Collins, BusinessNZ Chief Executive Phil O’Reilly and ExportNZ Managing Director Catherine Beard.

Ground knowledge

Mr Anthony said that doing business in a foreign country entailed a sound knowledge of local rules and regulations and ground realities.

“I understand from the Indian office of the New Zealand Trade & Enterprise (NZTE) that New Zealand businesses that do not have a good risk management strategy could face legal tussles and problems relating to protection of their Intellectual Property and payment delays on Government tenders.”

He said that the Delhi and Mumbai offices of NZTE were geared to provide adequate and appropriate information to New Zealand businesses based on which the latter could decide on their commercial ventures in India.

“Other organisations that would be of assistance include the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), the Confederation of Indian Industry (CFII), Associated Chambers of Commerce of India (ASSOCHAM) and the Punjab, Haryana & Delhi Chambers of Commerce & Industry. People of Indian origin doing business in New Zealand will also be useful contacts,” Mr Anthony said.

Upmarket focus

Mumbai based New Zealand Consul General and Trade Commissioner Gavin Young said that Kiwi companies are increasingly focusing on the upper end of the Indian market, which accounts for about 30 million people.

“India is also being perceived as a viable option for manufacturing,” he said.

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