Doing business in India is about strategic partnerships, people and patience

New Zealand India Trade Alliance (NZITA) recently held its first event for 2020 under the series NZ-India Dialogue (Connect, Enable and Advocate). The event was held at the exclusive Northern Club in Auckland.

The evening had two top business leaders talking about their experience in doing business with India and how the NZ India trade collaboration can grow.  The audience listened to some great stories and even greater examples of overcoming obstacles in order to succeed. 

Giri Gupta, Chairman welcomed the members and the guests to the event and spoke about how NZITA had jumped on the plane in the past and arranged meetings with Ministers in India for one of its members.

Alan Pollard, CEO of NZ Apples and Pears Inc spoke about why NZ apples industry is rated as #1 in the world. The main ingredients are orchard practices, higher yield per hectare and innovative new varieties. He spoke of the high tariffs (50 percent) for NZ apples entering India.

Indian apple Industry is restricted to the states of J & K, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand and the terrain in some parts is quite daunting. Himachal Apples industry needs a rejuvenation and NZ can help in this regard with its best practices and innovative approach.

Alan painted a picture of how NZ apples industry was helping Himachal Pradesh since 1980. The relation has recently been rejuvenated and NZ apple industry is helping under a World bank funded project.

Alan emphasized that the way forward is through:

  • Trade as a strategic partnership; not a transaction
  • Cooperation and collaboration
  • Technical extension and knowledge/skill transfer
  • Exchange programmes
  • IP deployment

Carmen Vicelich, CEO of Valocity Ltd spoke about how she jumped on the plane at the first bite by a potential partner/business in India, rather than skype.

Valocity streamlines the mortgage and valuation process to enable improved regulatory compliance and more seamless customer experience. Carmen spoke of her experiences in India and how the company had to think outside the box to provide solutions to problems they had never encountered before. It was the innovative mindset of the company that solved the issues faced by the Banking/Finance/lending industry and digitized the process of validating the value of a property. Valocity has created an ecosystem where lenders,

valuers, consumers and brokers have been connected on a cloud platform.  This has led to reduction in the turnaround times and most of the process has become paperless.

Carmen emphasized that for doing business in India:

  • We need to work through people and build relationships
  • Have the patience
  • and the passion
Surinder Ogra, General Secretary NZITA

Surinder Ogra, General Secretary spoke about NZ Trade flow trends in the past 50 years. “Across industries, trade flows have been shifting away from US, UK and Europe (West) to the East. With the burgeoning middle-class, India occupies an important space in our future trade flows.”

“Whilst Goods exports to India have grown by a small percentage in the past 5 years, Services exports have increased from $408 million to $1.3 billion in the same period. This is a worldwide trend where physical goods going across the borders is reducing and Services sector is growing.”

Giri Gupta and Dr. Don Brash, Vice Chairman jointly presented a plaque to Carmen Vicelich, congratulating Valocity on achieving great heights in 6 years culminating in winning the Global Fintech Start-up of the year at India Fintech awards in 2019.

Dr. Don Brash, Vice Chairman, in his vote of thanks said that he has never been to an event where he got 2 main courses delivered in the same evening. He was referring to two top business leaders speaking at the same event. He thanked the speakers for the great insights and the audience for a well-attended event.

“India is a growing market of 1.3 billion people, with an expanding middle class and soaring demand for quality goods and services.  India is literally hungry for the type of products that New Zealand can offer”.  

“The NZITA works with a strong network of Indian trade organisations to establish, build and promote trade, investment, sporting and cultural links between New Zealand and India. We have key industry and Government connections, plus chapters in India.

“It is an exciting time.  India is on the rise.   As Kiwis we have a unique opportunity to connect and grow our markets in the Indian sub-continent.  Our historic links with India, cricket and strong Kiwi-Indian business community gives New Zealand some definite advantages, combined with the right guidance.” 

About NZITA:

NZITA is a not for profit organisation created to actively promote a closer economic relationship in goods and services between New Zealand and India with mutual advantages for both countries and members of NZITA.

Wherever possible NZITA aims to provide the necessary linkages and connections to its members so that they are able to grow their businesses locally and internationally.

NZITA provides a range of support services for members seeking to enter the Indian markets, including access for business at the highest level to local and state government entities in both countries. NZITA has a strong leadership team of experienced and skilled people, alongside a highly capable executive council which includes top business leaders.