In the 1990’s, Australia sold India coal and LNG. We also sent over copper, lead and gold, along with unprocessed foods such as chickpeas, lentils, almonds and oils.
According to India veteran Michael Moignard (pictured) of East West Advisers, it was the beginning of our trade relationship with India – so that makes it very recent.
In the 2000’s our trade has shifted – uranium is in there but taking the prize has been education in the form of fee-paying students in Australia. Along with this has been IT and processed foods, with wine and packaged goods finding a market. Finally, Indians discovered Australia as a tourist destination.
So, what will the 2020’s look like?
Michael Moignard was our Senior Trade Commissioner in Delhi for 7 years, so it was good that he gazed into the crystal ball at a recent India seminar at BDO. This is what he saw:
“Sustainability” will become a big theme, covering services and products around water, waste, renewables and smart cities. That’s a big shift.
Education will continue to dominate but with a move to skilling India’s workforce – in India. And IT will blossom into IoT, Ai and more.
Continuing strong will be wine, packaged goods and tourism.
In short – it’s a good picture for Australia. Hope you are ready to participate!
Mike’s advice on how to approach India:
- Don’t just think about selling your product and services to India (just sales and profits should not be the only motive)
- Work together to create relationships, trust and mutual value (Indians value trust and personal relationships)
- Ensure Indian counterparts understand you are there for the long haul…and not just for short-term profits
- Don’t give the impression that your India strategy is just a diversification from China (and India is definitely not the next China)
Oh, and his final tip, use the phone much more and the emails much less.