Indian PM Narendra Modi meets with African leaders during the International Solar Alliance meeting – an initiative created by India.
India is taking a leading role in supporting the spread of solar power across Africa – where nearly 600 million Africans still do not have access to modern sources of electricity.
India created and leads the International Solar Alliance, which has 86 member countries including Australia – and is now attracting strong participation from Africa.
With drastically falling technology costs, renewable energy has become a cost-effective option of generating clean power all over the world.
The International Solar Alliance (ISA) was conceived as a coalition of solar-resource-rich countries (which lie either completely or partly between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn) to address their special energy needs.
The ISA will provide a dedicated platform for cooperation among solar-resource-rich countries, through which the global community, including governments, bilateral and multilateral organizations, corporates, industry, and other stakeholders, can contribute to help achieve the common goal of increasing the use and quality of solar energy in meeting energy needs of prospective ISA member countries in a safe, convenient, affordable, equitable and sustainable manner.
ISA has been conceived as be an action-oriented, member-driven, collaborative platform for increased deployment of solar energy technologies to enhance energy security and sustainable development, and to improve access to energy in developing member countries. The ISA has 122 sun-belt countries that lie between the two tropics as its prospective member countries and currently boasts a membership of 86 countries globally.
New research based on data by Dealroom.co data and analysis by London & Partners – the Mayor of London’s international trade and investment agency – found Bengaluru as the world’s fastest growing tech ecosytem.
Bengaluru, often dubbed the Silicon Valley of India, has firmly cemented its tech credentials. The second Indian city was Mumbai, which made it into the top 10 fast-growing ranking at sixth place.
While Bengaluru, the capital city of the southern Indian state of Karnataka, grew 5.4 times from $1.3 billion in 2016 to $7.2 billion in 2020, the Maharashtra capital of Mumbai grew 1.7 times from $0.7 billion to $1.2 billion in the same period.
Bengaluru is also ranked sixth for the world’s tech venture capitalist (VC) investments, on a global list topped by Beijing and San Francisco, New York, Shanghai and London making up the top five. Mumbai comes in at No. 21 in the worldwide ranking, with Boston and Singapore among the other high-ranking cities.
Bengaluru is dynamic and global in feel, with sleek offices and countless quality bars and restaurants.
It used to be India’s “garden city” but has become a global “tech city”.
For EdTech, MedTech, AgriTech and in fact “any Tech”, Bengaluru is your India starting point.
It is also home to the dynamic Victorian Government Business Office led by Michelle Wade – essential to talk with them about your India entry plans.
Most case studies of Australian businesses succeeding in India reveal one key element – finding the right local partner.
What is the right local partner?
It is much more than someone who says “yes”. Too many have been frustrated in Indian market entry because they forged alliances with any and everyone who said “yes” – which means everyone they meet. India is a culture that cannot say no, so be wary of the yes answer.
The right partner is already active and successful in your field. They can show you their track record.
Your right partner will have connections among suppliers and customers, and will be keen to introduce you to them so you can form your own judgement.
In the collective culture of India, your right partner will be well connected in the various business chambers and will have good connections in government – central and state. This right partner will demonstrate these connections by organising meetings for you, rather than just saying “yes” we are connected.
Your right partner will be someone you double check with Austrade and with other reliable connections you have in India or Australia.
Your right partner could ultimately become an agent, a joint venture or more. They might just be a trusted individual who willingly offers to make connects for you – this freely opening doors does occur in India.
Your right partner might be a talented individual who you hire into your business. Or it might be a combination of external and internal. Patience will be your best friend as you make these choices.
Finally, your right partner will develop relationships for you – because in Indian culture relationships matter. Relationships first, business second is the path to long term business in India. Quick deals are just that – one transaction that might not lead to anything.
So, how are you going finding the right partner in India?
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar along with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov address a joint press conference, in Moscow. The visit was aimed more at reiterating the importance both nations accord each other.
India has long been able to see both sides of an argument in international affairs – and today is a champion of a multipolar global order.
This frustrates countries like the USA and Australia, which clearly see the world in terms of goodies and baddies – for them, the world order is either run by “us or them”.
India’s independent approach was seen in the recent reinforcement of its long held close friendship with Russia. At a time when the rise of China has pushed India into closer relations with the US and Japan, the Indian External Affairs Minister, Dr S Jaishankar held a three day visit to Russia, to reassure an old friend.
Russia could be described as India’s oldest and strongest allies since independence.
“I think what makes our working together so natural and comfortable is our belief in a multipolar global order,” Jaishankar said.
In the complexity of our pandemic world, “multipolar” could be something that takes us forward in peace.
With India’s role as a rising power, plus its long record of peaceful co-existence with multiple countries, can it help the west and China live together?
Here is the situation as outlined by Michael Spence, a Nobel laureate in economics, Professor of Economics Emeritus and a former dean of the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University:
“At the recent G7 and NATO gatherings, China was singled out as a strategic competitor, a calculating trading partner, a technological and national-security threat, a human-rights violator, and a champion of authoritarianism globally.”
Not a great recipe for co-existence.
Spence continues: “China denounced these characterizations, which its embassy in the United Kingdom called “lies, rumors, and baseless accusations.” The risks that such rhetoric poses should not be underestimated.”
Also not a recipe for co-existence.
He concludes: ” The real danger, however, is that officials on both sides seem to have embraced a zero-sum framework, according to which the two sides cannot simply co-exist; one side must “win.”
But India has long experience of getting along with all sorts of regimes and managing to see both sides of the argument.
As India plays a bigger role in global groupings, can it influence both the west and China to drop “zero sum” thinking and work to co-exist?