Some straight talking on climate change and public policy

Patrick Suckling presents the clearest short paper on climate change and what we urgently need to do

Patrick Suckling is a non-resident Senior Fellow of Asia Society Policy Institute and former Australian Ambassador for the Environment – and former Australian High Commissioner to India.

He has written one of the clearest – and briefest – papers on the importance of climate change and how we need to respond.

Highly recommended reading –

India an attractive market for global consumer firms

Around a dozen global consumer-facing companies reported robust growth in India in the January to March quarter, surpassing even pre-Covid levels with a high double-digit rate for several.

India is among the top-performing areas for several of these firms, including Unilever, Visa, Whirlpool, and Pernod.

Companies sold inventory amid increased Covid-19 instances and municipal restrictions, resulting in large discounts on some discretionary products such as apparel and shoes across platforms throughout the country. Several CEOs have also stated that they are increasing their investment in India.

Sales of everyday household products and basics grew mostly owing to price increases, as corporations raised prices to offset rising raw material, energy, packaging, and transportation costs.

https://www.ibef.org/news/india-is-shining-now-for-global-consumer-firms

India riding high – exports pass US$400 billion for the first time

Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi has announced that India had passed the US$ 400 billion mark in goods exports for the first time, calling it a “key milestone” for his government’s Aatmanirbhar Bharat (Made in India) initiative for manufacturing self-sufficiency.

He made the statement as India’s services and industrial activities remained stable in February, despite the fact that the crisis in Ukraine has clouded the outlook for prices and growth in the consumer-driven economy.

“India set an ambitious target of US$ 400 billion of goods exports & achieves this target for the first time ever. I congratulate our farmers, weavers, MSMEs, manufacturers, exporters for this success,” he said posting a graphic showing the target being met nine days ahead of the deadline.

Time to upgrade your India market entry strategy?

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/explained-in-charts-how-india-achieved-400-billion-export-target/articleshow/90398092.cms

Indian startups raised $38 billion in 2021: Entrackr report

I want to thank my friend Gopi Shankar for drawing my attention to this stunning development for Indian startups. Gopi is based in Bangalore (Bengaluru) and is Director – Trade & Industry | Global Victoria, Victorian Government Trade and Investment.

Entrackr reports:

Money flowed into Indian startups in 2021 like never before. The ecosystem broke all the previous records in terms of fundraising and minting unicorns during the 12 month–period. According to data compiled by Fintrackr, total investments that flowed into Indian startups stood close to $38 billion in 2021. This is over three times more than the $11.1 billion in total funding that startups received during 2020.

Fintrackr’s data further shows that 1,391 startups mopped up $37.98 billion across 1,625 deals in 2021 which included 380 growth and late-stage startups and 948 early-stage startups. Among them, 297 startups, mainly early-stage, did not disclose their deal size.

Read the report here:

https://entrackr.com/2022/01/indian-startups-raised-38-billion-in-2021-entrackr-report/

Here are the top performers which gives you some guide to what is hot in India right now:

9 Key Factors to Winning in India

Follow the lead of successful businesses who have advanced by integrating Indian culture and values into their offering.

  1. Abandon the “quick sale” old mindset and adopt patience and a long-term view.
  2. Model your business on Macquarie Bank – this works whether you are a large or small enterprise. Their central plank for India was partnering is the key to success.
  3. Abhishek Poddar, Managing Director, Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA) “India is one market where you need deep experience if you’re going to be successful. You have to take the time to appreciate and understand its unique culture and ways of working.”
  4. Be clear about what India wants. Macquarie saw infrastructure and clean energy opportunities and focused just on them.
  5. Most successful businesses in India have some philanthropic activity – this is highly worthwhile and well regarded in India.
  6. Establish good relations with Government at Central and State levels – this is vital to being accepted in India.
  7. Consider options such as acquisitions and partnerships which can speed up your market acceptance.   
  8. Be there for the long haul – Deakin University continues to make gains in India and has been present there for over 25 years.
  9. Develop a local Indian team and allow them to apply their own culture – within your larger business culture.

Indian retail business grows 10% in February this year: RAI

Retail growth in north and west India (Delhi and Mumbai) biggest increase

According to the Retailers Association of India’s (RAI) latest business survey, retail sales in India increased 10% in February this year compared to the same month last year, indicating that the industry is returning to normalcy. The increase is also a 6% increase over February 2020.

Growth in the regions might provide a guide on where your best brand opportunities are – Retail firms in all regions showed growth in February 2022, with sales in West India up 16% YoY, East India increased by 4%, North India increased by 17%, and South India had a 4% increase.

Consumer durables and electronics, food and grocery, and quick service restaurants (QSR) all saw strong YoY increase of 28%, 19%, and 16%, respectively.

The apparel and footwear categories have also shown double-digit increase.

Talking to your State Government India business offices and to Austrade is a good idea – and have a chat with those who have been there before you.

Well done on Modi deals, Scott Morrison – he “gets” India

Australian PM Scott Morrison at the virtual talks yesterday with Indian PM Modi.

In a meeting yesterday with Indian PM Narendra Modi, Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, cemented ties with India in a series of deals worth almost A$190 million. He gets (understands) India.

PM Modi is an “investment magnet”, but is also strongly wary of “multilateral” groupings and has a preference to do deals country by country.

So, PM Morrison did a country by country deal. He used some of the western rhetoric over Russia, Ukraine and China, but then got stuck into business.

What is there to “get” about India that matters in our region?

First, it wants investment.

Second, it stays away from promoting democracy as the ONLY future, instead seeing all countries as different and many having different forms of government – all accepted by India.

Third, it now buys most of its defence hardware from Russia and has a long standing close relationship with them.

Fourth, it wants to be in the QUAD (Australia, Japan, USA and India) but will only play on its own terms – that is, not condemning others and not championing democracy as the only solution.

Fifth, Modi is riding high, and he has numbers to back it up – India is the world’s fastest growing economy in 2020. You have to “get” his confidence levels, which are high.

Sixth, India is keen for more Indians to have access to Australia and to work here – PM Morrison “gets” this, and it was significant that the Monday night talks also included a taskforce to see if both countries could recognise the same education qualifications.

Seventh, India has a proud culture and history, feels rightly that much has been plundered by the west – so it was highly important that the National Gallery of Australia formalised the return of artefacts to India.

Future challenges?

There are plenty. The CECA (free trade deal) will soon announce “early harvest” deals and then plans to complete a full CECA some time this year. Good luck with that – especially as our own Aussie negotiators have always been averse to cherry picking. I think PM Morrison gets the need for flexibility and hope he is challenging his bureaucrats to do the same.

Relying more on our High Commission staff in Delhi would be a good step as we have outstanding people there.

But by and large, finally, it seems Australia is “getting” India.

Tata Sons chief to chair Air India

Natarajan Chandrasekaran

Mumbai-headquartered Tata Sons Chairman Natarajan Chandrasekaran has been appointed as the chairman of Air India, media reports said on Monday.

Tata Sons recently acquired debt-laden, state-run Air India in what was a homecoming for the airline that was founded by the Tatas in 1932 as Tata Airlines before being nationalised in 1953.

Tata Group is a huge conglomerate and the “jewel in the crown” is Tata Consulting Services (TCS). No doubt Air India will soon be a leader too.

Read more here:

https://www.peoplematters.in/news/appointments/tata-sons-chief-n-chandrasekaran-appointed-as-chairman-of-air-india-33178?fbclid=IwAR3uA8HLkv5ztTkA0hTpqelJefh8gr4mMDxMToDr6liS40atJFPIo_J4PCM

3 flights X 3 meetings strategy to engage with India

Engaging with India means building relationships – and although this is a bit quick, you can build relationships after 3 flights and 3 visits. Anything less places you at risk of misunderstanding both the opportunity and the pathway.

Here are 4 ways to make your 3 flights X 3 meetings introduction work well:

Adopt a patient long term view

One way to improve our cultural dexterity would be to take a long term view and apply lots of patience. Businesses should not start out on market entry unless they are prepared to commit at least five years to making it work.

Focus on relationships

India is not a short term transaction opportunity – to succeed there needs a longer term focus on building relationships. The first trade meeting in India can be exciting and positive, but from the India side this is just seen as an introduction and they will wait to see if the relationship grows.

Remember in Indian culture “no” is rarely said

Indians are among the most courteous and generous hosts on the planet. On top of this, their culture demands that they never provide an outright rejection or “no” statement, even when this is clearly the only answer. To succeed, our businesses and governments need to dig deeper and find the reality beyond the politeness. 

Adapt to indirect communications

Like most of Asia, Indians are indirect communicators. Problems are rarely addressed directly and unless you have an ear for indirectness, you will miss the warning signs. You can learn how indirect communication works.

INTO INDIA recommends you go to India asap – it could be the time of your life! (business and personal)

Digital retail set to boom in India as it leads the world in VC investment

According to research by London & Partners and its analysis of Dealroom.co investment data, India was the second-largest global venture capital investment hub for digital retail startups in 2022, increasing sharply by 175% from US$ 8 billion in 2020 to US$ 22 billion in 2021. Last year, India came in second to the United States, which attracted US$ 51 billion in investment, followed by China, which received US$ 14 billion, and the United Kingdom, which received US$ 7 billion. Bengaluru led the way in terms of worldwide Venture Capital (VC) investments in digital shopping in 2021, with US$ 14 billion, followed by Gurugram with US$ 4 billion and Mumbai with US$ 3 billion.

Bengaluru was a global leader in digital shopping investment last year. The metropolis nearly tripled its inflows of investments from US$ 5 billion in 2020 to take first place, ahead of New York City (second), San Francisco (third), London (fourth), and Berlin (fifth). Bengaluru was placed fifth among cities with the potential to produce future unicorns, just behind London, according to the research. Following a large consumer shift to e-commerce platforms during the pandemic, global venture capital investment in digital shopping more than doubled in 2021. In 2021, total worldwide venture capital investment is estimated to have reached a new high of US$ 140 billion, up from US$ 68 billion in 2020.