Round Table DiscussionPublikováno: 24.6.2012
The Indian market is still very complicated for local entrepreneurs and has a number of specifics. Therefore, the assistance from the government is not always as effective as it could be. The Czech-Indian Chamber of Commerce with the support of T-Systems Czech Republic held an informal meeting of about thirty business people and government representatives in order to map the current needs of companies, so the help from the government and private entities in export area could be better targeted in the future.
Josef Vrbensky of Asia and Pacific department at the Ministry of Industry and Trade outlined the current situation and future plans in the intergovernmental cooperation between the Czech Republic and India. He stressed the importance of trade missions and invited companies to participate in them. The main event related to supporting the development of trade between the Czech Republic and India is the participation of Indian companies at the International Engineering Fair in Brno, where India is a "Country - partner" with the attendance of about 150 to 200 Indian companies. The official participation will start on September 10th, 2012 when the Minister of Commerce and Industry of India, Mr. A. Sharma, arrives in the Czech Republic at the invitation of the Minister of Industry and Trade, Mr. M. Kuba. Czech and Indian entrepreneurs will be able to establish direct links on the individual level and during trade meetings, which will take place at the time of the fair.
The importance of strengthening relations was also confirmed in the written speech of the Indian Ambassador in the Czech Republic, H.E. Mr. Venkatesan Ashok who pointed out that "there is scope for Indian companies to go hand in hand with Czech counterparts to produce and sell products both in the Czech Republic and India". His words were confirmed by Mr. Somnath Chatterjee, the second secretary at the Embassy of the Republic of India with the fact that "India is primarily interested in technology and on the contrary, it offers a cheap and qualified labor force".
Modern technologies are another very promising and newly forming market in India. The opportunities in this sector were presented by Mr. Peter Fort of T-Systems, a partner of the meeting who claimed that "it is necessary to enter the Indian market with a clear long-term business plan and ensure the reliably functioning infrastructure with the use of international and local resources", as in the case of a very successful company in the Indian market, Skoda Auto, with which T-Systems cooperates.
A successful entry into the Indian market is not possible without a basic knowledge in the legal environment. The main obstacles were pointed out by Kamil Blazek from the Association for Foreign Investments (AFI) and the international law firm Kinstellar. According to Blazek, "India's potential is considerable, but remains unused. India is a challenging market and the communication with local investors is not as simple as in the Western countries". Moreover, the Indian market is characterized by a number of specifics. This was confirmed by Mr. Martin Klepetko from design, engineering and consulting firm Tebodin who said that "it is required to have a positive personal relationship with India and to be very patient and familiar with the local environment if a person wants to succeed in this market". The main principles in dealing with the Indian entrepreneurs as well as cultural differences were also highlighted.
Subsequently, Mr. Thomas Mergl from BlueHats consulting outlined specific forms of assistance to Czech companies entering the Indian market and at the end, the President of the Czech-Indian Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Jakub Vozdek, said that "the awareness of India is still low and it is our great weakness that generates investors' concerns".
The above stated opinions and the subsequent discussion clearly indicated a recommendation to be seriously interested in the Indian market. Attending companies had the opportunity to become familiar with specific situations that may occur in the Indian market and they were offered various ways of help and assistance available from the Czech-Indian Chamber of Commerce.