Sunday, March 3, 2013

A fresh perspective on doing business with India


A fresh perspective on doing business with India
Thakur Ranjit Singh
Some businesses may be battling bureaucratic wrangling, red tape and some sort of corruption in India. …Do not get involved in corruption. Understand and respect Indian business regulations and bureaucracy, and adapt to meet their requirements…. In spite of these problems, the huge and growing market potential continues to attract businesses,” these were the honest assessment and words of advice to businessmen from a respected and successful businessman, Wenceslaus Anthony,   a Board Member of Bank of Baroda, among other important positions,  and  Chairman of India New Zealand Business Council.
Mr  Wenceslaus Anthony the keynote speaker-Do not get involved in corruption..Understand and respect Indian business regulations
Mr Anthony was speaking to businessmen at ANZ Bank premises, Lincoln Road, Henderson, Auckland, New Zealand on 28 February, 2013. This business networking was organised by Waitakere Indian Association (WIA) and sponsored by ANZ, to promote and foster better business relationships with India. WIA does not only organise social, cultural, community and religious festivals like Diwali, Holi and Girmit Remembrance Day but is  also involved with community welfare services such as Family Violence, Senior Citizens, Youth, Women concerns and Hindi Language and Culture School. Now it has gone one notch higher by becoming a vehicle to promote and enhance business activities.
Guests at the WIA/ANZ Business Network evening,(from left) Mrs Amail Habib, Francis Peters, a solicitor at Corban Revell lawyers and Vice President of Waitakere Ethnic Board, Amail Habib, Deputy Chair of Ethnic Peoples Advisory Panel (EPAP) at Auckland Council,  Andrew Webster, Senior Regional maner ANZ Auckland and Northland and Dr Rajen Prasad, Labour List MP.
In the last 5 years, the Indian economy has grown at 8.5% to become the third largest economy in Asia, behind Japan and China. India is the 9th largest economy in the world in absolute $ terms and is poised to become the 4th largest by around 2030. In terms of PPP –Purchasing Power Parity (the same purchasing power in different countries), India has become the 3rd largest economy behind USA and China
Media presence at the function: Rajesh Maharaj (left), Station Manager for Humm FM 106.2 radio station, with WIA Executive Mahendra Dutt Sharma.

But, what does this mean to NZ Businesses? To answer this, WIA expanded its horizon to promote business. It thus invited Mr Anthony, to enlighten India’s Growth and what it means for businesses in New Zealand.

He reminded businessmen and community leaders that India is not synonymous with corruption. “There are organizations like Wipro, Godrej and Infosys who never compromise on moral and sound business ethical values. These are just few of the examples.  Hence, NZ businesses need to take that extra step and look for businesses that stand for honesty,” Anthony said. He advised that India NZ Business Council, respective Indian and New Zealand High Commissions, Trade Commissioner in Delhi and, ANZ could play a vital role with its branch in India. “We have a pool of talents from India already in NZ. The likes of Waitakere Indian Association can play a great role. We need to get them together and ignite their minds,” Anthony said.  He urged New Zealanders to establish contacts, be good hosts, create good impressions and build relationship because”…business in India is based on relationships that encompass family, personal life, and interests as well as shared business acumen.”

Anthony spoke about his dream that NZ could be one of the partners in India’s march towards becoming a Developed Nation. “We need the likes of India-NZ Business Council, Waitakere Indian Association, ANZ bank to build this bond in business between the two countries…the motto of Infosys is “Powered by intellect and driven by values” while Former President of India, Abdul Kalam said “ We need ignited minds,” he concluded with a refreshing advice on doing business with India.

ANZ enhancing diversity -Mr. Andrew Webster, Senior Regional Manager Auckland & Northland, (Left) and Sunil Kaushal who oversees Indian sector banking needs and adds to the theme that the face of ANZ staff represents the face of community
Earlier, ANZ’s Andrew Webster, Senior Regional Manager Auckland & Northland spoke about ANZ’s special focus on cultural diversity and their strategic orientation in addressing the increasing Asian needs in the community. “Our focus and recognition reflects the importance of Indian business community  to New Zealand’s success,” he observed, and added that the Bank, being largest in NZ with most staff and branches, was well geared to look after the needs of changing population.

Webster made a crucial declaration that hits at the heart of businesses aligning to changing demographic environment and embracing diversity. “One of the things we try to do is to make sure the face of our staff represent the face of the community.” He added that in his business which is focussing on small and medium businesses with 200 staff, 34% are of Chinese descent while 20% are Indians. These people represent the community and can provide culturally appropriate services. ANZ walks its talk on embracing diversity by being involved in their affairs. “We do this, by sponsorship of Diwali. We also have strategic relationship with India-New Zealand Business Council and have strategic partnership with Department of Ethnic Affairs, “ Webster said.

Waitakere hosting a Pukekohe visitor: Sunil Chandra, (left), President of Waitakere Indian Association, and Manoj Tahal, (right), Events and Business Networking Director of WIA, with Bhikhu Bhana (middle), executive of Pukekohe Indian Association
President of WIA, Sunil Chandra acknowledged the presence of Labour MP Dr. Rajen Prasad, Bhikhu Bhana, Executive of Pukekohe Indian Association, Linda Cooper, Chairperson, Waitakere Licensing Trust and Amail Habib, Deputy Chair for Auckland Council’s Ethnic Panel. He stressed that apart from community and cultural activity, the business networking was widening the scope of WIA to help the community and building relationship with business community. “In doing community work, we built a close relationship with ANZ which is a major sponsor for all our activities and we really appreciate the help and support of ANZ in helping WIA serve the wider community,” Sunil said.

Roshila Prasad, Executive Director of Humm FM radio station, in discussion with Roneel Singh, Secretary of Waitakere Indian Association
Through this business networking, community needs to salute Waitakere Indian Association for their FIRST, once again: for venturing into areas other similar organisations can emulate. That is, to better serve their communities and foster community well-being by enhancing business opportunities with India.


Photos and story by Thakur Ranjit Singh.