Liverpool Chamber hears India on a learning curve

Liverpool Chamber hears India on a learning curve

THE rapid technological growth and increasing wealth of India means its people are demanding more education.
UK education and training companies are well placed to help satisfy this demand, says John Haynes, International Coaching Academy managing director, based in Liverpool.
“It is crucial to understand the trends in any country. You must ask yourself: can my product solve their problem?” said Mr Haynes, speaking at Liverpool Chamber of Commerce’s Unlock Business Opportunities in India event.
“We’ve had the foresight to anticipate trends and we’ve gone into four countries in four years, India, Australia, Kenya and Malaysia.
“The Indians are sharp, honest people who do not suffer fools gladly. Change in India and the growth of technology means that they want education.
“They are also an ambitious people. One of our students told me, ‘Mr John, we want education so that one day we can come to your country and take your jobs!’ and I think he was only half joking.”
There are four ‘silent questions’ you must always ask yourself before entering a foreign market, believes Mr Haynes:
• Specialisation: what do you specialise in?
• Differentiation: what USP makes you stand out?
• Segmentation: where is your ideal client who wants your product?
• Concentration: on all of the above questions
On the practical front, you must have a website and Indian business people will want to see a prominent value statement and mission statement on it. You have to explain what your vision will be in five years’ time, said Mr Haynes.
Overall, the world is in transition and research shows that in just the next three years there will be more change than in your grandparents’ lifetime. This applies even more so to young countries like India.
In spite of all the changes in India, traditional courtesy still counts, said Mr Haynes: “You’ve got to get out and meet families of the people who work for you and let them get to know you and you get to know them.
“You must keep your honesty and integrity. You must build a bond of trust with the right partners, as finding the right partner is critical to success.”
“Look at Liverpool Football Club: a large part of its business is associated merchandising which is worth £140m per annum.
“It has scoped the whole international market place and is aware of opportunities that the new Indian Football Premier League will bring.
“It found the right joint venture partners and people on the ground, who have the knowledge about variety, size and price of products which will sell.”
Sandip Khroud, senior associate at law firm Gateley, based in Leeds, who specialises in advising clients doing business in India, agrees that a joint venture company with the right people is the most popular entry option to the country.
“A joint venture company is the fast way to gain leverage, that is using your knowledge here to achieve something with the help of people over there.
“The two parties co-operate to run the business which helps achieve aims which could not be done by one party alone and it’s a flexible concept.
“Ideally both parties should share the same values, added together with the UK entity having the experience, knowledge and know-how and the Indian entity bringing the cultural understanding, man management and local knowledge.
“However, with a joint venture, you should make clear what constitutes your intellectual property. Don’t allow the joint venture company to use your intellectual property without a licence.
“India’s legal landscape is based on UK common law, but with the addition of the Indian Constitution, state laws and religious laws.
“The courts are independent of government, but the huge backlog of cases is a problem and you want to avoid litigation if at all possible as it can take up to 10 years to resolve disputes.”
Other business entry options into India are: agency, liaison office, subsidiary office, and acquisition.
ENDS)

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