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Archive for December 29th, 2015

Eight Steps to Investing in India

Tuesday, December 29th, 2015

Driven by a growth rate of over 8% in 2010 and a 350 million strong middle-class with growing purchasing power and appetite to spend, the Indian market is reshaping the world’s economy. Investment in almost every sector (Education, Food, Energy, Health care and Retail) of the Indian economy has a promise of high returns that has caught the attention of investors and businesses across the world.

Indian economy is, however in transition and so are its tax and investment laws. New guidelines, policies, programs, and incentives for investment are being introduced into the system regularly and frequently.

Indian government is offering various incentives for the foreign companies and investors who want to

– Lower labor costs

– Explore new market/s (in and around India)

– Develop and Commercialize/Industrialize new products and services

– Open up export oriented units in India

Government incentives include:

– Duty free import of capital goods and raw materials

– Reimbursements of Central Sales Tax

– Tax holiday for specified period

– 100 per cent repatriation of profits for subcontracting facilities- and more

However, there is a considerable risk for players who are not fully prepated to do business in India and may not fully understand how local markets operate in India. Hence the challenge of the investor is to assess what opportunity to tap and how to minimize the associated risk.

I outline below an eight step plan with action, resources and contacts to help you benefit from the booming Indian Economy while minimizing your risk.

1. Know WHAT you want..

Have clear objectives for your company and ensure that your India strategy is aligned with your objectives.

Buyusa.gov provides excellent information on assessing your objectives and provides what you need to know for doing business in India.

2. Understand the Economy you are investing in

India is a diverse country with many languages, different business norms and a complex regulatory structure. In addition, foreigners must know how to deal with corruption, bureaucracy and labor market rigidities at the state and the central level.

World Bank’s ‘Doing Business’ site provides excellent information on these topics. Read through the following papers and presentations:

1) Doing Business 2010 ‘India’ by the World Bank Group

2) ‘Doing Business in India’ by Ernst & Young

3. Identify and Assess Opportunities in India

You need to do a thorough market research to qualify the opportunity for selling your products/services or for making other investments in India. Get the research tailored to your needs from the following resources:

– Market Research Reports are available on buyusa.gov
– The country commercial guide for India from US Department of Commerce- Indian Brand Equity Foundation group from India

4. Are you ready?

Assess if your company is prepared to do business or invest in India. Is your company committed to succeeding in India? Is there a market for your product? Is your product/service unique enough? Are the regulatory requirements straightforward to implement?

5. Attend Trade Events

Trade events are probably the best way to identify opportunities, meet subject matter experts, showcase your products and services, connect with potential partners, suppliers and buyers and check out your competition.

Business Events by Entry India is an excellent source for upcoming business events in US and India.

6. Find one or more local partners in India

It is essential to have a local partner who understands the language and culture of the country. This will make it easy to negotiate, develop sales and distribution channels, price the product and services appropriate for the target market segment, and to protect intellectual property of your company. Due diligence and sound contractual agreement with the partner are a must for success.

7. Market Entry Options

Options include creating a wholly owned subsidiary, a joint venture with a local company or opening a branch or liaison office in India.

Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion under government of India provides excellent information for foreign companies pursuing entry into India.

8. Know Industry and Professional Associations in India

Through membership with key Industry associations, businesses gain access to local business resources, make valuable contacts, keep track of changing laws governing their business etc.

– Depending on the industry/sector of interest Confederation of Indian Industry, FICCI, AMCHAM, ASSOCAM, and NASSCOM are a few industry associations that a foreign business must look into. India One Stop provides a comprehensive list of professional organizations in India that foreign companies must know.- Export Assistance from US: The U.S. Commercial Service helps U.S. companies to expand their business to worldwide markets and has the largest presence, outside US, with 7 offices in India. U.S. Commercial Service offices are located in 107 U.S. cities and 145 U.S. Embassies and Consulates worldwide to take advantage of.

Summary:

A thorough planning before expanding your business to India or making your investments in India will go a long way for a profitable and worry operation in India.

India Tours – Explore the Tourism Attractions of India

Tuesday, December 29th, 2015

The land of varied faiths and beliefs, India is an ultimate tourist destination of the world. India is the country that is being visited by the tourists from all around the world for the past several centuries. India is known for diversity of people and cultures, rich heritage, numerous natural wonders, stunning beauty of its beaches, hills stations, and much more. Yoga, meditation, and ayurveda are some other fields, which attract international tourists to India. Millions of tourists visit India every year and try to enrich their knowledge about the country during their India tour.

Tourists can find numerous interesting destinations during their India tour. The northern part of India with spectacular Himalayas, vast Thar Desert and extensive plains is home to several charming cities. This region displays different climatic conditions and variation in topography in different areas. In the Himalayas range are located some of the most beautiful hill stations of India.

Delhi, the capital and the political center of the country, also lies in north India. This historical city has witnessed numerous political events in its history that shaped the destiny of India as a country. There are a large number of historical monuments and other tourist sites in Delhi for the tourists to explore. Located close to Delhi are Mathura and Vrindavan, important pilgrimage cities for Hindus in northern India.

South India is known for its attractive geographical features and rich culture. Nilgiri hills, tea gardens of Munnar, picturesque beaches of Kerala are some of the best attractions to watch in South India. Some tourists visit south India to especially watch the wonderful sunset in Kanyakumari.

East India is the region that was the center of political activities in ancient and medieval India. Some of the major kingdoms that ruled over east India were Magadh, Maurya and Kalinga. Buddhism and Jainism, as religions, were also founded in east India. Tourists visiting east India get the opportunity to experience the rich heritage of the region as well as visit the Nalanda University that was famous all over the world during ancient times. Puri in Orissa, famous for Puri Temple and Puri Rath Yatra, is another prime tourist destination in East India.

Andaman & Nicobar Islands is the region that usually remains unexplored by tourists in India. However, it is home to a number of interesting attractions. Cellular Jail, Anthropological Museum, Samudrika Naval Maritime Museum, Corbyn’s Cove Beach, and Mahatma Gandhi National Marine Park are some of the main tourist sites in Port Blair in Andaman. Other appealing tourist sites of Andaman and Nicobar region are Chiriya Tapu (Bird Island), Ross Island, Neil Island, Havelock Island, Cinque Island, Little Andaman, Car Nicobar, and Great Nicobar.

Tourists, during their India trip, can also choose from a variety of themed India tour packages. Some of the these packages include cultural India, golden triangle, Indian wildlife tour, topmost pilgrimage sites in India, tribal India, beach holiday tours, etc. Apart from these tours, tourists can also explore the following tourists destinations in India including Agra, Shimla, Jaipur, Udaipur, Bikaner, Mumbai, Bangalore, Nainital, Ranikhet, Srinagar, Mount Abu, Mussoorie and Darjeeling, Goa, Kovalam, Chennai, Mysore, Khajuraho, Gandhinagar, Ooty, Kolkata, Shilong, Pushkar, etc.