Ravi Patil is Partner and Director of INDOLINK India. With his immense experience, he is handling many international customers interested in setting-up their businesses in India. We have interviewed him to learn about his experience.
How did you decide to start INDOLINK?
The idea of starting INDOLINK is the brainchild of Mario. Around that time I also started my own company called Mai Sourcing, focused on helping European companies source from India. Mario and me knew each other since few years from Rinder where we worked together. So later on we decided to join hands and we created the subsidiary of INDOLINK in India, mai INDOLINK Consulting Pvt. Ltd.
Which have been the major problems faced so far?
I would say the major problem so far was and still is (even today) how to make International companies believe that India is a very good potential market. Things appear difficult, time consuming, bureaucratic etc…, and they are. But with a medium-long term strategy it is possible to access that potential market. And with our experience we can make the process of doing business in India smooth and less complicated.
Which have been the most challenging projects?
Each project is challenging because each customer is from a different sector. So, each time there are new things to learn, we face new challenges and we have to make it happen. Personally, I would say the most challenging projects have been the setup of BELLOTA’s manufacturing plant in Nasik and GAMESA-MADE in Chennai.
Bellota because of its scope of activities, the difficulties faced while obtaining government approvals, electricity, etc. And Gamesa because of its tight time schedule. We had the task of making a plant ready for operations within a span of just 4 months from the moment we got possession of the factory. Almost complete factory was renovated, permissions obtained and plant started operating exactly the date planned (19th July 2008).
Which is the most valuable asset of the company now in your opinion?
The most valuable asset for INDOLINK is its people: our team and customers. It’s our team who has the knowledge and experience to handle the projects effectively. And they are satisfied customers who make more customers approach us.
How has been the experience in the last ten years?
Wonderful! A lot of learning, the opportunity to interact with customers with different views… Every project is a creation. Every set up project is a rare and unique chance to experience a concept/strategy being developed into reality. In every market research project we get a chance to learn new things. Our knowledge is constantly building up. I think this is a rare type of activity where we earn and learn simultaneously. It is an enriching experience.
How do you see INDOLINK in next ten years?
As a reference company in the activities related to helping companies establish and operate businesses in India. Building knowledge and eager to add value to our customers.
Which are the challenges that you have faced working with foreign companies?
The major challenge that we have face is understanding customers perceptions, their expectations about going to new country, the ideas they have about setting up the business, etc. And then analyzing the requirements, thinking about the best strategy and explaining it to customers.
Another challenge is to make the customer confident that they can leave the responsibility of setting up and administrative tasks on INDOLINK so that they can focus on what they really know, their core activities. We are very committed to our customer’s success but it’s not always easy to transmit that they can trust us totally. Building trust takes time. But once we start working closely, customers experience our reliability and things become smooth.
What are your expectations of growth of Indian economy?
Indian economy is bound to grow for a period of at least next 20- 25 years. I expect the growth rate to be >5% throughout these years. There is a significant gap between developed countries and India. India would like to reduce/bridge this gap. Indian people are becoming conscious about their responsibility towards the nation. This was evident in the increase in % of voting in the recent national elections. People of India has elected a government whose agenda is based in grown and development. Growing middle class, growth of educated population and the desire of people for a better way of life will act as accelerators to growth and will help it sustain for many years to come.
How is INDOLINK different from other consultants?
I would say INDOLINK is different from other consultants mainly because of two aspects: our comprehensive portfolio of services and the value we add to our customers.
Our ranges of services include everything from the initial strategic planning to all activities related to setting up the business, and the subsequent legal and administrative requirements (accounting, secretarial services, taxes, etc). As far as I know there are hardly any consultancy companies offering such wide range of services.
Offering a real added value to our customer is our philosophy. Our clients say “once we hand over the task to INDOLINK we don’t have to look into them. They will ensure everything is taken care of, we rely on them.” We treat our customer’s project as our OWN. Our commitment is total. In our opinion it’s the only way for success.